How to type special characters like music notes on the computer

Written by hollan johnson
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How to type special characters like music notes on the computer
You can type musical notes with alt codes. (coloured musical notes image by patrimonio designs from

Special characters on a PC computer are also known as alt codes. In order to type special characters on a computer you must hold down the "Alt" button and press a certain number on the keyboard in order to get the special character to show up. There are more than 255 alt codes on PC computers. Most of them are special characters used in languages other than English. Musical notes and other symbolic special characters only comprise about 15 of the number alt codes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy



  1. 1

    Press the "Number Lock" key on your keyboard.

  2. 2

    Hold down the "Alt" key on your keyboard.

  3. 3

    Type in the number combination of the special character you want to see. If they are double-digit numbers type the numbers at the same time. You can find lists of alt codes online if you search for "Alt codes."

    Music notes are "13" for a single note while "14" is a double note. A smiley face is "1" and "2." A heart is "3," a diamond is "4," a club is "5" and a spade is "6." A circle is "7" for a solid circle and "9" for a line drawn circle.
    The male sign is "11" and the female sign is "12." A sun is "15."


  1. 1

    Open "System Preferences" in the Apple menu.

  2. 2

    Select "International" and click on "Input Menu."

  3. 3

    Check the "Character Palette" box and the "Show input menu in menu bar" box." Close System Preferences.

  4. 4

    Click on the language icon next to the time icon in the menu bar and select "Show Character Palette."

  5. 5

    Open a word processing program or another text field and double-click on the special character you want to add. The character will appear in the text field.

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