Do other OS’s support ALT-codes?

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Problem :

Do OS’s other than Windows support Alt-codes? If I put in Alt+1 for ☺, would I be able to put the same code in on MacOS and Linux and get the same output?

Solution :

Alt-code is Windows specific. Other OSes have various ways to input Unicode characters.

On macOS 8.5 and later you hold ⌥ Option then type the 4-digit hex value. Characters outside the BMP can be input via Character Viewer

On Linux there are 2 common methods:

  • Hold Ctrl+⇧ Shift and type u followed by the hex digits.
  • Enter Ctrl+⇧ Shift+u, release, then type the hex digits, and press ↵ Enter (or Space or press and release ⇧ Shift or Ctrl)

There are other ways that you can find here

There are also other cross-platform methods to type any Unicode characters

  • Open the rich text editor on your platform like MS Word, Libre Office or Wordpad, enter the hex code point value (like 1F3BB) with an optional U+ prefix and press Alt+X

  • Open the console in your browser and run the below commands. It works in most modern browsers like Firefox, Chrome/Chromium (including Chromium Edge)

    copy("u25A0")    // only applicable for characters in the BMP (⩽ U+FFFF)
    copy("u{1F3BB}") // applicable for all characters (U+0000 to U+10FFFF)
  • Use PowerShell to copy the desired character to clipboard

    scb "`u{1F3BB}"                                   # or
    Set-Clipboard "`u{1F3BB}"                         # or
    [char]::ConvertFromUtf32(0x1F3BB) | Set-Clipboard # or
    [char]::ConvertFromUtf32(0x1F3BB) | scb           # or
    [char]0x1F3BB | Set-Clipboard

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