Special Character Shortcuts in Windows

January 14, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

A significant number of Windows-based designers have difficulty getting special characters (bullets, em dashes, etc.) into their layout files. I see this a lot when I'm doing on-site training. They use the old ASCII code method of pressing ALT while entering a 4-digit code on their keypad, and often have cheat sheets of these taped to their monitors. Or they've got one "good" digital file containing the characters which they keep handy on their desktop, and copy/paste the characters from there when they need them.

Both Quark and InDesign for Windows have simple, "Mac-like" keyboard shortcuts for these:

QuarkXPress (v4-v6):
Bullet: Shift-Alt-8
Registration Symbol: Shift-Alt-R
Copyright Symbol: Shift-Alt-C
Trademark Symbol: Shift-Alt-2
Em Dash: Control-Shift-=
En Dash: None, as far as I know.
Discretionary (soft) hyphen: Control-hyphen

InDesign (v2-CS)
Bullet: Alt-8
Registration Symbol: Alt-R
Copyright Symbol: Alt-G (note: a G, not a C)
Trademark Symbol: None (see note)
Em Dash: Alt-Shift-hyphen
En Dash: Alt-hyphen
Discretionary (soft) hyphen: Shift-Control-hyphen

Note for InDesign:
Use the Type—>Insert Special Character menu to insert a Trademark symbol, or create your own keyboard shortcut for it in Edit—>Keyboard Shortcuts.

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