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Type Special Characters with a Chromebook (Accents, Symbols, Em Dashes)

type unicode in chromebookI work part-time as an editor, which means I spend a lot of my time replacing hyphens with em dashes. So, when I bought my Chromebook, my life became a little different.

The normal way I’ve always typed em dashes is to press alt and type 0151 on the numerical keypad. Only thing is that Chromebooks don’t have numerical keypads. In fact, most laptops don’t anymore.

In a pinch, you can google the special character and copy and paste the special characters in. But no one’s got time for that.

In Word, you can use special characters from the Insert ribbon.

But Chromebooks don’t have Word.

You get the idea. For those of you who’ve skimmed all this and are just looking for the solution, here it is:

How to Type Special Characters with a Chromebook: Unicode Input

On a Chromebook, when you press CTRL+SHIFT+U in an input field, you’ll get a little underlined “u” on your screen. Look:

chromebook unicode

Now, type in the unicode entry for the special character you want. An em dash is “2014.”

unicode chromebook special characters

Hit enter and voila, em dash: —

2014 for an em dash is easy to remember, because 2014 is the year that St. Vincent released her self-titled album St. Vincent. But for all other unicode characters, you should check out this handy reference:

Unicode-Table.com

Wikipedia also has a good break down of all the unicode characters.

That table is massive, of course. So here’s a handy reference for the ones you’d most frequently use on your Chromebook.

Typing Subscript and Superscript in Unicode

The unicode entries for subscript are U+208X, where X is the number you want in subscript. For example, H₂0 uses CTRL+SHIFT+U and then 2082.

The unicode entries for superscript are CTRL+SHIFT+U and then 207x, where X is the number you want in superscript. For example, 10⁷ uses CTRL+SHIFT+U and then 2077.

That is, except for 1, 2, and 3, which are CTRL+SHIFT+U and then 00B9, CTRL+SHIFT+U and then 00B2 and CTRL+SHIFT+U and then 00B3 respectively.

Typing Punctuation in Unicode

Use the handy table below for your dashes and other esoteric punctuation.

CTRL + SHIFT + U and … Character Name
2013 En dash
2014 Em dash
2015 Horizontal bar
2017 Double low line
2018 Left single quotation mark
2019 Right single quotation mark
201A Single low-9 quotation

mark

201B Single high-reversed-9 quotation mark
201C Left double quotation mark
201D Right double quotation mark
201E Double low-9 quotation mark
2020 Dagger
2021 Double dagger
2022 Bullet
2026 Horizontal ellipsis
2030 Per mille sign
2032 Prime
2033 Double prime
2039 Single left-pointing angle quotation mark
203A Single right-pointing angle quotation mark
203C Double exclamation mark
203E Overline
2044 Fraction slash
204A Tironian et sign

Typing Symbols in Unicode

 

CTRL + SHIFT + U and … Character Name
00A0 Non-breaking space
00A1 ¡ Inverted Exclamation Mark
00A2 ¢ Cent sign
00A3 £ Pound sign
00A4 ¤ Currency sign
00A5 ¥ Yen sign
00A6 ¦ Broken bar
00A7 § Section sign
00A8 ¨ Diaeresis (Umlaut)
00A9 © Copyright sign
00AB « Left-pointing double angle quotation mark
00AC ¬ Not sign
00AD Soft hyphen
00AE ® Registered sign
00AF ¯ Macron
00B0 ° Degree symbol
00B1 ± Plus-minus sign
00B2 ² Superscript two
00B3 ³ Superscript three
00B4 ´ Acute accent
00B5 µ Micro sign
00B6 Pilcrow sign
00B7 · Middle dot
00B8 ¸ Cedilla
00B9 ¹ Superscript one
00BA º Masculine ordinal indicator
00BB » Right-pointing double angle quotation mark
00BC ¼ Vulgar fraction one quarter
00BD ½ Vulgar fraction one half
00D7 × Multiplication sign
00F7 ÷ Division sign
00BA º Masculine ordinal indicator
00BB » Right-pointing double angle quotation mark
00BC ¼ Vulgar fraction one quarter
00BD ½ Vulgar fraction one half
00BE ¾ Vulgar fraction three quarters
00BF ¿ Inverted Question Mark

Typing Accents in Unicode

CTRL + SHIFT + U and… Character Name
00C0 À Latin Capital Letter A with grave
00C1 Á Latin Capital letter A with acute
00C2 Â Latin Capital letter A with circumflex
00C3 Ã Latin Capital letter A with tilde
00C4 Ä Latin Capital letter A with diaeresis
00C5 Å Latin Capital letter A with ring above
00C6 Æ Latin Capital letter Æ
00C7 Ç Latin Capital letter C with cedilla
00C8 È Latin Capital letter E with grave
00C9 É Latin Capital letter E with acute
00CA Ê Latin Capital letter E with circumflex
00CB Ë Latin Capital letter E with diaeresis
00CC Ì Latin Capital letter I with grave
00CD Í Latin Capital letter I with acute
00CE Î Latin Capital letter I with circumflex
00CF Ï Latin Capital letter I with diaeresis
00D0 Ð Latin Capital letter Eth
00D1 Ñ Latin Capital letter N with tilde
00D2 Ò Latin Capital letter O with grave
00D3 Ó Latin Capital letter O with acute
00D4 Ô Latin Capital letter O with circumflex
00D5 Õ Latin Capital letter O with tilde
00D6 Ö Latin Capital letter O with diaeresis
00D8 Ø Latin Capital letter O with stroke
00D9 Ù Latin Capital letter U with grave
00DA Ú Latin Capital letter U with acute
00DB Û Latin Capital Letter U with circumflex
00DC Ü Latin Capital Letter U with diaeresis
00DD Ý Latin Capital Letter Y with acute
00DE Þ Latin Capital Letter Thorn
00DF ß Latin Small Letter sharp S
00E0 à Latin Small Letter A with grave
00E1 á Latin Small Letter A with acute
00E2 â Latin Small Letter A with circumflex
00E3 ã Latin Small Letter A with tilde
00E4 ä Latin Small Letter A with diaeresis
00E5 å Latin Small Letter A with ring above
00E6 æ Latin Small Letter Æ
00E7 ç Latin Small Letter C with cedilla
00E8 è Latin Small Letter E with grave
00E9 é Latin Small Letter E with acute
00EA ê Latin Small Letter E with circumflex
00EB ë Latin Small Letter E with diaeresis
00EC ì Latin Small Letter I with grave
00ED í Latin Small Letter I with acute
00EE î Latin Small Letter I with circumflex
00EF ï Latin Small Letter I with diaeresis
00F0 ð Latin Small Letter Eth
00F1 ñ Latin Small Letter N with tilde
00F2 ò Latin Small Letter O with grave
00F3 ó Latin Small Letter O with acute
00F4 ô Latin Small Letter O with circumflex
00F5 õ Latin Small Letter O with tilde
00F6 ö Latin Small Letter O with diaeresis
00F8 ø Latin Small Letter O with stroke
00F9 ù Latin Small Letter U with grave
00FA ú Latin Small Letter U with acute
00FB û Latin Small Letter U with circumflex
00FC ü Latin Small Letter U with diaeresis
00FD ý Latin Small Letter Y with acute
00FE þ Latin Small Letter Thorn
00FF ÿ Latin Small Letter Y with diaeresis

 

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