Windows: March 2009 Archives

Unicode Hexadecimal Alt Code Entry in Microsoft Office


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.


Pinyin Joe's Chinese Computing Help Desk for Vista/XP


Webmaster "Pinyin Joe" site that might clear up some of the mysteries of Chinese support in Windows (including Vista)

He goes through set up, the possible input utilities you can activate and even some font samples for the Microsoft Chinese fonts. There's good coverage of Windows XP as well.

FYI - Mac users should check Yale's Chinese Mac site.


Handout for CALICO 2009 Conference


Below is a link to handout and materials for a CALICO 2009 presentation on Unicode text entry for the Macintosh (with a supplemental Windows handout). Click the link below to download.

Download CALICO Unicode Handouts .zip


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 ( for a profile.


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