I’m a PC.
Always have been.
Did you know that Windows comes standard with a Character Map?
Do you know what a Character Map is?
Well, here’s the low-down on the illusive Character Map… You’re gonna love it!
Windows Character Map is a rock solid utility that can be used to copy and paste accented letters, foreign characters, and dingbats into any Windows application.
And the best news of all is… even a dingbat like me can figure it out!! Check it out…
PS. If you use a Mac, there’s a tutorial for you too.
Tutorial:The complete Digi Scrap Tutorial is available to our Digital Scrapper Premier Members. If you’re a member, please take a moment to log in, then refresh this page. Not a Premier Member? Find out more information here.
Step 1: Open the Map
- From the Windows Start Menu, choose:
All Programs > Accessories (folder) > System Tools (folder) > Character Map.
Can’t find it? No need to panic. Simply open the Start Menu and enter “character map” into the search bar.
- If you find the Character Map useful, consider ‘pinning’ it to your Start Menu for easy access. To do that, Right click on Character Map and choose Pin to Start Menu.
Step 2: Use the Map
- When the Character Map pops up, it will display the last font used. Go ahead and choose a different font – or dingbat as in this case.
Tip: If you want to scroll through the fonts just to see what’s available (you’ll be surprised), open the font picker and then close it again. Now use your up and down arrow keys to scroll through your list of installed fonts.
- By clicking once on one of the little tiny images, a preview box will pop up. Use your right and left arrow keys to scroll through the choices of this particular font.
- When you find an image you want to add to your scrapbook page, simply double click on it’s preview and it will be added to the “Characters to Copy” box at the bottom of the Map.
- Click on the Copy button to copy the character/image to your Clipboard. The ‘Clipboard’ is sort of a hidden thing. So you will not ‘see’ anything happen when you click Copy.
Step 3: Apply the Image
Nearly any Windows application (that uses the Windows font file) will accept your new character from your clipboard. For this tutorial I’m going to show you how I applied the character using Photoshop CS5.
- In Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements), get the Type tool.
- In the Options Bar, change the font to match that of the one in your Character Map.
- Set the size and color that you want your character/image to be.
- Click on your document to set a place for the type.
- Press Ctrl V to paste the character from your Clipboard into your document.
- You can now resize, rotate, etc. the image to your liking.
Here is the scrapbook page that I used with this tip. Just thought I’d include it for a little bit of inspiration.
Have a great week!
Tip and layout by Jen White
Software: Windows Vista 64, Photoshop CS5
Paper and elements: Menagerie by One Little Bird
Fonts: Critters1DC (butterflies), CurlzMT (title), Eras Light
Download a PDF version of this “View and Use Dingbats” tutorial.
Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.