Monday, 29 November 2021

Favourite ASCII code symbols

For those of you who don't know, and ASCII code comes from the American Standard Code For Information Interchange (ASCII), which was set up in way back in the time of teletype setters. Crikey. It underpins why our devices can talk to each other, and why a "d" on my PC is a "d" on my iPod, and a "d" on my Android phone. 

However, as most devices now have a keyboard which has superceded the need for codes, where ASCII codes still have an edge is when we need to key things with are NOT on the keyboard: symbols.

I do love a good ASCII code! With them we can quickly key a symbol, rather than trudging our way through menus. Compare, for example, keying the phrase "these things are not equal", or going to the Insert Ribbon | Symbol | More Symbols | searching for ages, with:

Or keying "this is kind of equal to" with the menu palaver (and this one is REALLY hard to find), with:

Or "therefore", the menu palaver (and we won't find this one), and:

Or "change" (delta), menu, and:

Δ

OK: the latter two are fairly short words, but if I am using the whiteboard when in a lecture or a workshop, I use the symbols all the time. 

To save time when keyboarding, the keyboarding of these needs to be much faster, time-wise, than having to write the entire phrase, or to search in the symbol function (which is clunky, and hit and miss, to say the least). This is where ASCII codes come in, as - with a few keystrokes - we can enter the symbol much more quickly than we can key in the phrase. 

Where things tend to get tricky is in finding the ASCII code. However, recently I stumbled across a site containing some mathematical symbols, which contained some of the symbols listed above (Keynote Support, 2021), so thought I would write a short post containing four of my favourite codes, which are hard to find the ASCII codes for.  The codes are as follows:

  • Does not equal: Alt&8800 (Keynote Support, 2021)
  • Is similar to: Alt&8776 (Keynote Support, 2021)
  • Therefore: Alt&8756 (How to type anything, 2020)
  • Delta/Change: Alt & 916 (Quora, 2015)

I hope these are useful :-)


Sam

References: 

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