Character Map

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Character Map.

Character Map is a program which lets you browse all of the available glyphs in a typeface. It is developed and published by Microsoft and has been included in every version of Windows since version 3.

Although I like Character Map, I have found that BableMap is superior in most ways. The only thing I prefer about Character Map over BableMap is that it automatically hides spaces for glyphs that are not supported by the typeface.

Character Map has the following features:

  • Shows every character supported in any typeface installed in Windows, though they're filtered by character set.
  • Can copy the character to the clipboard and reveals the alt keypad combination.
  • Has a search option (though it functions strangely)

Character Map has some annoying limitations like the inability to increase the size of the form, and a search button that clears the search every other click.

When I first used Windows 3 as a child, I had no idea what Character Map was for. To me, it just looked like a list of letters and numbers, and I didn't see the utility of it. It was only later, when I started getting into graphic design and document layout, that I really understood the power of the program.