How to use the this site

Do you have a FAQ for using this site on how to enter all the wonderfull new letters that UNICODE
gives us, or even 8 bit ASCII?

I don’t have a good FAQ for that, and looking at the Discourse meta forums and user documentation there, I didn’t see an immediate answer to this question.

The generic answer is that, because this is a web forum, you would enter Unicode text however your browser normally allows you to enter Unicode text. The site will accept (most) any valid UTF-8 input into its text forms. If you have input methods to write non-latin or accented latin text available to you on your OS, you should be able to enter those things directly. If you want more exotic characters, then a Unicode character picker or similar may do the trick. (I like to use C-x 8 RET in Emacs, which allows you to enter any Unicode code point by its text name; for example, the Algol ≥ that you asked about on another thread is GREATER-THAN OR EQUAL TO and can be found by that name.) Emoji also have names and can be entered with combining characters; for example, :bearded_person:t2:, which has too much hair to be me but is otherwise a reasonable facsimile of my face, is BEARDED PERSON followed by EMOJI MODIFIER FITZPATRICK TYPE-1-2. Emoji, specifically, can of course be selected from the dedicated Emoji widget in the editing bar.

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It’s more a local thing than a site thing (from my point of view).

I can type a few characters directly - £, € and 2³ , µ and though ohm always escapes me Ω (it’s alt-shift Q here, your keyboard, OS, etc. may vary).

Other than that, I use searches online then copy/paste

This site:

Is reasonable…



On Linux & Windows, I use the compose key. On windows, you’ll have to install wincompose. On Linux, you have to find how your distro enables the Compose key.

For building accented characters, you typically hit Compose plus a (fairly) logical sequence of keys:

  • Compose + ' + e ⇒ é
  • Compose + ~ + n ⇒ ñ
  • Compose + ^ + w ⇒ ŵ

(That rightwards double arrow [U+21D2] was made with Compose + = + >, btw.)

You can customize your setup to make your own favourites easier to type.

Thanks for that - I think Unicode, by keyboard entry or by copy-paste from the web, is very handy indeed. As your post shows, there are also useful HTML tags which can be used here - your post is built with kbd tags:

(... made with <kbd>Compose</kbd> + <kbd>=</kbd> + <kbd>></kbd>, btw.)

I see mark and ins tags can be useful for emphasis.

Discourse uses a form of markdown, so there are other things you can do too: perhaps see here or here.

They could be, but probably best sparingly. For people using assistive devices to read this site, emphasized markup often ends up as shouting in text-to-speech screen readers. This is very jarring when it happens.

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