Monday, June 14, 2010

Secret Alt Codes - How to Type ☺☻♥

Considering the success of my gmail emoticons page, and due to popular request, here's how to type those other secret characters that sometimes popup in messages.

Yes, I mean the other smiley faces (☺☻), the heart symbol (♥), and many others (♪☼♂...) !

These are known as Alt-code characters, and they've been around for a very long time.

Although we now have Unicode that allow for thousands of different characters and symbols, for a long time computers could only represent 255 different characters. Besides the regular symbols, letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, a few of them represented codes that had no visual meaning, like "end-of-line", "carriage-return", and the like...

But, even though they had no visual representation didn't stop engineers from placing some nice visuals on it. :)

So... how can you type these weird and secret strange characters? It's quite easy...
You just need to press and hold the ALT key while you type its "alt-code" number in the numeric keypad.

Just try it: place your cursor in a text input area and press and hold the ALT key, and press the "1" key in the numeric keypad (make sure you have "num lock" on, so you can type numbers instead of using it as cursor keypad.)

ALT + 1 gives you: ☺
ALT + 2 gives you: ☻
ALT + 3 gives you: ♥
and so on...

Here's a table of most useful secret alt-code chars available:
1α224
2ß225
3Γ226
4π227
5Σ228
6σ229
7µ230
8τ231
9Φ232
10Θ233
11Ω234
12δ235
13236
14φ237
15ε238
16239
17240
18±241
19242
20243
§21244
22245
23÷246
24247
25°248
26249
27·250
28251
29252
30²253
31254

From the code 32 (space character) up to code 127 you get the regular numbers, letters, punctuation marks and symbols. From 128 to 255, you get some few extra characters, like accented characters used in other languages (like: áêü) and some more symbols (µ¼Σ√...)

A few other useful symbols (you do need to type the leading zero in the alt-code):

¼0188½0189¾0190
0153©0169®0174

Hope you find it useful! :)


P.S. If you're looking for other symbols like Apple's logo, be sure to check the Emoji and Glyphs page.

66 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes it does you're just doing it wrong

      Delete
    2. Have to be on a num pad no laptops unless they have the num pad on right hand side.

      Delete
    3. It depends on the operating environment you are using. Not all coding systems are the same.

      Delete
  2. That doesn't work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it works for the ones like 1,2,3 u can start at alt 257 they loop

      Delete
  3. Yes it does. Make sure you're using the numeric keypad (not the numbers on the top row of the keyboard)!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi. For me, it doesn't work. Yes, I'm using the number pad. It just takes me to the first tab if I do alt 1, or second tab on my web browser (Google Chrome) alt 2, etc. Does it have to do with my settings?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try it out on a notepad document first you can't type it into the address bar either. Hold down alt, press 0153 to make ™ you have to have num lock off ass well.

      Delete
  5. Well, in my PC I can type the symbols just fine in Chrome (☺☻♥♦).

    Changing the tabs in Chrome requires the CTRL+1/2/3/4 combination - typing the ALT symbols requires pressing the *ALT* key.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why, when I press the number lock key, then hold the alt key, and press 3 for the heart symbol, am I only getting a ? to come up???

    ReplyDelete
  7. What OS are you using? Can you try it in any other PC just to check if you're doing it right?

    ReplyDelete
  8. i dont have a numeric key pad! :(

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's a good point. I'll try to figure out how to type these codes without a numeric keypad.
    Are you using an Apple keyboard, or just a laptop?

    (In case it's a laptop, you can usually use the num lock keys to turn the numeric keypad on - on top of some letters.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. i have them on my mackbook

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is cool Ally® is my friends logo.

    ReplyDelete
  12. how to make an apple??

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Anonymous

    For Apple's logo check out my post regarding Glyphs and Emoji on the iPhone.

    ReplyDelete
  14. when i try, my computer makes weird symbols ♥

    ReplyDelete
  15. when I press alt 7 it takes me back to google.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. have to have num lock off try that then. hold alt, press 0153 to make ™ try it out. Have to have a numeric keypad.

      Delete
  16. @Emily K
    Try typing it in a "notepad" program, to ensure it's not your browser acting up.

    When you're able to type it in the notepad program, then try it inside the browser.

    ReplyDelete
  17. for a laptop without the numlock keys, use the FN key and the keys with the blue 1-10 and stuff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not all have it.
      The best alternative seems to be to Google for the symbols or use Character Map, an application that ships with most OSs (definitely OSX & Windows XP and up)

      Delete
    2. Not all models have that feature.
      The best alternative seems to be to either Google for the symbol or use Character Map, an application that ships with most OSs (certainly OSX and Windows XP onward).

      Delete
  18. This doesn't work on my mac. :'(

    ReplyDelete
  19. i found more, 0233 é, 145 æ, 156 £, 0137 ‰, 0135 ‡ and 0134 †. Your welcome

    ReplyDelete
  20. how do you do this with a macbook?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I found another one! Alt+415=ƒ!

    ReplyDelete
  22. ♪lalalah♪ thnx♥

    ReplyDelete
  23. WOW! this is fun ☼ ☼ double sun POWER!!! *Boom* *Boom*

    ReplyDelete
  24. only works if you have a number pad on the right side

    ReplyDelete
  25. on an iMac it works sort of 1-¡ 2-™3-£4-¢5-∞

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey, these are really cool. I can amaze everybody now with all I know about awesome little symbols. Then, I send them this link. Thank you so much for this‼ This code rocks‼♪♫ This is coming from a person who doesn't like technology, but has to learn to use it. This helps. Thanks again‼
    -Old-fashioned Girl

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey it works!!☺☻♥♠♣♦○•

    ReplyDelete
  28. The Best Of ALT CodeJanuary 10, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    The Apple is on mac and you use Option Shift K At the same tome

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks I was just trying to figure it out on my mac

      Delete
  29. This is not an internet trick! It is a computer OS trick. for linux this will not work! You have to CTRL+Shift+Uthen a number sequence from the numbers at the top. There is more than Windows and macs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. even in linux the result is not as we intend.... and definitely it's an OS trick.

      Delete
  30. How do u make the little e with the ` on top of it? Or the ~ on top?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On international keyboards you need only press any of the accent keys first `´~^ (etc), and then when you press the next letter, it will be typed with the respective accent.
      like ´e = é ~a = ã and so on...

      Delete
  31. How do u make the little e with the ` on top of it? Or the ~ on top?

    ReplyDelete
  32. It works ♂ ♪ ♀ you need num lock on, you hold down alt key, press numbers, and release alt key

    ReplyDelete
  33. Can you do this on Android?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Can you do this on iPod

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you can't, because there is not an alt key on the iPod.

      Delete
  35. does this website has a twitter so i can follow?

    ReplyDelete
  36. It workd ♀☺☻☺♥♦♣♠•◘○◙♀♪♫ my favorite id ±♪♪♪♪☺3☺3☺3♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♫♫♫♫♫♫

    ReplyDelete

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