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Introducing InstantUnicode

If you regularly have to insert accented characters or other glyphs that have no handy keyboard equivalent, here’s some news of a free script that may help make the job easier. It’s called InstantUnicode, written by Marc Auret, and available at Indiscripts.com. After you run the script, each time you enter a codepoint it will be swapped out for the actual glyph.

For example, say you often had to insert a character like the letter s with cedilla. You could use the Glyphs panel to locate the character and see its codepoint (015F).

Then, any time you needed that character, just type “u015F” and the script will make the replacement.

Or, as someone who used to make a lot of math textbooks, one of my pet peeves is seeing a lowercase x where a multiplication sign should be.

Ugh.

But now anytime I come across this problem, I can just select the x, and type in “u00d7″…and boom!

To make things even easier, you can put the script in InDesign’s Startup Scripts folder, so it’s automatically running each time you launch the application.

You can learn more by checking out this video.

Merci, Marc, for another great script!

Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of InDesignSecrets.com, InDesign Magazine, and CreativePro.com. Author of LinkedIn Learning courses on InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher.
Mike Rankin

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  • - November 30, -0001
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7 Comments on “Introducing InstantUnicode

  1. Thank you for your support, Mike :-)

    To everyone: feel free to post questions, requests or bug reports here. I’ll do my best to address issues.

    Marc

  2. Hmmm. I’m puzzled by this, I used alt codes for years for this kind of stuff. I used to know the codes of the glyphs I needed. I dont understand why Indesign doesnt show the alt code as well. For example the bullet has the unicode 2022, but I always just press and hold the left alt key and on the keypad quickly press the code 0149 and than let go of the alt key. (• • It even works here in the browser…) I’m guessing the alt codes are not covering all the possible glyphs??

    • Hi albastru22,

      Your solution is fine and widely used by Windows users, but keep in mind it is code-page specific. E.g. `0149` refers to the code number of the BULLET character in ISO-8859-1/Windows-1252. Indeed you can use [ALT] 0149 in InDesign (Win) and you get ‘•’, that is, Unicode’s U+2022 character.

      However, ISO-8859-1 is a very small subset of Unicode. To enter actual code points in Windows you may use a more universal method, based on [ALT] and the [+] key on the numeric keypad. See http://www.fileformat.info/tip/microsoft/enter_unicode.htm

      Unfortunately the latter method doesn’t work consistently on all platforms. It seems to require some Registry tweak and even then it still causes obscure issues. Also, most users don’t even know this method exists.

      InstantUnicode is crossplatform and supports Unicode’s Basic Multilingual Plane (up to U+FFFC) and even the Supplementary Multilingual Plane (up to U+1F9FF = ) This greatly expands the set of characters accessible by the [ALT] key.

  3. This script is nifty but I have come across a corner issue: if the script has been activated and cursor runs acoss ‘Quebec’ (which mine often does), the word is changed to Q[notdef]. When the first e has an accent aigu, which not all Anglophone publications use, this doesn’t happen, of course.

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