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:

Wikipedia also has a good breakdown 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 …CharacterName
2013En dash
2014Em dash
2015Horizontal bar
2017Double low line
2018Left single quotation mark
2019Right single quotation mark
201ASingle low-9 quotation


201BSingle high-reversed-9 quotation mark
201CLeft double quotation mark
201DRight double quotation mark
201EDouble low-9 quotation mark
2021Double dagger
2026Horizontal ellipsis
2030Per mille sign
2033Double prime
2039Single left-pointing angle quotation mark
203ASingle right-pointing angle quotation mark
203CDouble exclamation mark
2044Fraction slash
204ATironian et sign

Typing Symbols in Unicode

CTRL + SHIFT + U and …CharacterName
00A0Non-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
00ADSoft hyphen
00AE®Registered sign
00B0°Degree symbol
00B1±Plus-minus sign
00B2²Superscript two
00B3³Superscript three
00B4´Acute accent
00B5µMicro sign
00B6Pilcrow sign
00B7·Middle dot
00B9¹Superscript one
00BAºMasculine ordinal indicator
00BB»Right-pointing double angle quotation mark
00BC¼Vulgar fraction one quarter
00BD½Vulgar fraction one half
00D7×Multiplication sign
00F7÷Division sign
00BAºMasculine ordinal indicator
00BB»Right-pointing double angle quotation mark
00BC¼Vulgar fraction one quarter
00BD½Vulgar fraction one half
00BE¾Vulgar fraction three quarters
00BF¿Inverted Question Mark

Typing Accents in Unicode

CTRL + SHIFT + U and…CharacterName
00C0ÀLatin Capital Letter A with grave
00C1ÁLatin Capital letter A with acute
00C2ÂLatin Capital letter A with circumflex
00C3ÃLatin Capital letter A with tilde
00C4ÄLatin Capital letter A with diaeresis
00C5ÅLatin Capital letter A with ring above
00C6ÆLatin Capital letter Æ
00C7ÇLatin Capital letter C with cedilla
00C8ÈLatin Capital letter E with grave
00C9ÉLatin Capital letter E with acute
00CAÊLatin Capital letter E with circumflex
00CBËLatin Capital letter E with diaeresis
00CCÌLatin Capital letter I with grave
00CDÍLatin Capital letter I with acute
00CEÎLatin Capital letter I with circumflex
00CFÏLatin Capital letter I with diaeresis
00D0ÐLatin Capital letter Eth
00D1ÑLatin Capital letter N with tilde
00D2ÒLatin Capital letter O with grave
00D3ÓLatin Capital letter O with acute
00D4ÔLatin Capital letter O with circumflex
00D5ÕLatin Capital letter O with tilde
00D6ÖLatin Capital letter O with diaeresis
00D8ØLatin Capital letter O with stroke
00D9ÙLatin Capital letter U with grave
00DAÚLatin Capital letter U with acute
00DBÛLatin Capital Letter U with circumflex
00DCÜLatin Capital Letter U with diaeresis
00DDÝLatin Capital Letter Y with acute
00DEÞLatin Capital Letter Thorn
00DFßLatin Small Letter sharp S
00E0àLatin Small Letter A with grave
00E1áLatin Small Letter A with acute
00E2âLatin Small Letter A with circumflex
00E3ãLatin Small Letter A with tilde
00E4äLatin Small Letter A with diaeresis
00E5åLatin Small Letter A with ring above
00E6æLatin Small Letter Æ
00E7çLatin Small Letter C with cedilla
00E8èLatin Small Letter E with grave
00E9éLatin Small Letter E with acute
00EAêLatin Small Letter E with circumflex
00EBëLatin Small Letter E with diaeresis
00ECìLatin Small Letter I with grave
00EDíLatin Small Letter I with acute
00EEîLatin Small Letter I with circumflex
00EFïLatin Small Letter I with diaeresis
00F0ðLatin Small Letter Eth
00F1ñLatin Small Letter N with tilde
00F2òLatin Small Letter O with grave
00F3óLatin Small Letter O with acute
00F4ôLatin Small Letter O with circumflex
00F5õLatin Small Letter O with tilde
00F6öLatin Small Letter O with diaeresis
00F8øLatin Small Letter O with stroke
00F9ùLatin Small Letter U with grave
00FAúLatin Small Letter U with acute
00FBûLatin Small Letter U with circumflex
00FCüLatin Small Letter U with diaeresis
00FDýLatin Small Letter Y with acute
00FEþLatin Small Letter Thorn
00FFÿLatin Small Letter Y with diaeresis


  1. Thanks Jack, that’s useful. Also—what’s that editor you’re using in the screenshot?


    • ፍልይyoGEyðø¬  

      CTRL+SHIFT+ U+2020=

      • I think you do†

      • the person who commented  

        the fac† that its a dagger and its code is 2020 is not surprising at all

    • Jade Odom  

      Hey, I think this helps because I was trying to go to websites to see how I could do the upside-down (inverted) question mark and this helps.

  2. Laimonas  

    How would you type + or – in Sub/Superscript. Other than that, you mate, have solved me sooo many problems so thank you.

  3. You can do ub0 space and then you get the degree symbol.

  4. NBK2006  

    there is chinese in unicode, too. this is CTRL+SHIFT+U (8888)= 袈

  5. Hector M Lugo  

    Wow! Why are computer makers still making this so difficult? The world is getting smaller, more people speak multiple languages than don’t in the world, yet computer makers like to pretend no one speaks anything but Enlgish. SMH

  6. woodles  

    Does anyone know the code for a checkbox (tick) trying to fill out an online form is driving me crazy.

    Thank you.

  7. Andra  

    How do you make an ¨a¨ with an over line; the long A symbol????

    • Ethan  

      Ā is U+100, and ā is U+101

  8. Denis de Castro  

    @Andra Try control-shift-U and 0100 or 0101 (Wikipedia—macron (diacritic)). Cheers

  9. Yashmyn Jackson  

    Jack Busch,
    Thank you very much for this. You’ve just been bookmarked.

  10. Yashmyn Jackson  

    Jack, unfortunately, I don’t know how to get rid of that particular photo that’s appearing with my post. I literally don’t know where that photo is stored (can’t find it on Facebook or Google), so I can’t delete it and replace it with my regular Google profile photo. Any way you could delete it and replace it with some generic image or something? Thank you for any help you can provide in ridding the Internet of that photo. :-|

  11. john frankenfurt  

    omg this is awesome look at this ²

    • Em  

      What’s the pi sign ?

  12. Some Guy  

    You know you can just go to insert then special characters and type the name

  13. Phoebe Tran  

    how do you make the oppsite arrow way of » ?

    • YAM  

      Try control + shift + u00AB

  14. Jeff Frane  

    New to chromebook and have used character map for ages. This was driving me nuts. Thank you!

  15. Johan  

    A solution that works better for me is this: change your keyboard to US International Keyboard (Settings/Device/Keyboard/Change language and input settings/Input method). When you´ve done that, to get, for example, an á, you type an apostrophe followed by a; ò is the grave accent (top left) followed by o; ñ is the tilde (top left) folowed by n; Ü is double quotes followed by Shift+u, and so on. Experiment on your own; it´s quite easy to get used to. If you need the accent symbol on it´s own (as in the word it´s), simply type it twice.

    This system doesn´t give access to all diacritical signs used in European languages like Polish, Czech, etc., or the German ß, but at least it´s quicker than having to look up the Unicode value.

    • Matthias Walter Schoener  

      @Johan — Agree with your points, just want to point out that the ¨scharfes s¨ *is* actually available with the international keyboard. I have German language enabled on my US Pixelbook. And with the Intl keyboard activated, if I type + s, I get ß.

      • Matthias Walter Schoener  

        that should read ¨right alt + s¨. My apologies.

  16. jacob j hendrickson  

    English: OMG Thanks you
    Chinese: 哦,谢谢

  17. Katy  

    Very helpful! Awesome!!

  18. YaBoiiFlare  

    If you do unicode 230 you will end out with this: Ȱ It’s like an omega symbol, but upside down!

  19. David Riley  

    Mr. Busch. Thanks for that. As an editor, you might be able to amend the article for its online appearance. Consider the following:

    “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: —”

    The last line should read – Release the control+shift+U, then hit enter and….

  20. Dariusz  

    Yet no way to insert the Euro symbol – very annoying

    • Richard  

      On my keyboard, you press right Alt and 4, it gives a euro.

  21. Barbara A Hallowell  

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! After nothing but PC’s in my life, I just made the switch to a Chromebook laptop, which I love. I have lots of friends in Ireland with fadas in their names, and I could not figure out how to alt+ keycode on this thing, then I found you :)

  22. kylie  

    wow ty :) this is bookmarked also CONTROL + ALT + SHIFT + 2020 = †

  23. Richard  

    this is incredibly useful, many problems have been solved at a stroke, thank you,

  24. Thanks for this!

  25. Mark Doss  

    I find that “$%#$&” pretty much says anything I really need to say on Chromebook.

  26. a guy  

    I know that that is not all of the unicode symbols (not counting languages)

  27. Robert  

    (Though that was a pretty amazing list).

    • cameron  


  28. thomas  

    how do i type a snail unicode on my chromebook?

  29. Le  

    welp control+shift+U+00213= ȓ
    Don’t even know what and where this is used but

  30. gabe  

    How do you make the ORIGINAL division sign?

  31. pseula  

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve had my Chromebook since April, and have been cutting and pasting and then reformatting ë (which is in my daughter’s name, so I use it a lot!) because I could *not* find a keyboard shortcut for it!

    I do seriously miss the old ALT + (numeric pad) 137 for it, along with others, but at least new codes to memorize aren’t as toilsome as what I was doing before.

    Much appreciated, and bookmarked!

  32. Tammy Dang  

    Does anyone know how to make a square root sign?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Top