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Getting the degree symbol ('°') in a post.

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:29 pm
by asavage
goglio704 wrote:. . . how do you type the cute little symbol for degrees. The one that looks like a floating, lowercase o?
The method differs depending upon the browser and the OS.

[Here at home, my combo lets me type the ASCII-mapped typeface code for it, which is 248. This method goes back to the days of the first IBM PCs where the keyboard scancode was internally (by the BIOS code) mapped to ASCII. If the codepage was set to the default, this worked pretty well. Until the video interface folks decided to use an alternate ASCII charset in the video BIOS, so now what was shown on the display and what printed were vastly different. Ah, the Good Ol' Days.]

Try this: with your cursor in the edit/compose box in your browser, try holding down an (either one) <Alt> key with one hand, and tapping out two four eight on the num pad with the other, then release the <Alt> key. You have to do it in that sequence exactly, but timing is not critical, you can take all the time you want.

On my home box, this works fine. On the box at work (WinXP-something + Firefox or Seamonkey), it works in some browser windows, but not in others.

For the not-in-others, I open Windoze Notepad, do the same steps, and Notepad displays the '°' symbol, which I then <Ctrl+X> cut to the clipboard, <Alt+F4> close Notepad, then paste <Ctrl+V> into the browser.

Simple, no? No. But I'm an old hand at this stuff and rarely use the mouse when I have a keyboard method of navigation.

In modern word processing apps, there's an alternate way of producing these characters (including accents of various flavours and graves (grah-veys) and Euro symbols and such), but if you know the ASCII code for the codepage/typeface you're working with, it's fastest (for me) to use the <Alt+numpad> method.

I used to have a bunch of common symbols' codes memorized but now pretty much only remember 248 and . . . well, I guess I only remember 248 ('°') now. I used to remember ² and ³ but not anymore.

It should be noted that not all display environments will display characters within the ASCII sequence but outside the "standard" US alphabet and numset correctly. If a user has his browser set to a Hebrew codepage, I have no idea what a °, ², or ³ will be displayed as, but I doubt it if will be what I intended. Just another example of technology interfering with communication.

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:49 pm
by Carimbo
Win 2000 + Firefox, alt + 248 = °

Instead of Notepad, you can use Character Map (Programs> Accessories> System Tools> Character Map) to select/copy/paste extended characters. Gives a little more info.

Actually, I don't use Notepad anymore, having replaced it long ago w/ Win32Pad (freeware). Very worthwhile replacement.