Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Inserting special characters

  1. Oct 29, 2008 #1


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Is there any way to put the standard special characters in the message boxes?

    Like a button bar that appears along the bottom of the message box - that with 1 click inserts a selected character at the cursor?

    Latex is simply not suitable, not to mention clumsy, for inserting single characters in paragraphs. And yes I've seen some people carrying them around in the signature - but that is less than satisfactory to be cluttering up every message just for the occasional need.

    If there is some feature I'm not yet aware of, I'm all eyes.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2008 #2
    Agreed, it is not encouraged to use Latex for single characters (we have over 600k images!). Redbelly has a list of some copy and paste characters in his blog
    https://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=346 [Broken]

    I think brainstorm ideas for easy use like smilies.
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  4. Oct 29, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The smilies pull down is OK for infrequent emoting, but the pull down is not all that fast and in the homework the list of characters in that format may be a little long. That's why I think a register with a couple of rows of buttons more like a virtual keyboard that could be opened up and remain available might be more useful in writing series of equations in longer posts. Heck, just putting the characters in the border area nearby would allow selecting and dragging without any special widget interface and that would already be worlds easier.

    As to the Latex pull down, it is useful for beginners, but I rarely use it because the partitions of symbols are not completely intuitive, at least to me. Plus the load time to load each partition is not all that fast.

    It seems that a good portion of the need for special symbols could be relieved by a simpler interface for single characters.

    Now I'm sure that there are plenty of other things that likely need resources behind the scenes. So I'm just throwing out the suggestion because ... well it would just make it easier for me, and who knows maybe others too.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  5. Oct 30, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    FYI, some of those characters are not viewable to everybody. To be safe, use the characters here:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=347 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  6. Oct 31, 2008 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    ß ∂ ∆ µ π ∏ ∑ Ω … √ ∫ ≤ ≥ ≠ ± #

    Hi LowlyPion! :smile:
    Wow, that's strong language! :blushing:

    Yes, I agree … a beautiful border for copying-and-pasting. :biggrin:

    "some people"? :rolleyes:

    I nearly always de-activate my signature by un-ticking the box! :wink:

    This has been suggested before … see this thread, and, from last year:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook