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Linux Newbie Administrator Guide

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4.4.4 How do I print symbols on the console, in a text mode application, and in X?

The procedure described here may give me fast access to the PC extended character set (codes 128-255) and is quite portable in the PC world: it works in MS Windows, DOS (if you have an ANSI driver installed), and inside any text mode Linux application (including right on the shell command line). I found it was worth my time to memorize the codes for the few characters I tend to use the most.

It works like this. Make sure that <NumLock> is on. Then press <Alt> and hold it. While <Alt> is pressed, key in on the numeric keypad these four digits: 0181. Now release <Alt> and the Greek letter mu "µ" appears. I find quite useful the following characters from the PC character set encoding: 176 ° (degree), 177 ± (plus minus), 178 ² (square), 179 ³ (power 3), 181 µ (Greek mu), 0183 · (multiplication sign), 232 è (French accent agrave), 233 é (French accent aigu) 228 ä (German a-umlaut), 243 ó (Polish u-zamkniete), 248 ø (Scandinavian o-bar) 252 ü (German u-umlaut). Some other characters are also possible, here is the full listing:

128 ? 147 ? 166 ¦ 185 ¹ 204 Ì 223 ß 242 ò

129 ? 148 ? 167 § 186 º 205 Í 224 à 243 ó

130 , 149 * 168 ¨ 187 » 206 Î 225 á 244 ô

131 f 150 - 169 © 188 ¼ 207 Ï 226 â 245 õ

132 ? 151 - 170 ª 189 ½ 208 Ð 227 ã 246 ö

133 ? 152 ~ 171 « 190 ¾ 209 Ñ 228 ä 247 ÷

134 ? 153 ? 172 ¬ 191 ¿ 210 Ò 229 å 248 ø

135 ? 154 s 173 ­ 192 À 211 Ó 230 æ 249 ù

136 ^ 155 > 174 ® 193 Á 212 Ô 231 ç 250 ú

137 ? 156 ? 175 ¯ 194 Â 213 Õ 232 è 251 û

138 S 157 ? 176 ° 195 Ã 214 Ö 233 é 252 ü

139 < 158 ? 177 ± 196 Ä 215 × 234 ê 253 ý

140 ? 159 Y 178 ² 197 Å 216 Ø 235 ë 254 þ

141 ? 160 179 ³ 198 Æ 217 Ù 236 ì 255 ÿ

142 ? 161 ¡ 180 ´ 199 Ç 218 Ú 237 í

143 ? 162 ¢ 181 µ 200 È 219 Û 238 î

144 ? 163 £ 182 ¶ 201 É 220 Ü 239 ï

145 ? 164 ¤ 183 · 202 Ê 221 Ý 240 ð

146 ? 165 ¥ 184 ¸ 203 Ë 222 Þ 241 ñ

Now, if I really want to, I can have a file with a name µm·°C±b³. MS Windows, DOS ANSI, and Unicode differ slightly in some of the above characters, but the useful "core" remains the same. See http://www.hclrss.demon.co.uk/demos/ansi.html if you want to know the details of the differences. Linux uses the Unicode standard.

Under X, the above key combinations will not work. But I may use:

kcharselect&

or

gcharmap&

to select a Unicode character and copy it into my application. Not all Unicode characters are available yet, but many are. From Unicode pages other than page 0, the characters may display or not, depending on your application and the availability of the glyph in your font. For example, I can surely use the following characters in most KDE applications (if they display on your browser, depends on your browser AND the availability of a suitable Unicode font):

Greek (Unicode page 3, char 913 to 969): ???????????? ????????????????? ????????????????? ???????????

Russian: (Unicode page 4, chars 1040 to 1103): ????????? ????????????? ????????????? ????????????? ?????????????? ??

and many others. You can find

* License

* Linux Newbie Administrator Guide Index

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