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Unicode character pickers

Pickers allow you to quickly create phrases in a script by clicking on Unicode characters arranged in a way that aids their identification. The phrase appears at the bottom of the screen and you can easily cut and paste the result into your own document. They're written in HTML with a small amount of JavaScript.

Pickers are likely to be most useful if you don't know a script well enough to use the native keyboard. The arrangement of characters also makes it much more useable than a regular character map utility. See the features available and how to use them.

See this list of blog posts for the latest developments.

How to use

Click on the graphics at the top of the screen to see them appear in the output area below. (NOTE: JavaScript must be enabled for this to work.) When you have finished creating your string, click on the Select all button and copy and paste or drag and drop the text into the content you are creating.

You can also type or paste text directly into the output area. This is useful for adding characters from another script, especially ASCII. To avoid overcrowding, the pickers assume that you can enter characters in the ASCII range from the keyboard. Some special characters, such as space, zero width non-joiner, etc. are also made available for clicking. You can also add codepoints and escapes via the Add codepoint field.

You can manually move the cursor to any point in the box text and insert characters. Use the keyboard delete and backspace keys to delete content.

You can also get further information about the characters you have assembled (or text you have simply pasted into the output field). Use the yellow box to set preferences or search (regular expressions allowed).

Typically, alternative views are available. The default is usually a matrix of characters arranged in a way that aids input. Other views include those organized around the shape of the characters, input from Latin transcriptions, keyboard layouts, and a simple list.

Controls at the bottom of the page allow you to modify fonts used, the font size, and the height of the output box.

Escapes. If you click on the Escapes button, the Unicode Converter tool will open in a separate window. Here you will find versions of the text in the output box in a number of formats, including numeric character references, javascript escapes, CSS escapes, hex codepoints, etc.

Codepoints. If you click on the Codepoints button, the names of each of the characters currently in the output area will be listed on a separate page, with links to UniView from the names. This is particularly useful to quickly understand the composition of a piece of text you pasted here from elsewhere.

Other transcriptions. Some pickers provide one or more buttons that will generate a transcription of the text in the output window. These transliteration schemes are usually devised by myself, and I make no guarrantee of stability! Some are transliterations, others attempt phonemic transcriptions.

Available at:

First published 2004. Last update 2014-11-16 11:40 GMT