Character Map

Definition of Character Map

Character Map is a utility software found in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It allows users to view and insert special characters, symbols, and diacritics that are not easily accessible through the standard keyboard layout. These characters are typically from Unicode character sets, offering a diverse range of options across numerous languages.


The phonetic transcription for the keyword “Character Map” using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is:/ˈkærəktər mæp/

Key Takeaways

  1. Character Map is a useful utility in Windows and other operating systems that allows users to access a wide range of special characters, symbols, and emoticons not present on their keyboard.
  2. Users can simply search, select, and copy the desired character or symbol from the Character Map application and paste it into any text editing software or application.
  3. Character Map supports various font types and Unicode characters, making it a versatile tool for enhancing your text with unique and visually appealing symbols.

Importance of Character Map

The term “Character Map” refers to a utility, often found in operating systems, that serves as a visual representation of all characters available within a designated font type or character encoding.

This tool is important because it allows users to easily locate and select special or non-standard characters, such as symbols, diacritical marks, or characters from other languages, which may not be accessible directly from the keyboard.

By providing an organized way to view and insert these unique characters into documents or messages, Character Map streamlines the process of creating content with diverse and rich character sets, empowering users to accurately express themselves and maintain the highest levels of professionalism and creativity in a globalized, digital age.


Character Map is an essential tool for designers, writers, and any users who need to utilize a wide range of symbols, special characters or non-standard characters that are not easily accessible through the keyboard. Its purpose is to provide quick and easy access to these characters, making it convenient for users to insert them into documents, design projects or any digital work which may require unique or special characters.

Additionally, Character Map allows people to utilize various fonts and customize the characters by altering their size and style, making it a versatile utility to enhance the visual aesthetics and meet specific requirements of a given project. Character Map plays a critical role in making language and communication more inclusive in the digital world.

With technology expanding beyond linguistic and regional boundaries, the need to represent different languages, technical notations, and symbols becomes crucial. Character Map offers a comprehensive collection of characters, ranging from the commonly used currency symbols and mathematical notations to the lesser-known special characters from various languages.

This accessibility enables users to effectively communicate, design, and share information with a wider and diverse audience, thereby promoting the spirit of global collaboration and removing potential barriers in communication.

Examples of Character Map

Character Map is a utility tool available in various operating systems such as Windows and Linux. This tool allows users to access special characters or symbols that are not easily accessible through the default keyboard layout. Here are three real-world examples that depict the use of the Character Map:

Typography and Graphic Design: Graphic designers and typographers use Character Map to access special symbols, punctuation, or other characters that are not found on their keyboard. This helps them create visually appealing designs and use typography effectively, for instance, adding copyright symbols (©), trademark symbols (™), or using different types of bullets (•, ‣, ⁃) in their designs.

Academic Writing and Research: Researchers and students often come across the need to use specific characters or symbols while writing academic papers or research reports. For instance, they might require Greek letters (α, β, γ), mathematical symbols (±, √, ∫), or phonetic symbols (ʃ, ʒ, ɪ). Character Map makes it convenient to find and insert these symbols into their documents.

Multilingual Content Creation: Content creators working with multiple languages often use the Character Map to find and insert language-specific characters into their writings. For example, when creating content in French, users might require specific diacritical marks such as é, è, ê, or ë. Character Map allows them to conveniently find these special characters and paste them into their documents.

Character Map FAQ

What is a Character Map?

A Character Map is a utility program that displays all characters and symbols in a specified font. It allows users to view and copy individual characters or groups of characters to the clipboard for use in other applications.

How do I access the Character Map on Windows?

To access the Character Map on Windows, click on the Start button, type “Character Map” in the search box, and select it from the displayed results. Alternatively, you can find it under Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Character Map.

How do I use the Character Map on a Mac?

On a Mac, the equivalent of the Character Map is called “Font Book.” To access Font Book, open Finder > Applications > Font Book. Alternatively, press CMD + Space to open Spotlight and type “Font Book.”

How do I copy a character from Character Map to another program?

Choose the character you want to copy in the Character Map, click the “Select” button, and then click “Copy.” Now, switch to the other program where you want to insert the character and use the paste function (typically, CTRL+V or CMD+V).

Can I use the Character Map for special or non-keyboard characters?

Yes, the Character Map includes many special and non-keyboard characters such as symbols, accent marks, and more. You can copy and paste these characters into your work using the steps described above.

Related Technology Terms

  • Unicode
  • Font Selection
  • ASCII Codes
  • Glyphs
  • Copy & Paste Symbols

Sources for More Information


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms