Typing Symbol Shortcuts

Dear Computer Lady,

Where might I find a directory to creating all the little symbols from my keyboard?

I know the heart ? but that is about it.
Do you have a shortcut listing?


Dear Caryn,

You can type these symbols on your keyboard using the Alt key to the left of your spacebar, and the number keys on the right of your keyboard. The number keys at the top of the keyboard will not work. This also means that it probably won’t work on your laptop if it doesn’t have a number keypad on the right. I have seen directions for a workaround using the numlock key, but I tried it on my laptop and it didn’t work. The best way to get these symbols is to copy them from a text document (or website) and paste them into your document.

There is a very complete shortcut listing on this website:


Here are a few to get you started.

Alt 1 ? Happy Smiley

Alt 2 ? Sad Smiley

Alt 3 ? Heart

Alt 11 ? Male Sign

Alt 12 ? Female Sign

Alt 13 ? Quaver

Alt 14 ?

Alt 15 ? Sun

Alt 16 ? Right arrow

Alt 17 ? Left arrow

Alt 18 ? Up and down arrow

Alt 19 ? Double exclamation mark


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    • SunShinyda
    • April 29, 2011

    To use your laptop remember the Fn key-oh yeah, use this with the ALT key and the keys J,K,L,U,I,O, 7,8,9 to make the symbols, just tried it and it worked. Have to admit I usually forget about the Fn Key…☻, yep, that was how I did it!!

    • Steve
    • May 6, 2011

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Long time reader, first time writer.

    I was a little surprised that you didn’t mention Windows Character Map in your reply to Caryn’s question about typing symbol shortcuts. Since I spend most of my computer time on a laptop, Character Map was the only way I could access some of the unicode symbols.

    Character Map can be found in most versions of Windows under Accessories/System tools.

    Most of my friends and relatives consider me the go-to guy for computer problems. However, I still find a useful nugget or two in every article of yours I read. Thank you SO much.


    • missmax
    • July 3, 2011

    I have the character map on my pc. When I use the code(short cut) to insert an character into a document it gives me the incorrect symbol. Can the character map be corrupt?
    I also tried some of the short cuts you listed and they also do not give the correct symbol.

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