How to Easily Type Special Font Characters Using Excel

Character Map Scroll

I always wanted to learn the art of typing any character from a given font set. Take for example, ¤. But, how do I do it, was the question? Now, have a quick glance at your keyboard. Do you see ¤ character? You don’t, right? Actually you didn’t look properly, it is there.

Open a word document. Hold the Alt key and type in 0164. Release the Alt key and you would see ¤. Similarly there is a numeric code for each character. We will show you how to find them all.

We are going to use MS Excel and its two built-in functions – row and char to find the code for all characters.

  • function row: returns the row number of a reference
  • function char: returns the character specified by the code number from the character set of your computer

So, when you write the formula =char(row()) and say, you are in row 1, the formula becomes =char(1) and then in turn it returns the character represented by 1.

Cool Tip: Here’s how to easily get such characters in Mac. And if you intend to use these in emails quickly, we’ve got you covered there too.

Steps to Find Characters

Step 1: Open an Excel workbook and type the formula =char(row()) in row 1 of any column.

Char Row Formula

Step 2: Hold the bottom right edge of the cell with the left mouse click and flash fill (drag mouse) till row number 255.

Flass Fill Rows

Step 3: When you release you will see all the characters from that font set. Now, you can copy-paste the column to another column and then change the font style to see the characters from another font set. Below is a section from 4 different font sets.

Font Section

In this manner you can maintain your own repository of the font styles you use and the characters that interest you. It is simple and does not require much effort.

Using a Font Character

When you want to type any character, look for that character in your Excel sheet. Take note of the row number. Then type in the row number prefixed with a zero (0) while holding the Alt key.

For example, if your character is in row number 88 you should type the code 088 with the Alt key pressed.

Over time you will know a few codes by heart. At least you will remember the ones you use frequently. And, then you will be able to save a lot of time.

Yet Another Way

One more way to practice and learn such codes is to use the Windows Character Map tool. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Open the run dialog (Windows + R), type charmap and hit Enter. Refer to the image below.

Run Charmap

Step 2: It will launch the Windows Character Map modal window. Navigate to what you need. You can Select and Copy it to the clipboard or check the keystroke on the bottom right edge as highlighted below.

Character Map


Combining a few formulas on Excel can bring out exciting and amazing things. If you desire to learn some more interesting facts about characters and different types of numeric codes, check this article from the Microsoft support team.

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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