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Search for special text characters quickly with

Searching through your word processor for exactly the right special character can be a pain. is a great Web app that lets you search using familiar terms, then copy and paste the characters you find.

If you need to use a special character when writing, you've got a lot to choose from -- so many that you may not easily be able to find the right one! Fortunately, there's a great webapp called (the name refers to the Unicode system of text characters) that lets you search for the characters you need.

Just point your browser to and enter any search term you like. Characters matching your term are shown beneath the text box. You will likely see many that don't look like empty boxes; these are characters that your browser or computer don't support. Since there are over 100,000 Unicode characters, that's not too surprising, and you should be able to find the one you want.

Search for special characters with
Search for special characters with Rob Lightner/CNET

When you do, just click it to bring it up in much larger size. You can easily copy and paste the image into any word processor, though if your software maintains formatting, you will need to dramatically scale down the font size. That is a small price to pay for nailing the right character, though!

Sample special character enlarged.
Sample special character enlarged. Rob Lightner/CNET

I recently wrote a piece on a curated site that lets you browse for special characters in an intuitive way; this might be more useful for some purposes.