How often have you been working on a report or an engineering drawing and needed to add engineering characters that are not on the keyboard? Not sure what I mean? How about:

The 75mmØ disk had a thickness of 22.4mm ±0.015mm (±15µ).
The inclined plane had an angle of 45°.
The circumference of a circle can be calculated using Diameter X π .
All of the special characters in the boxes are typed using easy-to-learn keyboard shortcuts called ALT codes. An ALT code is a keyboard shortcut that uses the left-hand ALT key and the number pad.

All you need is a windows computer with a full-size keyboard. Let’s start with the basics; the ALT code for a diameter symbol (Ø) is ALT+0216, so you press and hold down the left ALT key and then type 0216 on the number pad. when you let go of the ALT key the symbol will appear at the cursor.

Symbol Name Shortcut
Smiley ALT+1
Up Arrow ALT+24
Down Arrow ALT+25
Right Arrow ALT+26
Left Arrow ALT+27
Left & Right Arrow ALT+29
Up & Down Arrow ALT+18
π Pi ALT+227
µ Micron ALT+230
± Plus & Minus ALT+241
± Plus & Minus ALT+0177
Greater than or equal to ALT+242
Less than or equal to ALT+243
÷ Divided by ALT+246
÷ Divided by ALT+0247
² Squared ALT+0178
³ Cubed ALT+0179
Ø Diameter ALT+0216
Ω Ohm ALT+234
approximately equal to ALT+247
Infinity ALT+236
Everyone will remember the shortcuts they use the most; for me, its ±, °, Ø,  and ☺. I use these pretty much every day.

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Categories: Design Advice