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How to Use Unicode to Create Bullet Points, Trademarks, Arrows and More

By Adam Roberts



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Unicode is an encoding standard for ensuring the consistent handling of text by computers and other devices. The full Unicode collection spans more than 110,000 characters, but aside from the full Latin alphabet, numerals and punctuation symbols, the most recognisable characters are probably emoji – small pictorial representations of things: faces, a thumbs up or a sun.

A recent update to the Unicode Standard added 2834 characters – including the middle finger.

Different apps and devices require different methods for accessing Unicode characters, but typically on a Mac you can access them via the special characters interface, usually found in a given program’s ‘edit’ menu. In Windows, run the Character Map program.

When you want to use Unicode characters in your web projects, you must use special codes. A full list is available here, but here are 10 useful Unicode characters, along with the code to paste them into an html file (just remove the space between the ‘&’ and the next character), to get you started.

Character name html code
• Circular Bullet Point & #8226; or & bull;
… Horizontal ellipsis & #8230; or & hellip;
— Em dash & #8212; or & mdash;
€ Euro symbol & #8364; or & euro;
™ Trade mark & #8482; or & trade;
≠ Not-equal to & #8800; or & ne;
← Left Arrow & #8592; or & larr;
→ Right Arrow & #8594; or & rarr;
↑ Up Arrow & #8593; or & uarr;
↓ Down Arrow & #8595; or & darr;

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Adam is SitePoint's head of newsletters, who mainly writes Versioning, a daily newsletter covering everything new and interesting in the world of web development. He has a beard and will talk to you about beer and Star Wars, if you let him.

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