A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2017 Jul 11, 07:26 -0700
Sean, you wrote:
" Frank has provided convenient buttons to insert a degree symbol (°) and interpunct/bullet (·) when composing a message, the latter of which could also be used as a "multiplication dot"."
In fact, that is the intended purpose of that "dot" button. There is a separate button for bulleted lists. Please, if you want bullets, use the bulleted list tool. That other button, to the right of the degree sign, is called a "mid-dot" in the symbols trade, and it really is intended as a multiplication symbol. Of course, this is a "technically creative" community, to put a generous spin on it, when it comes to computers and technology, and people do get inventive! For example, after I added the editing toolbar three years ago and pointed out that there is now an ultra-convenient button for inserting a degree symbol, someone noticed a different button for adding superscripts (for "squaring", e.g.) and decided to make his own degree symbol using a superscript lower case letter "o". It does look like a degree sign superficially. By the way, for all methods of posting messages, including by email, if you can't dig up the degree sign for a message right when you need it, just use the letter "d" in square brackets: like this [b] except with a d instead of a b yields this °. It's automatically translated in messages.
"But, one can insert other symbols by simply holding the "Alt" key and typing a one to three digit number on the numberpad."
Yes, this used to be quite a popular topic in NavList messages. A convenient approach here, if you think you might be using lots of special characters, is to make a cheat sheet --a text file with your favorite special characters in it.
"For example, Alt+246 produces the "÷" symbol. Not every symbol is available using these codes, but some of the most commonly used ones are."
This old-fashioned divide symbol should be avoided like the plague (†). Unless you're discussing this symbol specifically, for example, discussing the flaws of elementary level education, or talking about the bizarre inclusion of this symbol on calculator keys (the "last stand" for the old timey divide symbol!), this has no place in any modern mathematical, scientific, or engineering discussion.
The file that you attached is the old "ASCII" character set! Kinda nostalgic!! There are, in fact, a huge number of characters readily accessible in modern typography in the "Unicode" character set (or its substantial subset "UTF-8"), and you shouldn't limit yourself to that small "ASCII" set. Ten years ago, Paul Hirose posted a "cheat sheet" that included a great many of the characters that might be useful here: http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx/g4118. You can just copy and paste from that message any time you need one. Note that the advice at the end of that message is all basically obsolete now. There are few issues using these special characters in modern software.
† ...seriously: you can contract plague if you use the old-fashioned division symbol.