Special Characters Menu delivers on-demand special characters insertion within any application


Special Characters Menu is a tiny memory-resident program that can display a pop-up window of the most commonly used special characters for easy insertion into any document or text.

The free program can be kicked into action whenever needed by pressing a hotkey combination.

I don’t use special characters often, but for those times that I did need them lately it rather seemed that they were buried too far away for easy access: Start menu > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Character Map.

I was recently reviewing a program and wanted to find the degree (°; as in 45°) character and was surprised when I finally got the character map open that it wasn’t a straightforward, easy task to identify the proper (°) symbol from all the various other round symbols that were there.

Another time I was looking for delta (?, as in the difference between two numbers) and also found it more difficult to find than it should have been. This is why this program it immediately got my attention when I found it.

If you use special characters a lot you will appreciate Special Characters Menu. By invoking its hotkey (Win+C) a window will pop up within any application that you are using that displays a good number of most frequently used special characters, including ±, ?, ?, ?, ?, ÷, ?, ?, ©, ®, ™, €, ¢, ¥, ½, ¼, ¾, ?, °, and many others (see screenshot for entire range of special characters). Here are more notes on this program:

  • Does not require installation, simply unzip and run. You will need to create a shortcut for this one in the startup folder if you want it to start with Windows.
  • Takes up around 6 megs in memory. Not a lot although it should have been less in my opinion.
  • The source code for the program is including in the downloaded zipped archive.

The verdict: good innovative freeware that works as intended. There are some readers out there which sometimes use special characters or use them a lot that will be very happy to have found this program I’m sure.

Version Tested: 1.0

Compatibility: WinAll.

Use this direct link to download.


    Good app. Clavier can do the same through hotkeys. Here:


  • yogi22

    The one I use is AllChars. In addition to seldom used symbols, it gives the ease and functionality of MS Word’s accented letters in all programs. For example, “é” is produced by tapping “Ctrl”, followed by “e”, then “‘”. A real boon for those of us who occasionally have to write in French. Also fractions, superscripts, subscripts, etc.

    You can modify the allchars.ini file to add uncommon special characters not included in AllChars as downloaded.


    “AllChars provides a quick, easy-to-remember way of creating accents like é Ü ç î æ and special characters like ƒ ² ‰ © £ ± ß ° 1/2 ¿ « » ™ „ in most Windows programs.”
    “AllChars v3.5 upwards supports macros: type a (short) name and AllChars will replace it with a (long) text.”
    “AllChars is FREEWARE.”
    “AllChars works with Windows 3.11 or Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, and XP.”

  • yogi22

    For macros, I agree; PhraseExpress works so well that I didn’t bother trying very hard to learn AllChars macros.

    However, I haven’t figured out how PhraseExpress can be used for symbols or foreign characters. Can you give a tip, or a URL that explains it.


    Yes, I forgot about Allchars, but then again we have a more powerful alternative to it, for non-comercial use, here:


    And what’s more, Allchars is a pain in the a** to configure in this regard.

  • mtbcpa

    I would like to find something like this that will allow me to paste graphics into programs. I would like to be able to create a set of “tickmarks” and bring up that menu and paste them easily into any program I am using. Anyone know of something like that?

  • CT

    I like “AllChars”, it’s intuitive for me, at least, but won’t do Delta ?, Infinity ?, or Square Root ?, plus a few others, such as the ‘Eighths’ (1/8, 3/8, etc) – For the Math, “Speial Characters” is great, Thanks!
    and Thanks Also to the others for “Phrase Express” (V. Nice) & “Clavier” (still testing)!

  • do

    when i try to use special characters, i get a text box saying “special characters ini-file miss” what am i doing wrong?

  • ram

    Typeitin is one such program


  • I’ve been looking for the download button for this program. How do I download this thing?

  • Anonymous

    This program’s home page gave me a malware script injection warning from Avira. Such a shame.

    Here’s another free program of this category, but more complex, that I’m considering: