Saturday, 15 May 2010

Unicode Characters – The Interrobang?!?

I am into cars as has been mentioned in this blog before. Having discovered computers just as I was digging into my last year towards a Journeyman’s ticket as an automotive mechanic, I got the tech bug and never looked back.

We all know where I ended up with that bug now don’t we? ;)


While reading the above Jalopnik article on the 2010 Ford Focus RS which looks to be an amazing little car, one of the lines in the article mentioned folks faces personifying the Interrobang (Wikipedia) when they first saw the Focus RS.

image Having not heard of such a thing, I ventured over to the Wikipedia article to find the above character.

Ah, the writer in me sees the above character as being _very_ useful for those occasions where “?!?” just won’t cut it or other expressions/acronyms are just not quite polite enough! :)

Now, a neat thing is that Microsoft kindly included the Interrobang in their created for Office default font called Calibri.

This is what the Interrobang looks like in a Web based font: ‽

Note that in Windows Live Writer the character shows up fine. But, it may get toasted by the upload process to Blogger or by Blogger itself when it renders this post.

As mentioned, I see the Interrobang as being very useful for those of us that write. Now that I have discovered it, it will probably find its way into the various writings that I do.

From the MSDN Font Blog comments comes this little gem from Si:

  • Interrobang keyboard shortcuts
    • ALT+8253 (numbers on #pad)
    • 203D + ALT+X (in Office Apps)

Both shortcuts work quite well. What I did not know was about the second one and how Unicode characters work in Office Applications.

In Microsoft Office type the Unicode string number with the keystroke combination ALT+X after it to bring up the Unicode character. After firing up Word and typing 203D then hitting ALT+X sure enough the Interrobang showed up!

To date, I would either used the ALT+# (not possible on a Microsoft Entertainment keyboard that has no separate number pad) or the Character Map tool in Windows.


Using the Advanced view I can search for a character quickly when I know its name then copy and paste it into my work.

Not bad from one Jalopnik article eh‽ :D

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

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