General Question

partyparty's avatar

How can I type these symbols into a document?

Asked by partyparty (9139points) October 1st, 2010

I want to type an O with a + inside it.
Also M with the above symbol on top of it.
Is this possible? I am using word.

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19 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

⊕ That might help with the first one. Just copy and paste. It is possible it will be wonky depending on the fonts you have installed.

ʘ‿ʘ Good luck.

partyparty's avatar

@johnpowell I have tried copying and pasting it, but all I can see when I paste is a square box. Thanks anyway :)

Nullo's avatar

Go to the Symbols menu and hunt around.

partyparty's avatar

@Nullo Yes I have already looked at my symbols menu, and can’t find it, hence my quesdtion, but thanks for replying.

jrpowell's avatar

One option is to create the images your self and insert them in the document. Here is the first one.

I can’t find the second one and I’m not really sure what the above symbol is. Is it this ^?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@partyparty the reason you see a square box is because your current font set doesn’t support that character. Not every font allows every character.

The best place that I’ve seen (in Windows) to examine fonts (and to see how they can be created by keystrokes in your application) is to check out the Character Map (Start / Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Character Map) and look at all of the various symbols available in all of the fonts installed on your machine. Character Map also shows the “Alt” keystrokes that you can use to create fonts on the fly. For example the “division” sign ÷ can be created by hitting Alt-246 (you have to use the numeric keypad). ° is Alt-248.

You can also download new font sets from all kinds of places that you can look up. Some are free and some not.

partyparty's avatar

@johnpowell Sorry, perhaps I didn’t explain myself properly. I am looking for an M with the ⊕ directly above it. I haven’t a clue how I can create it. I don’t know what any of these symbols mean… I am merely doing some typing for a friend Thanks

Jeruba's avatar

Is the document you’re typing a technical document in a specialized field? You might need a font that has special characters for that field, such as chemistry or physics. Your friend is the best source of information on what the field of specialty is and what those characters mean or are called. Those are not standard characters in any font I’ve ever seen, and I have hundreds of fonts on my computer.

Nullo's avatar

Here is a list of special characters in Unicode. The one in @johnpowell‘s post is labeled 2295.

ETpro's avatar

If the document is going to be a Word Document file, PDF or an HTML document, then the safest way to render special characters is to draw them as small GIF files. That way, they will display as you expect envin on computers that don’t have the font you envisioned installed.

partyparty's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Many thanks. I have searched my character sets and can’t find these symbols. I didn’t know about the Alt keystrokes, thanks
@Jeruba Yes it is a chemistry book, and I have to get it in a format ready for publishing. I can do the symbols in ChemSketch when I am typing figures, but when I attempt to type the symbols within a Word document I am unable to find them within my character set. I think maybe he is asking the impossible with the M and then the circle-plus immediately over the top of it. Many thanks anyway for answering me. It is much appreciated
@Nullo Many thanks for the list. I have managed to copy the circle with a plus inside it, but I think the other symbol (M with the circle-plus over the top of the M is an impossibility).
@ETpro Well that is sounding promising. I don’t really understand your answer, but I will certainly try it out. Thanks again for your help.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

㊉—U+3289 in MS Mincho font “Circled Ideograph Ten” is the closest I’ve come so far.

I thought that Symbols, Wingdings, Webdings or Map Symbols might have it (and Wingdings2 came close, with a circle and an “x” inside—which doesn’t duplicate here). But your best bets might be to go to and look up “symbol font”, which may be where @johnpowell got ”⊕” (and so did I).

ETpro's avatar

@partyparty If we aren’t talking a ton of special characters, I’ll make the GIFs for you if you can define what they should look like, and point me to some online text that’s the right size. I can post them on my website, and give you a link to download them.

Jeruba's avatar

There is almost certainly a special font for use in chemistry texts, journal articles, etc. If you use a makeshift approximation in a textbook, it won’t look authentic. Teachers using the book might object. I would suggest contacting the publisher, who will have dealt with this before if this is not their first chemistry book. You may be able to indicate where symbols should be inserted (by name and/or with a rough sketch such as with a drawing tool) and have the publisher insert them when they make up pages.

For what it’s worth, I proofread a 750-page chemistry textbook last month that had no such symbols in it.

Is your symbol one of these? How about these?

If the symbols you’re after occur just once, such as in a passage about alchemistry as a forerunner to chemistry, and they’re present only as an illustration, perhaps they could be handled as an inset figure instead of being incorporated into the body of the text.

partyparty's avatar

@ETpro @Jeruba Many, many thanks for all your help. I have just spoken to Prof. and he says I can type the ⊕ as a superscript immediately before the N (I typed the wrong letter in my question… silly me), so this now solves my problem.
BTW he tells me the symbols is a positive charge on the nitrogen atom !!
Once again many thanks. I am forever indebted to you :)

Jeruba's avatar

@partyparty, I have a feeling that that’s not the place to stop in your investigation. If this is about a positively charged nitrogen atom, I’m sure a chemistry student can correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t that just be N+ (with the + as a superscript following the N)?

There may be handwritten conventions that are rendered differently in print (just as underscoring in a manuscript stands for italics in print). The circle could be one of those.

Of all places, a textbook must have precisely accurate notation for the field of study. If you are not familiar with the notation and the use of symbols in chemistry and you are typing an entire textbook, your author-friend must supply you with a clear and unambiguous list of the symbols you will see in his document and the correct way to render them in the manuscript that’s going to the publisher.

And then he must proofread them all obsessively, and more than once.

partyparty's avatar

@Jeruba Thanks for your answer. Yes, I agree with you entirely about the clear and unambiguous symbols. He is a well published author and has worked within a university for many, many years, and awarded a D.Sc. I have typed most of his work, so I am used to typing scientific papers/books but have never seen the ⊕. Also within the work is Ө (which he tells me is a negative charge) (the latter symbol is available within my character sets). The problem I had was initially finding ⊕ then creating these symbols directly above the N.

Because he isn’t au fait with computers he just hand writes a symbol, and thinks I will be able to replicate it, and I do my utmost to help him. This work will be ongoing for another twelve months, so I may be in a similar position of not being able to find symbols as the work progresses.
Many thanks for your help.

shilolo's avatar

FYI, as Jeruba indicated, most scientists don’t use the ⊕ symbol but rather simply superscript a + sign next to the ionized element (see here). Being a former chemist and now immunologist/microbiologist, I use these symbols every day and have never seen them circled.

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