Author:- Stephen Harrison, BSc, MSc, MBCS, CITP, MInstM
Sharing over 20 years of IT experience with you 
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How To Make Alt Codes
The Definitive guide


Learning how to make alt codes on different device types is convenient knowledge to have. This article teaches you all about alt codes and the convenience they bring to every day life.

For example I may use an actual ÷ sign when writing out maths calculations in an e-mail or document, rather than that standard slash (/) notation generally used on computers when working with the operating system calculator.

There are dozens of available alt codes for laptops and computers that are not displayed on a standard keyboard.

This article describes alt codes and their history, and explains how to access them on both laptop and desktop computer keyboards.

A complete list of alt codes are available in a searchable table. In addition I have made all alt codes available in a downloadable PDF document, in  case you need to access whilst offline.


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What Are Alt Codes Exactly?

Simply put, alt codes, or the alt numpad input method, is a way of typing special characters and symbols that do not usually have a dedicated key on a traditional keyboard.

The characters or symbols alt codes produce are usually based on Microsoft Operating Systems. However it is worth noting that other Operating Systems, such as Apple, include similar or extended forms  of alt codes considered in this article.

The keyboard shortcut steps to produce an alt code is considered the most common and easiest approach for everyday computer users to produce 'non-ASCII codes'.


Attention!

ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, and is the method based on the binary, or Base-2, number system (zeros and ones), that enables devices to produce everyday text on computers, just like this.


Having an awareness of keyboard shortcuts in general is advantageous and convenient. for example when spelling words that include accents, such as the letter à

Microsoft Operating Systems and other Microsoft Office products include character maps that contain thousands of different character types, usually based on font types.

Character maps are potentially more convenient than the alt code keyboard shortcut approach. However in my experience it is difficult it find what you are looking for because of the sheer volume of choice.

I think it is therefore better to either learn the alt codes for the characters or symbols you frequently use, or refer to a source where the character ot symbol you are looking for can be easily found. In the next section we take a brief look at the interesting history of the alt code.

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How To Make Alt Codes
A Brief History

In the early 1980's, the BIOS shipped with IBM compatible computers enabled unique codes to be produced by using the Alt key on the keyboard, and entering a unique numeric value. This is how the alt code term originated.

The BIOS character set on original IBM PC's was called Code Page 437, or CP437 as it is otherwise known as. IBM was the leading personal computer supplier in the world in the early 1980's.

Variations were developed to enable unique codes and symbols to be produced on on non-English keyboards and non-English languages.

As Microsoft Corporation evolved during this decade, they decided to produce their own Code Page, called CP1252, or ANSI Code Pages (American National Standards Institute).

However Microsoft also decided to retain CP437 due to its popularity, and exists in various Microsoft software products today. This is now known an Unicode and includes the Emoji symbols we take for granted on our mobile devices today.

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How To Make Alt Codes
Using A Standard Keyboard

To type a special character, symbol or code using the alt key on a traditional or standard keyboard:-

  1. Enable Num Lock key. A light on the key itself or at the top of the keyboard usually identifies Num Lock as enabled;
  2. Press and hold down the Alt Key;
  3. Whilst the Alt key is pressed, type the number sequence on the numeric keypad for the alt code character you wish to produce;
  4. Release the Alt key. The character you have requested should appear on your screen.

The image below shows a traditional or standard computer keyboard. The Alt key is highlighted towards the bottom left of the image. The numeric keypad is highlighted towards the right hand side of the image.

The Num Lock key is at the top of the numeric keypad. On this keyboard the green light at the top of the keyboard shows that Num Lock is enabled.


Alt Codes Keyboard Instruction LayoutHow To Make Alt Codes
Keyboard Instruction Layout

Attention!

If Num Lock is disabled, or not switched on, the numeric keypad for producing alt codes will not work. Instead a different command will be executed, and this could adversely affect the work you are doing.

For example, Alt + 4 would activate the back arrow command, and could make your current web page go back to the previous web page, losing information entered into an unsaved form. 


Below is a demonstration of how to put in to place the alt code instructions above. In this instance it produces the Latin letter í with acute accent.


Alt Codes Keyboard DemonstrationThe Key Sequence To Enter Alt code 161 Demonstration
This Produces The Character í (Latin Letter i With Acute)
Source:- wikipedia.org

Attention!

The Apple Mac OS does not include alt codes.  Take a look at the fsymbols site (Opens New Window) to learn about Mac Book symbol shortcuts


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How To Make Alt Codes
Using Laptop Keyboards

Unfortunately there are increasing numbers of laptops where alt codes do not work. This is because laptop suppliers are more focused on developing lighter and more portable laptop devices than catering for alt code production.

As the laptop market is a bit of mixed bag for alt codes, it is worth testing on your own device to see if yours is compliant or not.

If you laptop has an Alt key, and a numeric keypad with a Num Lock key, you are in business. If it does not, well that makes things bit more tricky. However all is not lost.

The image below shows the alternative keys an a laptop that can act as a numeric keypad when used in conjunction with the Fn key, or Function key.

For example, with Num Lock enabled, press and hold the Fn key and Alt key, then use the keys depicted below to produce your alt code.


A Laptop Numeric Keypad AlternativeA Laptop Numeric Keypad Alternative
Source:- fsymbols.com

The short video below explains how to potentially enable alt codes on laptops. The approach in the video may or may not work for you, depending on your make and model of device.



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Final Thoughts

Knowledge of how to make alt codes is a potential time saver for you in your everyday computing interactions. Personally I find then extremely useful.

Scroll down a bit further to see the interactive alt codes chart. It has taken several days to put the chart together so hopefully you will find it useful.

The Alt Codes Net site (Opens New Window) is an excellent source of interactive alt codes. when you left click the symbol, it automatically copies it for you paste elsewhere. Fantastic.



The Alt Key Codes Chart

Below is the definitive list of alt codes reference sheet. Simply scroll down to the section of interest, or use the search bar to type in the alt code reference number or description. This will filter the list to display in a shortened table what you are looking for.

In addition, if you wanted to determine the alt code for a specific symbol, or learn its description, simply paste the copied symbol in to the search bar.

If you would like an offline PDF copy of this list, click here (Opens PDF In New Window) for the Alt Codes Reference Sheet.


Symbol Alt Code Description
1 White Smiling Face
2 Black Smiling Face
3 Black Heart Suit
4 Black Diamond Suit
5 Black Club Suit
6 Black Spade Suit
7 Bullet
8 Inverse Bullet
9 White Circle
10 Inverse White Circle
11 Male Sign
Mars
Alchemical Symbol For Iron
12 Female Sign
Venus
Alchemical Symbol For Copper
13 Eighth Note
Quaver
14 Beamed Eighth Notes
Barred Eighth Notes
Beamed Quavers
15 White Sun With Rays
16 Black Right-Pointing Pointer
17 Black Left-Pointing Pointer
18 Up Down Arrow
19 Double Exclamation Mark
20 Pilcrow Sign
Paragraph Sign
§ 21 Section Sign
22 Black Rectangle
23 Up Down Arrow With Base
24 Upwards Arrow
25 Downwards Arrow
26 Rightwards Arrow
Z Notation Total Function
27 Leftwards Arrow
28 Right Angle
29 Left Right Arrow
Z Notation Relation
30 Black Up-Pointing Triangle
31 Black Down-Pointing Triangle
spc 32 Space
! 33 Exclamation Mark
Factorial
" 34 Quotation Mark
# 35 Number Sign
Pound Sign
Hash
Crosshatch
Octothorpe
$ 36 Dollar Sign
Milréis
Escudo
% 37 Percent Sign
& 38 Ampersand
' 39 Apostrophe
( 40 Left Parenthesis
Opening Parenthesis
) 41 Right Parenthesis
Closing Parenthesis
* 42 Asterisk
Star
+ 43 Plus Sign
, 44 Comma
Decimal Separator
- 45 Hyphen
Minus Sign
. 46 Full Stop
Period
Dot
Decimal Point
/ 47 Solidus
Slash
Forward Slash
Virgule
0 48 Digit Zero
1 49 Digit One
2 50 Digit Two
3 51 Digit Three
4 52 Digit Four
5 53 Digit Five
6 54 Digit Six
7 55 Digit Seven
8 56 Digit Eight
9 57 Digit Nine
: 58 Colon
; 59 Semicolon
< 60 Less-Than Sign
= 61 Equals Sign
> 62 Greater-Than Sign
? 63 Question Mark
@ 64 Commercial At
At Sign
A 65 Latin Capital Letter A
B 66 Latin Capital Letter B
C 67 Latin Capital Letter C
D 68 Latin Capital Letter D
E 69 Latin Capital Letter E
F 70 Latin Capital Letter F
G 71 Latin Capital Letter G
H 72 Latin Capital Letter H
I 73 Latin Capital Letter I
J 74 Latin Capital Letter J
K 75 Latin Capital Letter K
L 76 Latin Capital Letter L
M 77 Latin Capital Letter M
N 78 Latin Capital Letter N
O 79 Latin Capital Letter O
P 80 Latin Capital Letter P
Q 81 Latin Capital Letter Q
R 82 Latin Capital Letter R
S 83 Latin Capital Letter S
T 84 Latin Capital Letter T
U 85 Latin Capital Letter U
V 86 Latin Capital Letter V
W 87 Latin Capital Letter W
X 88 Latin Capital Letter X
Y 89 Latin Capital Letter Y
Z 90 Latin Capital Letter Z
[ 91 Left Square Bracket
Opening Square Bracket
\ 92 Reverse Solidus
Back Slash
] 93 Right Square Bracket
Closing Square Bracket
^ 94 Circumflex Accent
_ 95 Low Line
Underscore
` 96 Grave Accent
a 97 Latin Small Letter a
b 98 Latin Small Letter b
c 99 Latin Small Letter c
d 100 Latin Small Letter d
e 101 Latin Small Letter e
f 102 Latin Small Letter f
g 103 Latin Small Letter g
h 104 Latin Small Letter h
i 105 Latin Small Letter i
j 106 Latin Small Letter j
k 107 Latin Small Letter k
l 108 Latin Small Letter l
m 109 Latin Small Letter m
n 110 Latin Small Letter n
o 111 Latin Small Letter o
p 112 Latin Small Letter p
q 113 Latin Small Letter q
r 114 Latin Small Letter r
s 115 Latin Small Letter s
t 116 Latin Small Letter t
u 117 Latin Small Letter u
v 118 Latin Small Letter v
w 119 Latin Small Letter w
x 120 Latin Small Letter x
y 121 Latin Small Letter y
z 122 Latin Small Letter z
{ 123 Left Curly Bracket
Opening Curly Bracket
Left Brace
| 124 Vertical Line
Vertical Bar
} 125 Right Curly Bracket
Closing Curly Bracket
Right Brace
~ 126 Tilde
127 House
Ç 128 Latin Capital Letter C With Cedilla
ü 129 Latin Small Letter u With Diaeresis
é 130 Latin Small Letter e With Acute
â 131 Latin Small Letter a with circumflex
ä 132 Latin Small Letter a With Diaeresis
à 133 Latin Small Letter a With Grave
å 134 Latin Small Letter a With Ring Above
ç 135 Latin Small Letter c With Cedilla
ê 136 Latin Small Letter e With Circumflex
ë 137 Latin Small Letter e With Diaeresis
è 138 Latin Small Letter e With Grave
ï 139 Latin Small Letter i With Diaeresis
î 140 Latin Small Letter i With Circumflex
ì 141 Latin Small Letter i With Grave
Ä 142 Latin Capital Letter A With Diaeresis
Å 143 Latin Capital Letter A With Ring Above
É 144 Latin Capital Letter E With Acute
æ 145 Latin Small Letter ae
Ash (From Old English æsc)
Æ 146 Latin Capital Letter AE
ô 147 Latin Small Letter o With Circumflex
ö 148 Latin Small Letter o With Diaeresis
ò 149 Latin Small Letter o With Grave
û 150 Latin Small Letter u With Circumflex
ù 151 Latin Small Letter u With Grave
ÿ 152 Latin Small Letter y With Diaeresis
Ö 153 Latin Capital Letter O With Diaeresis
Ü 154 Latin Capital Letter U With Diaeresis
¢ 155 Cent Sign
£ 156 Pound Sign
Pound Sterling
Irish Punt
Lira Sign
¥ 157 Yen Sign
Yuan Sign
158 Peseta Sign
ƒ 159 Latin Small Letter f With Hook
Florin Currency Symbol
Function Symbol
á 160 Latin Small Letter a With Acute
í 161 Latin Small Letter i With Acute
ó 162 Latin Small Letter o With Acute
ú 163 Latin Small Letter u With Acute
ñ 164 Latin Small Letter n With Tilde
Small Letter Enye
Ñ 165 Latin Capital Letter N With Tilde
Capital Letter Enye
ª 166 Feminine Ordinal Indicator
º 167 Masculine Ordinal Indicator
¿ 168 Inverted Question Mark
Turned Question Mark
169 Reversed Not Sign
Beginning of Line
¬ 170 Not Sign
Angled Dash
½ 171 Vulgar Fraction One Half
¼ 172 Vulgar Fraction One Quarter
¡ 173 Inverted Exclamation Mark
« 174 Left-Pointing Double Angle Quotation Mark
Left Guillemet
Chevrons (In Typography)
» 175 Right-Pointing Double Angle Quotation Mark
Right Guillemet
176 Light Shade
177 Medium Shade
Speckles Fill
Dotted Fill
178 Dark Shade
179 Box Drawings Light Vertical
180 Box Drawings Light Vertical And Left
181 Box Drawings Vertical Single And Left Double
182 Box Drawings Vertical Double And Left Single
183 Box Drawings Down Double And Left Single
184 Box Drawings Down Single And Left Double
185 Box Drawings Double Vertical And Left
186 Box Drawings Double Vertical
187 Box Drawings Double Down And Left
188 Box Drawings Double Up And Left
189 Box Drawings Up Double And Left Single
190 Box Drawings Up Single And Left Double
191 Box Drawings Light Down And Left
192 Box Drawings Light Up And Right
193 Box Drawings Light Up And Horizontal
194 Box Drawings Light Down And Horizontal
195 Box Drawings Light Vertical And Right
196 Box Drawings Light Horizontal
197 Box Drawings Light Vertical And Horizontal
198 Box Drawings Vertical Single And Right Double
199 Box Drawings Vertical Double And Right Single
200 Box Drawings Double Up And Right
201 Box Drawings Double Down And Right
202 Box Drawings Double Up And Horizontal
203 Box Drawings Double Down And Horizontal
204 Box Drawings Double Vertical And Right
205 Box Drawings Double Horizontal
206 Box Drawings Double Vertical And Horizontal
207 Box Drawings Up Single And Horizontal Double
208 Box Drawings Up Double And Horizontal Single
209 Box Drawings Down Single And Horizontal Double
210 Box Drawings Down Double And Horizontal Single
211 Box Drawings Up Double And Right Single
212 Box Drawings Up Single And Right Double
213 Box Drawings Down Single And Right Double
214 Box Drawings Down Double And Right Single
215 Box Drawings Vertical Double And Horizontal Single
216 Box Drawings Vertical Single And Horizontal Double
217 Box Drawings Light Up And Left
218 Box Drawings Light Down And Right
219 Full Block
Solid Block
220 Lower Half Block
221 Left Half Block
222 Right Half Block
223 Upper Half Block
α 224 Greek Small Letter Alpha
ß 225 Latin Small Letter Sharp s
Eszett
Γ 226 Greek Capital Letter Gamma
π 227 Greek Small Letter PI
Σ 228 Greek Capital Letter Sigma
σ 229 Greek Small Letter Sigma
µ 230 Micro sign
τ 231 Greek Capital Letter Tau
Φ 232 Greek Capital Letter Phi
Θ 233 Greek Capital Letter Theta
Ω 234 Greek Capital Letter Omega
δ 235 Greek Small Letter Delta
236 Infinity
φ 237 Greek Small Letter Phi
ε 238 Greek Small Letter Epsilon
239 Intersection
240 Identical to
± 241 Plus-Minus Sign
242 Greater-Than or Equal To
243 Less-Than or Equal To
244 Top Half Integral
245 Bottom Half Integral
÷ 246 Division Sign
Obelus
247 Almost Equal To
Asymptotic To
° 248 Degree Sign
249 Bullet Operator
· 250 Middle Dot
Midpoint (In Typography)
Interpunct
Georgian Comma
Greek Ano Teleia
251 Square Root
Radical Sign
252 Superscript Latin Small Letter n
² 253 Superscript Two
Squared
254 Black Square
spc 255 No-Break Space
Non-Breaking Space
NBSP
0128 Euro Sign
0130 Single Low-9 Quotation Mark
ƒ 0131 Latin Small Letter f With Hook
Florin Currency Symbol
Function Symbol
0132 Double Low-9 Quotation Mark
0133 Horizontal Ellipsis
Three Dot Leader
0134 Dagger
Obelisk
Cross
0135 Double Dagger
Double Obelisk
Diesis
ˆ 0136 Modifier Letter Circumflex Accent
0137 Per Mille Sign
Per Thousand
Š 0138 Latin Capital Letter S With Caron
S Hacek
0139 Single Left-Pointing Angle Quotation Mark
Left Guillemet
Π0140 Latin Capital Ligature OE
Ž 0142 Latin Capital Letter Z With Caron
Z Hacek
0145 Left Single Quotation Mark
0146 Right Single Quotation Mark
0147 Left Double Quotation Mark
0148 Right Double Quotation Mark
0149 Bullet
0150 En Dash
0151 Em Dash
˜ 0152 Small Tilde
0153 Trade Mark Sign
š 0154 Latin Small Letter s With Caron
s Hacek
0155 Single Right-Pointing Angle Quotation Mark
Right Guillemet
œ 0156 Latin Small Ligature oe
ž 0158 Latin Small Letter z With Caron
z Hacek
Ÿ 0159 Latin Capital Letter Y With Diaeresis
spc 0160 No-Break Space
Non-Breaking Space
NBSP
¡ 0161 Inverted Exclamation Mark
¢ 0162 Cent Sign
£ 0163 Pound Sign
Pound Sterling
Irish Punt
Lira Sign
¤ 0164 Currency Sign
¥ 0165 Yen Sign
Yuan Sign
¦ 0166 Broken Bar
Parted Rule (In Typography)
§ 0167 Section Sign
¨ 0168 Diaeresis
© 0169 Copyright Sign
ª 0170 Feminine Ordinal Indicator
« 0171 Left-Pointing Double Angle Quotation Mark
Left Guillemet
Chevrons (In Typography)
¬ 0172 Not Sign
Angled Dash
® 0174 Registered Sign
¯ 0175 Macron
Overline
Overbar
° 0176 Degree Sign
± 0177 Plus-Minus Sign
² 0178 Superscript Two
Squared
³ 0179 Superscript Three
Cubed
´ 0180 Acute Accent
µ 181 Micro Sign
0182 Pilcrow Sign
Paragraph Sign
· 0183 Middle Dot
Midpoint (In Typography)
Georgian Comma
Greek Ano Teleia
¸ 0184 Cedilla
¹ 0185 Superscript One
º 0186 Masculine Ordinal Indicator
» 0187 Right-Pointing Double Angle Quotation Mark
Right Guillemet
¼ 0188 Vulgar Fraction One Quarter
½ 0189 Vulgar Fraction One Half
¾ 0190 Vulgar Fraction Three Quarters
¿ 0191 Inverted Question Mark
Turned Question Mark
À 0192 Latin Capital Letter A With Grave
Á 0193 Latin Capital Letter A With Acute
 0194 Latin Capital Letter A With Circumflex
à 0195 Latin Capital Letter A With Tilde
Ä 0196 Latin Capital Letter A With Diaeresis
Å 0197 Latin Capital Letter A With Ring Above
Æ 0198 Latin Capital Letter AE
Ç 0199 Latin Capital Letter C With Cedilla
È 0200 Latin Capital Letter E With Grave
É 0201 Latin Capital Letter E With Acute
Ê 0202 Latin Capital Letter E With Circumflex
Ë 0203 Latin Capital Letter E With Diaeresis
Ì 0204 Latin Capital Letter I With Grave
Í 0205 Latin Capital Letter I With Acute
Î 0206 Latin Capital Letter I With Circumflex
Ï 0207 Latin Capital Letter I With Diaeresis
Ð 0208 Latin Capital Letter eth
Ñ 0209 Latin Capital Letter N With Tilde
Capital Letter Enye
Ò 0210 Latin Capital Letter O With Grave
Ó 0211 Latin Capital Letter O With Acute
Ô 0212 Latin Capital Letter O With Circumflex
Õ 0213 Latin Capital Letter O With Tilde
Ö 0214 Latin Capital Letter O With Diaeresis
× 0215 Multiplication Sign
z Notation Cartesian Product
Ø 0216 Latin Capital Letter O With Stroke
Ù 0217 Latin Capital Letter U With Grave
Ú 0218 Latin Capital Letter U With Acute
Û 0219 Latin Capital Letter U With Circumflex
Ü 0220 Latin Capital Letter U With Diaeresis
Ý 0221 Latin Capital Letter Y With Acute
Þ 0222 Latin Capital Letter Thorn
ß 0223 Latin Small Letter Sharp s
Eszett
à 0224 Latin Small Letter a With Grave
á 0225 Latin Small Letter a With Acute
â 0226 Latin Small Letter a With Circumflex
ã 0227 Latin Small Letter a With Tilde
ä 0228 Latin Small Letter a With Diaeresis
å 0229 Latin Small Letter a With Ring Above
æ 0230 Latin Small Letter ae
Ash (From Old English æsc)
ç 0231 Latin Small Letter c With Cedilla
è 0232 Latin Small Letter e With Grave
é 0233 Latin Small Letter e With Acute
ê 0234 Latin Small Letter e With Circumflex
ë 0235 Latin Small Letter e With Diaeresis
ì 0236 Latin Small Letter i With Grave
í 0237 Latin Small Letter i With Acute
î 0238 Latin Small Letter i With Circumflex
ï 0239 Latin Small Letter i With Diaeresis
ð 0240 Latin Small Letter eth
ñ 0241 Latin Small Letter n With Tilde
Small Letter Enye
ò 0242 Latin Small Letter o With Grave
ó 0243 Latin Small Letter o With Acute
ô 0244 Latin Small Letter o With Circumflex
õ 0245 Latin Small Letter o With Tilde
ö 0246 Latin Small Letter o With Diaeresis
÷ 0247 Division Sign
Obelus
ø 0248 Latin Small Letter o With Stroke
ù 0249 Latin Small Letter u With Grave
ú 0250 Latin Small Letter u With Acute
û 0251 Latin Small Letter u With Circumflex
ü 0252 Latin Small Letter u With Diaeresis
ý 0253 Latin Small Letter y With Acute
þ 0254 Latin Small Letter Thorn
ÿ 0255 Latin Small Letter y With Diaeresis



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