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Hidden Goodies Under the Numpad

Are you a fast typer? With so much action going around computers these days, even my mother had to learn typing on the compute keyboard. She is not fast enough but managed to gain the basic skills. For those whose work really depends on how fast they use the computer, knowing all the keyboard secrets would be an asset.

In a previous article, I tried to point out how important it is to combine the mouse with the keyboard, using shortcut keys, in order to obtain better results. Hopping people understood the message and struggled to learn some hotkeys, in this article I want to bring forward a trick you can do using the Numerical Pad.

The numerical pad is very useful to type numbers quickly. I personally take advantage of this keyboard feature and I am sure many of you do the same. Other people found it handy when playing computer games because the 4, 8, 5 and 2 keys have arrows printed on.

Well, leaving all these functions untouched, I tell you that the numpad keys store hidden characters. Yes, those characters are not printed on any key as it happens with the normal keyboard buttons. For example, the 5 key button has printed on it, besides the number 5, the % sign and the Euro symbol which can be typed using the key in combination with the Shift key.

Hidden characters usage: Because those characters are not printed on the keys, it means they can be revealed using key combinations. For normal secondary characters, we use the Shift key, for these hidden characters, we use the ALT key and a combination of numpad numbers.

For example, if you work in a financial environment and you really need currency symbols (on the keyboard only the $ and the Euro are printed) you may find it useful to have easy access to such characters. To add the Yen currency character, just open a text editor and holding the ALT key type on the numpad 0165. The result will be -> ¥.

Yes, you might find it hard to use so many combinations of numbers but the purpose of this trick is to learn and remember only the most used characters for you that will be of real help in the future. There is no need to learn all the combinations because that would be a titanic work and in many situations, worthless. Once you have learned the needed character, after a little practice, typing it fast will be a children play.

Here is a list with the common characters widely used:


cent sign – ¢ – 0162
pound sterling – £ – 0163
yen sign – ¥ – 0165


copyright – © – 0169
registered trademark – ® – 0174

Science and Mathematics

degree sign – ° – 0176
plus or minus – ± – 0177
superscript two – ² – 0178
superscript three – ³ – 0179
fraction one-fourth – ¼ – 0188
division sign – ÷ – 0247
fraction one-half – ½ – 0189
fraction three-fourths – ¾ – 0190

Language and text

section sign – § – 0167
paragraph sign – ¶ – 0182
cedilla – ¸ – 0184
inverted question mark – ¿ – 0191
capital C, cedilla – Ç – 0199
small c, cedilla – ç – 0231
small n, tilde – ñ – 0241

This method of adding special characters into a text file is a viable and quick way to the common “insert special character” function provided by many word processors. It is up to you if you make or not a little effort now for better results later.


Tips, Tricks, Windows

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