Special characters, symbols, emoji — sometimes this eclectic world of editing and modern communications demands more than the standard keyboard of characters. Copy Paste Character, a simple website* developed by Stockholm designer-programmer team Konst & Teknik & Martin, can help.
I’ve never minded special characters in Word, where I set up keyboard shortcuts for common symbols and where the most recently used symbols stay easily accessible at the top of the Insert > Symbol menu. But a recent symbol-heavy project wasn’t in Word. The work was online and collaborative, being done by a team in Google spreadsheets and on the client’s website. ALT codes for the symbols worked, of course, but most of us were on laptops that didn’t have number pads. And I’ve always found looking up and typing the codes to be cumbersome. In a search for a more efficient solution, we discovered CopyPasteCharacter.com and its shareable customized character sets.
Copy Paste Character is not the prettiest of the symbol and emoji sites, but it’s a simple and useful one. Characters are arranged in sets (arrows, emoji, punctuation, symbols, etc.) but can also be viewed all at once. A simple click on a character copies it to your system clipboard to be pasted into any window or field. I like that you don’t have to select the item or right-click and choose “copy.” What really makes the site more helpful than others we tried, however, is the multiple-character function and the customized sets.
Copy-Paste Multiple Characters at Once
To copy a string of characters to your clipboard, simply hold down the ALT key while you’re clicking. The characters you select appear highlighted at the top of the page. When you paste, you paste all of them at once.
Selecting and pasting a group into a shared document or window is one way to make a customized set, but Copy Paste Character offers another way too.
Create and Share a Custom Set of Characters
To create, save, edit, and share custom sets of characters, you’ll need to sign up for an account and sign in. Click “new” or choose “Create your own set” from the menu of sets. Give your custom set a name, select the characters you want to include, drag and drop to rearrange them, and click “save.” You can edit the set whenever you’d like and you can share it by copying and pasting the shortened URL found via “Share this set.”
Need an efficient team of ‽-ing editors? Keeping a tab open to a one-click, custom set of special characters may be what you need.
*Also available as an iPhone app (pictured), but only the website was used for this post.