10 Replies Latest reply: Apr 12, 2013 1:03 AM by FieryPantone RSS

    entering unicode characters

    FieryPantone Community Member

      I need to enter a checkmark (unicode u2173) in an Illustrator drawing: surely, in 2013, this ought to be easy? but as an occasional Illustrator user I'm not having much success :-{  Illustrator CS5 on Win 7 … hints and tips welcome!

        • 1. Re: entering unicode characters
          Kurt Gold Community Member

          Assuming the font you're using contains this character, you can use the Glyphs palette to insert it.

          • 2. Re: entering unicode characters
            pwillener ACP/MVPs

            Niels Grundtvig Nielsen wrote:

             

            checkmark (unicode u2173)

            That is not a check mark; look under U+2713.

            • 3. Re: entering unicode characters
              pwillener ACP/MVPs

              P.S. the only font that I found (on Windows) that contains that symbol is Arial Unicode MS.

              • 4. Re: entering unicode characters
                Mylenium MVP

                I don't think Unicode MS will show up in AI, which could be the problem... Still, there's plenty of dingbat fonts out there and surely it would be easy enough to find suitable checkmarks...

                 

                Mylenium

                • 5. Re: entering unicode characters
                  FieryPantone Community Member

                  The "local font list" tool at www.fileformat.info, which I have found generally reliable, tells me that I have quite a few fonts on this PC that include U+2713. (even if the actual glyphs in the blackletter and script fonts looked wildly out of place) En passant, I'd be the first to say there are far too many fonts installed on this "corporate" PC, but that's a different question ;-}

                  Arial Unicode MS is one of them, and I eventually tracked it down in the fonts pulldown.  The snag I ran into was not so much a question of font, as of access. U+2713 is in the Dingbats block, which is not listed in the "Show" pulldown of the Glyphs panel – so I had to scroll determinedly up and down the list and hover over a character every now and then to see where I was. I would prefer to insert a Unicode glyph quickly and efficiently by entering its U+ code – or from a panel like the one in Adobe FrameMaker.

                  But thanks for the tip, as I have now been able to use the glyph I needed …

                  • 6. Re: entering unicode characters
                    [Jongware] MVP

                    There is a Windows hack involving some registry editing, but it has been noticed this doesn't work with "all" software.

                    For InDesign I use a simple, short Javascript -- and I stored it under a hotkey. Unfortunately, that's not an option with Illustrator! This quick adjustment of one of the sample scripts seems to do the job just fine, but its usefulness is reduced by having to call it up through File -> Scripts -> (browse for script) -> Enter ....

                     

                    // if a document is open
                    if(documents.length >0)
                    {
                       // if textframes exist in the document
                       if(activeDocument.textFrames.length > 0)
                       {
                          // check to make sure something is selected.
                          selectedItems = selection;
                          if (selectedItems.typename == "TextRange") 
                          {
                            ucchar = prompt("Unicode character (hex)", "2713");
                            if (ucchar)
                            {
                             // alert ("The following text is selected: >" + selectedItems.contents + "<");
                               if (ucchar.match(/^[0-9A-F]+$/i))
                               {
                                 selectedItems.contents = String.fromCharCode(parseInt(ucchar,16));
                               } else
                               {
                                 alert ('Bad Unicode "'+ucchar+'"');
                               }
                            }
                          }
                          else
                          {
                            alert("No text is selected.");
                          }
                       }
                       else
                       {
                          alert("Open a document and select 1 or more text items or a text range.");
                       }
                    }
                    else
                    {
                       alert("Open a document and select 1 or more text items or a text range.");
                    }
                    
                    • 7. Re: entering unicode characters
                      pwillener ACP/MVPs

                      Niels Grundtvig Nielsen wrote:

                       

                      I would prefer to insert a Unicode glyph quickly and efficiently by entering its U+ code

                      In Windows you can use keyboard shortcuts to enter characters that are not on the keyboard: hold down the left Alt key, then enter the decimal number of the U+ code, preceded by a zero.  For instance Alt+0165 (U+00A5) would produce the '¥' sign.

                       

                      Similarly Alt+010003 (U+2713) or Alt+010004 (U+2714) would produce ✓ and ✔.  That works nicely in MS Word, but unfortunately not in Illustrator - I don't know why.

                      • 8. Re: entering unicode characters
                        pwillener ACP/MVPs

                        P.S. forgot to mention that the number must be entered using the numeric keypad.

                        • 9. Re: entering unicode characters
                          FieryPantone Community Member

                          You know, all the times I've tried to find out about this … this is is the first time anyone's explained that Windows expects/requires decimal and not hex. I'll try next time I'm in Illustrator and report back.

                          • 10. Re: entering unicode characters
                            FieryPantone Community Member

                            Success! downgrading Word – which, as a long-time FrameMaker user, I rarely touch anyway – to the status of helper app lets me use the Alt + 0 + {decimal} trick to get hold of the characters I'm after, then copy/paste into Illustrator ;-}