How Do I Insert Special Characters In Gmail?

Gmail doesn’t have a built-in feature to insert special characters from within the web app. In order to use special characters in Gmail, you must use either a virtual emoji keyboard, a Unicode character generator, alt/option key codes, or a Google Chrome extension.

In the following article, I cover eight different options that you can use to insert special characters in Gmail. As you would see, some of these are unique to macOS or Windows, others work on both platforms. 

How-Do I Insert Special Characters In Gmail

1 – Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Windows Emoji Keyboard

1 – Set your cursor in Gmail where you would like to insert the special character.

2 – Press the key combination Win Key (🪟) + Period (•)

Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Windows Emoji Keyboard Step 2

3 – Click on the symbols tab in the menu at the top of the virtual keyboard. 

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4 – Insert any special characters that you would like to use by clicking on them.

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2 – Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Character Map (Windows)

1 – Press the Windows Key🪟 to open the start menu on your Windows 10 or 11 computer. 

Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Character Map Step 1

2 – Type the word character map and then click on the character map app. 

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3 – Select the font you’ll like to use from the font dropdown menu at the top of the window.

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4 – Select a special character in the character selection area by clicking on it first and then clicking on the select button.

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5 – Copy the special character by clicking on the copy button. 

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6 – Return to Gmail and position your cursor where you would like to insert the character. 

7 – Paste in the special character using CTRL + V.

3 – Insert Special Characters In Gmail With the macOS Emoji Keyboard

1 – Click on an empty space on your desktop and confirm that it says finder in the menu bar next to the apple logo 

Insert Special Characters In Gmail With The macOS Emoji Keyboard Step 1

2 – Press the key combinations FN + E to open the emoji keyboard.

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3 – Click on the double arrow icon at the bottom right of the window to view the special characters category.

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4 – Locate the character that you’d like to use then click and drag it into the Gmail compose box.

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4 – Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Character Viewer (macOS)

1 – Open the macOS on-screen emoji keyboard using the instructions in the previous step. 

2 – Click on the window icon to the top right of the emoji keyboard to expand the character viewer.

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3 – Use the category menu to the left to filter the list of characters or use the search bar to search for the specific character you want.

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4 – Click on the character then drag it into the Gmail text area.

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5 – Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Alt Codes (Windows )

This method only works if you use a full-size windows keyboard containing a number pad. 

1 – Use this alt code lookup table to find the special characters you are looking for. 

Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Alt Codes Step 1

2 – Once the character is located make a note of the alt code. For example, Alt + 0151 is the alt code for the Em dash.

3 – Return to Gmail and place the cursor where you would like to insert the special character.

4 – If Num Lock is disabled, press the Num Lock key on your keyboard to enable it. Once enabled you would see a light indicator on your keyboard.

Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Alt Codes Step 4

5 – While holding the Alt key, enter the numerical sequence using the dedicated number pad.  

Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Alt Codes Step 5

6 – Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Option Codes (macOS)

1 – Use this macOS option codes lookup table to locate the special characters that you would like to use.

Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Option Codes Step 1

2 – Once found, make a note of the option code for the special character. For example, Option + 2611 is the option code for a checked checkbox. 

3 – Go to Gmail and place your cursor in the location where you would like to insert the special character. 

4 – While holding either one of the option keys enter the numerical sequence for the character you selected.

Insert Special Characters In Gmail With Option Codes Step 4

7 – Insert Special Characters In Gmail With A Unicode Character Generator

1 – Use this link to open a Unicode character generator in a new tab.

2 – Enter the name of the special character that you are looking for in the search bar and click on the suggested symbol. 

Insert Special Characters In Gmail With A Unicode Character Generator Step 2

3 – Click on the copy button below the selected character. 

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4 – Return to Gmail and place your cursor where you would like to insert the special character. 

5- Paste the character in the desired location using CTRL + V if you are on Windows or Command + V If you are on macOS. 

8 – Insert Special Characters In Gmail With A Google Chrome Extension

1 – Use this link to go to the glyphs extension download page. 

2 – Click on the add to chrome button to install the extension.  

Insert Special Characters In Gmail With A Google Chrome Extension Step 2

3 – Once installed, return to Gmail and place your cursor where you would like to insert the special character.

4 – Click on the all extensions icon located on the right of the Google Chrome browser’s address bar.

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5 – From the list of available extensions select the Glyphs extension.   

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6 – Use the search bar to find the special character that you would like to insert into Gmail. 

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7 – Once located click on the character to insert it in your desired location.

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