How can I input any Unicode character if I know its hexadecimal code?

From: Patrick Andries (
Date: Fri Nov 14 2003 - 19:05:59 EST

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    «Q. How can I input any Unicode character if I know its hexadecimal code?

    A. Some platforms have methods of hexadecimal entry; others have only decimal entry.

    On Windows, there is a decimal input method: hold down the alt key while typing decimal digits on the numeric keypad. The ALT+decimal method requires the code from the encoding of the command prompt. To enter Unicode decimal values, you have to prefix the number with a 0 (zero). E.g. ALT+0163 is the pound sign ("£"), in decimal.

    There is a hex-to-Unicode entry method that works with WordPad 2000, Office 2000 edit boxes, RichEdit controls in general, and in Microsoft Word 2002.»

    I would like to input arbitrary hexadecimal Unicode values in an application (XMetal) which does not seem to use the RichEdit control. Unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to key in a large decimal value (outside of win 1252) using the ALT+0xxx convention in XMetal (I'm on a US Windows XP). Is this normal ?

    Is it possible - I suspect not - to use the Keyboard Layout Creator to specify a similar behaviour to the RichEdit control or the standard ALT+<decimal number>? Something like ALT+X+<hex number> would correspond the Unicode character associated to that hex value. Would be useful, I think.

    P. Andries

    - o - 0 - o -
    Unicode et ISO 10646 en français

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