Insert special characters in Writer – LO52

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Foreword

Menu: Insert / Special characters
Dialog box "Special characters"

The video "Schriftarten - Sonderzeichen einfügen in Writer - LibreOffice 5.2" links to this page here, which contains further information.

This description refers to the version LibreOffice 5.2.

Link to the Video

Link to the Video (in German [DE]): Schriftarten - Sonderzeichen einfügen in Writer - LibreOffice 5.2

Insert special character

Position the cursor at the point where the special character is to be inserted.

To insert a special character, choose the Menu Insert ▸ Special Character off.

The dialog box appears: "Special Characters" dialog box.

Here the "Font" can be selected with "Subset".

You select a font to display the special characters available for it.

In the lower right corner the character code is displayed in hexadecimal and decimal numbers.

You can click on a character or special characters from the font table.

The corresponding character is entered in the lower line "Characters" and displayed enlarged on the right.

You can also click on several characters.

With Insert the character(s) at the cursor position are taken over.

 Note: Possibly not all fonts are installed on your computer.
Fonts that are stored on the computer can be installed later.

Dialog box "Special characters" - Enlarge view

In the dialogue box "Special characters" the individual special characters are usually difficult to recognise because they are displayed relatively small.

The dialog box can be enlarged.

Position the cursor at the bottom right corner until a diagonal double arrow appears.

Click on the corner of the dialogue box and drag it to the bottom right.

As a result, no more characters are displayed, but the previously displayed characters are shown larger.

This makes the selection a little easier.

Character table.ods

Since the dialogue box "Special Characters" only presents a limited number of characters at the same time, it is often tedious to search for a specific character.

Here the Calc table "Zeichentabelle.ods" (kindly provided by, source: Regina Henschel) a little remedy.

In the Calc table a much larger number of characters is displayed at the same time and it is easier to scroll and change fonts.

Instructions for the "character table.ods"

The table is divided into lines of 100 characters each.

The data area "myZeichen" can be used to mark the inside of the table.

To do this select the menu Data ▸ Select range... and in the dialogue box "Select database range" (the "mySign" range is already marked there) and click OK.

Now open the "Styles" sidebar with F11 or via View ▸ Templates.

The current format template/cell template is called "Character Set".

You can adjust them here according to your own wishes (e.g. a different font).

Right-click on the cell template "Character Set" and select Change.

In the cell template, the default font is Cambria, Default, 20 pt.

Simply select a different font and click OK.

The selected font is immediately displayed in the inner table and with it the characters and special characters contained in it.

Alternatively, you can also derive one or more cell templates from the cell template "Character set", give them a memorable name and enter the desired font there.

Font character set

The font character set corresponds to all characters and special characters contained in this font.

In the early days of the computer, the so-called ASCII character set was designed.

This was based on a 7-bit representation of characters.

With 7-bit one had 128 possibilities (0-127) of coding.

Of these, the first 32 possibilities are occupied by non-printable characters.

So there was just enough space for the small and large alphabet, the numbers 0-9 and some special characters.

The origin and the extent to this was the typewriter.

In the course of time, the demands on the extent of a character set became higher and higher and character sets with higher and variable coding possibilities followed.

This allows a wide range of characters and special characters.

Often not all possibilities are used, so that coded places (character places) remain unused.

At this point the Glyph⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg then only a white area or a square or rectangle.

If a character that represents only a white area is inserted into the text, nothing will be seen there of course.

 Note: Some (often older) fonts offer less possibilities.

Font of the special kind

With many fonts, the main purpose is to make the font look special.

But our topic here are the special characters.

The standard fonts, like Arial, Times New Roman, Courier New, etc., usually already contain special characters.

Examples: Standard fonts

Examples: Standard fonts

Arial: → ®, ֍, ₤

Times New Roman: → ©, ⁂, ℉

Courier New: → ☺, ♥, ♫

Special Fonts

Special fonts have even more to offer here, e.g. cutouts:

OpenSymbol

Webdings

Windings

Character table in Windows 10

A character table can also be called up in Windows.

This can be clicked on via Start ▸ All Apps ▸ Windows Accessories ▸ Chart.

The dialog box appears "Character Table".

A font can also be selected right at the top.

The adjacent button Help leads to a Microsoft website (general help page).

With "Character selection" it is possible to select a character from the table with Select.

With the button Copy, the selected character is copied to the clipboard and can now be pasted at any position.

In the line "Character set" you can choose between "Unicode", "DOS+language" and "Windows+language".

In the Unicode field, the value for a known Unicode can be entered.

For example "0072" stands for the lower case letter "r".

The "r" character is then displayed in the table at the top left.

If this character is no longer needed, the table can be reset to its original state by pressing the Reset button.

With "Grouping by:" it is still possible to group the displayed character set.

In the "Search for:" line, for example, you can search for known terms, e.g. "bracket", "degree" or "plus".

Simply enter the term and click the Search button.

After selecting a character, the table is reset to its original state with the Reset button.

The coding and a description of the character is displayed at the bottom left.

For some characters, the key combination associated with the Alt key and the numeric keypad is shown at the bottom right "Alt+0161" (U+00A1) to "Alt+0255" (U+00FF).

Further Informations

Work files

Zeichentabelle.ods

Special character

List_of_Unicode_characters#Latin_script⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg

ASCII-Code

ASCII⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg

Unicode

Documentation / Manuals

Documentation / Manuals

Any questions?

For questions on this topic go to Ask.LibreOffice