General Question

bobbinhood's avatar

Why do alt codes only work on a numeric keypad?

Asked by bobbinhood (5879 points ) July 22nd, 2011

My last laptop had a numeric keypad built into the normal keyboard (so I could either use letters or numbers, but not both at the same time since they shared the same keys), and I fell in love with using alt codes. The laptop I currently use only has numbers across the top of the keyboard. It drives me crazy that I can’t use alt codes anymore. Why do they only work on a numeric keypad? What is the difference between those numbers and the ones across the top of the keyboard?

For those that don’t know, alt codes are codes that produce various symbols. You simply hold the alt key while typing a certain number on a numeric keypad to produce a given symbol. For a list of alt codes, see here.

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5 Answers

robmandu's avatar

Dunno why. Always thought it weird I have the use the fn numeric keyboard on my Dell laptop when the normal numbers are handy without any modifier key.

What make/model laptop are you talking about having now?

The alt-codes are handy, especially if you’ve got them memorized. Else I rely on the Windows Character Map utility.

bobbinhood's avatar

It’s a Dell Inspirion 1545. Is that significant?

robmandu's avatar

I don’t know about significant… just that I find it interesting that Dell doesn’t include that on the Inspiron. My Latitude has it. :-\

bobbinhood's avatar

Yeah. It’s not the end of the world; it’s just frustrating. I really would like to understand the difference between the keypad numbers and those along the top of the keyboard, though. I don’t get why it matters.

koanhead's avatar

☺ Looks like it’s a Windows thing. Alt codes work just fine on the top numbers in GNOME.

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