Unicode Hexadecimal Alt Code Entry in Microsoft Office

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In Windows you can use the ALT key to enter numeric codes for decimal values of Unicode code points (e.g. ALT+065 = A). The limit is set to 255...unless you're in Microsoft Office, where you can input larger values (e.g. ALT+1046 = Cyrlilic Ж (Zhe)).

This is handy, but I found out through the grape vine (specifically blogger John D. Cook) there's a way to also enter the hexadecimal value of the Unicode point. For instance Ж is actually U+0416 in the Unicode spec where they are listed by hexadecimal values. Unfortunately, it's still restricted to Microsoft Office but it can be useful

It's a little tricky, so here's how it goes

  1. Open Microsoft Word or other Office app.
  2. Type a four digit hex code point (e.g. "0416").
  3. Next type Alt+X. The numeric code will be replaced by the correct character.

I wish this trick worked in every Windows app, but it's still useful if you are using Word and need a code and can only get access to a list of codes in hexadecimal format. At least you can bypass the hexadecimal to decimal conversion.

About The Blog

I am a Penn State technology specialist with a degree in linguistics and have maintained the Penn State Computing with Accents page since 2000.

See Elizabeth Pyatt's Homepage (ejp10@psu.edu) for a profile.

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