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Harald Markus Wirth


Alt-ASCII Alternative (Unicode)

Under DOS and Windows operating systems, one can enter a character by holding down the ALT key and typing the ASCII code number on the numpad. This is very useful, if you know the most important symbol codes by heart, while you have to work with a wrong keyboard layout setting/foreign keyboard. In Ubuntu Linux you can do something similar, namley entering the Unicode of a character.

To enter a unicode in Ubuntu, hold down Shift and Control keys, type "u" and the code (4 hexadecimal digits), then let go of Shift and Control.

Sometimes it just doesn't work right (Especially in the terminal, where someone might need that stuff actually). Try CTRL+SHIFT+U, then release the SHIFT key (keep CTRL pressed) and type the code. Perhaps you need to release SHIFT and CTRL after entering the Unicode-mode, but for the Pipe I had to press SPACE after entering the code to get my sign.

You can look up the codes in the Character Map tool, found under Applications / Accessories. The following list contains the most important characters for programmers and a few German special chars:

Symbol Name Character Unicode
Exclamation Mark ! 0021
Quotation Mark " 0022
Hash (Number) # 0023
Dollar $ 0024
Percent % 0025
Ampersand & 0026
Apostrophe ' 0027
Opening Parentheses ( 0028
Opening Parentheses ) 0029
Asterisk * 002a
Plus + 002b
Comma , 002c
Minus - 002d
Period . 002e
Slash / 002f
Number Zero 0 0030
Number Nine 9 0039
Symbol Name Character Unicode
Colon : 003a
Semi-Colon ; 003b
Less Than < 003c
Equals = 003d
Greater Than > 003e
Question Mark ? 003f
At @ 0040
Opening Square Bracket [ 005b
Back Slash \ 005c
Closing Square Bracket ] 005d
Circumflex Accent ^ 005e
Underscore _ 005f
Grave Accent ` 0060
Opening Curly Bracket { 007b
Pipe | 007c
Closing Curly Bracket } 007d
Tilde ~ 007e
Symbol Name HTML Entity Character Unicode
Umlaut-A &auml; Ä / ä 00c4 / 00e4
Umlaut-O &ouml; Ö / ö 00d6 / 00f6
Umlaut-U &uuml; Ü / ü 00dc / 00fc
Scharfes S &szlig; ß 00df

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