Friday, March 5, 2010

Å └ ╦ Ç σ d ë §

The title of this post was written on an English keyboard with an English keyboard input and with no html configuration.  How?  Using alt codes.  There are 253 different characters available.  They are all listed at

You're probably all familiar with them... but what can you do with them?  What's the point?
Obviously I wouldn't be writing an entire post for alt codes if I didn't feel there was something special about them.  Honestly, I think they are often overlooked as a useful tool.

Some benefits of using alt codes:
  •you can use alt 7 to create unordered lists like this one.
  •numbers 179 through 223 can make drawing.
  •special characters like the sun ☼ or smiley faces ☺☻ are easily accessible.
        ○ numbers 3 - 6 are ♥ ♦ ♣ ♠.
        ○ mathematical symbols are available √ ≈.

In the good old days of DOS, programmers would use these characters to make the interfaces for their programs.

  ║                        HELLO WORLD                          ║
  ║                                                                        ║
  ║                                    ║                                       ║
                              │                                         │

Obviously this is not as dynamic as it could be (only part of the 'window' above lines up if you're lucky),  but for it being text only you can really do some incredible things.  That's why I've determined myself to memorize all 253 of them.  At the time of writing this I'm up to 63, and I've already found use for them!
  Ok so maybe memorizing 253 characters and the numbers associated with them is a little over the edge for most of my readers, but I encourage you to at least learn the ones you think you will use, like 7 •  9 ○  26 → and 27←.
  What other types of keyboard shortcuts do you use on a regular basis?  Please share in the comments!

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