April 18, 2021

How to get special characters using Alt key codes or the Word Symbols library

Microsoft Word, like all text-based programs, uses a numeric character code called ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) for each alphabetic, numeric, and special character on your keyboard. This code is the reason we can use open text files in almost any software program, and the reason why some programs’ passwords are case-sensitive (e.g., the uppercase ‘A’ is ASCII number 65 and the lowercase ‘ a’ is ASCII code 97). You can insert any or all of these codes/characters (individually) with one easy combination keystroke: the Alt key+ the decimal code on the numeric keypad (note that the numbers across the top of your keyboard do not work)—or you can use the Symbols Library.

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