Appendix. Keyboard Equivalents for Symbols and International Characters
Among the programs included in Windows Vista is the Character Map utility (described in Chapter 10), which allows you to place special characters and symbols in your documents that can't otherwise by typed from the keyboard. The collection of 1,185 characters and symbols shown in Character Map is the Unicode set, a character encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium, intended to represent nearly all of the written languages of the world.
A subset of the Unicode set is the ASCII character set (ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange); although only a mere 255 characters, this character set includes the numbers, upper- and lowercase letters, and standard symbols (!, @, #, $, %, [, ], and so on) found on any standard keyboard. The symbols and international characters shown in Table C-1 are also part of the ASCII character set.
What sets the members of the ASCII set apart from the larger Unicode set is that you can type every single one of the ASCII characters from the keyboard, even the extended characters shown here. To type a character listed in Table C-1, hold the Alt key and type the four-digit number shown on the right using the numeric keypad, including the initial zero. For example, for the copyright symbol, press the Alt key and type 0169. Note that the standard number keys (above the alphabet) won't work, so those with abbreviated laptop keyboards may not be able to use these at all.