If you're using the gedit editor to compose text, you might need to enter a special character in your document, such as a mathematical symbol or a non-English character. Gedit doesn't directly provide a way to insert special characters, but Ubuntu provides another program that will help.
The Character Map application provides a wealth of special characters, from various non-English characters to a host of special symbols used in science, mathematics, and engineering.
Start the Character Map application by clicking the Applications Panel menu, then Accessories, then Character Map. The Character Map main window appears, as shown in Figure 6-4.
The Character Map window consists of four areas:
♦ A font and formatting selection area at the top
♦ The character set list on the left side
♦ A grid block on the right side, containing the characters in order of their character code values
♦ A text box beneath the character set list for copying and pasting characters from the grid block
♦ A status bar indicating the character name selected in the grid block
The character set list can show character sets based on their Unicode location (similar character sets appear sequentially in the Unicode) or by language (called script). When you select a Unicode block or script from the left pane, the characters contained within that character set appear in the right pane grid block.
You can see information about an individual character by selecting it in the grid block, then clicking the Character Details tab at the top of the grid block pane. When you find the character you want to use, just drag and drop it into the Text to Copy box. You can add as many characters to the text box as you like.
Once you have the characters you need in the text box, click the Copy button to copy them into the clipboard area. From there, you can paste the characters into a gedit session Edit pane. When you are working in the gedit Edit pane, you can place the characters wherever you need within the text document.
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