Use special characters

In some situations, you may need to enter special characters. For instance, if an English word adopted from another language uses the original accents, such as "résumé," you'll need to enter the accented letters. Likewise, when typing text in a foreign language, you'll often need to enter various diacritical markings and special symbols.

Some programs, such as Microsoft Word, have a built-in feature for inserting special characters, but some programs lack this ability. In any case, any Windows computer with a numeric keypad provides a means for you to insert special characters in any program as long as you know their codes. After a while, you may find this approach even easier than hunting for the menu or toolbar option even in those programs that do provide access to special characters. You access these characters by holding down the Alt key while typing the code on the keypad. For example, you can enter an accented "e" character by holding down Alt and typing 0233 on the keypad. These codes are often called "Alt codes."

When hand-coding HTML, you should add special characters as character entities to make sure they display properly. If you have set your character encoding to UTF-8, the Alt code method should also work, but using character entities is foolproof.

The following tables list special characters, their Alt codes, and their HTML character entities. For any characters not listed here, look at Dan Short's HTML Entities page and his Unicode Characters page, which is an excellent reference for codes for a variety of languages and circumstances.


Special character Alt code HTML character entity
Ampersand (&) Alt+038 &
Cents (¢) Alt+0162 ¢
Copyright (©) Alt+0169 ©
Ellipsis (…) Alt+0133 …
Em Dash (—) Alt+0151 —
En Dash (–) Alt+0150 –
Euros (€) Alt+0128 €
Feet or minutes   ′
Greater than (>) Alt+062 >
Inches or seconds   ″
Left double quote (“) Alt+0147 “
Left single smart quote (‘) Alt+0145 ‘
Less than (<) Alt+060 &lt;
Non-breaking space Alt+0160 &nbsp;
Pounds (£) Alt+0163 &pound;
Registered trademark (®) Alt+0174 &reg;
Right double smart quote (”) Alt+0148 &rdquo;
Right single smart quote (’) Alt+0146 &rsquo;
Times (×) Alt+0215 &times;
Trademark (™) Alt+0153 &trade;

International characters

Special character Alt code HTML character entity
Á Alt+0193 &Aacute;
á Alt+0225 &aacute;
 Alt+0194 &Acirc;
â Alt+0226 &acirc
Æ Alt+0198 &AElig;
æ Alt+0230 &aelig;
À Alt+0192 &Agrave;
à Alt+0224 &agrave;
Å Alt+0197 &Aring;
å Alt+0229 &aring;
à Alt+0195 &Atilde;
ã Alt+0227 &atilde;
Ä Alt+0196 &Auml;
ä Alt+0228 &auml;
Ç Alt+0199 &Ccedil;
ç Alt+0231 &ccedil;
É Alt+0201 &Eacute;
é Alt+0233 &eacute;
Ê Alt+0202 &Ecirc;
ê Alt+0234 &ecirc;
È Alt+0200 &Egrave;
è Alt+0232 &egrave;
Ë Alt+0203 &Euml;
ë Alt+0235 &euml;
Í Alt+0205 &Iacute;
í Alt+0237 &iacute;
Î Alt+0206 &Icirc;
î Alt+0238 &icirc;
Ì Alt+0204 &Igrave;
ì Alt+0236 &igrave;
Ï Alt+0207 &Iuml;
ï Alt+0239 &iuml;
Ð Alt+0208 &ETH;
ð Alt+0240 &eth;
Ñ Alt+0209 &Ntilde;
ñ Alt+0241 &ntilde;
Ó Alt+0211 &Oacute;
ó Alt+0243 &oacute;
Ô Alt+0212 &Ocirc;
ô Alt+0244 &ocirc;
ΠAlt+0140 &OElig;
œ Alt+0156 &oelig;
Ò Alt+0210 &Ograve;
ò Alt+0242 &ograve;
Ø Alt+0216 &Oslash;
ø Alt+0248 &oslash;
Õ Alt+0213 &Otilde;
õ Alt+0245 &otilde;
Ö Alt+0214 &Ouml;
ö Alt+0246 &ouml;
Š Alt+0138 &Scaron
š Alt+0154 &scaron
ß Alt+0223 &szlig;
Þ Alt+0222 &THORN;
þ Alt+0254 &thorn;
Ú Alt+0218 &Uacute;
ú Alt+0250 &uacute;
Û Alt+0219 &Ucirc;
û Alt+0251 &ucirc;
Ù Alt+0217 &Ugrave;
ù Alt+0249 &ugrave;
Ü Alt+0220 &Ucirc;
ü Alt+0252 &ucirc;
Ý Alt+0221 &Yacute;
ý Alt+0253 &yacute;
Ÿ Alt+0159 &Yuml;
ÿ Alt+0255 &yuml;

Special symbols

Special character Alt code HTML character entity
Inline bullet (•) Alt+7 &bull;
Inline hollow bullet Alt+9  
Arrow Alt+16  
Paragraph marker Alt+0182 &para;
Section symbol Alt+21 &sect;