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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Windows - Alt Key Numeric Codes

This list is organized by Accent type. To determine the appropriate numeric code, match the accent with the vowel. See the individual By Language pages to see how to handle other accents.

Example: To input the acute a á (0225), hold down the ALT key, type 0225 on the numeric keypad, then release the ALT key.

Other Foreign Characters

These include special punctuation and unique consonant and vowel symbols.

Currency Symbols

Math Symbols


These codes produce fractions which are spaced on one line.

Other Punctuation

These include copyright symbols and special section marks.

Letters with Accents

Using the Codes

Windows assigns a numeric code to different accented letters, other foreign characters and special mathematical symbols. For instance the code for lower case á is 0225, and the code for capital Á is 0193. The ALT key input is used to manually insert these letters and symbols by calling the numeric code assigned to them.

To use the codes:

1. Place your cursor in the location where you wish to insert a special character.

2. Activate the numeric key pad on the right of the keyboard by pressing Num Lock (upper right of keyboard). The Num Lock light on the keyboard will indicate that the numeric key pad is on.

NOTE: You must use the numeric key pad; if you use the number keys on the top of the keyboard, the characters will not appear. If you are on a laptop or computer without a separate numeric keypad one of the other methods is recommended.

3. While pressing down the ALT key, type the four-digit code on the numeric key pad at the right edge of the keyboard. The codes are "case sensitive." For instance, the code for lower-case á is ALT+0225, but capital Á is ALT+0193.

NOTE: If you have the International keyboard activated, you will only be able to input codes with the ALT key on the left side of the keyboard.

4. Release the ALT key. The character will appear when the ALT key is released.

NOTE: You must include the initial zero in the code. For example to insert á (0225) you must type ALT+0225, NOT ALT+225.

The Early History of HTML

The Early History of HTML

HTML in 1990 - 1992

HTML is the language that powers the Web in many respects, as the lingua franca that Web browsers are expected to be able to render. HTML has had unprecedented levels of success, and the uptake is all the more surprising when you realise that it was only invented in 1990, and few people knew about it before 1993.

In fact, although HTML has changed relatively little since those early days, the history of HTML is rather cloudy. However, with a little detective work on the Web, it is possible to reconstruct most of the events that led to the creation and subsequent deployment and acception of HTML.


Tim Berners-Lee first started to come up with code for his WWW project in 1990. The first mention of him working on code for processing HyperText can be found in the original HyperText.m file that Tim worked on, dated 25th September 90.

From the 27th to the 30th November 1990, Tim and Robert Cailliau attended ECHT '90 - the European HyperText Convention. After ECHT '90, it appears that he had some more ideas about the (probably as yet unnamed) World Wide Web, and in the last few months of 1990, he started to produce more code, and also the first recorded HTML documents.

In fact, the earliest HTML document on the WWW at the moment dates from 13th November - a couple of weeks before the conference - as evidenced a HTTP HEAD request, which returns "Last-Modified: Tue, 13 Nov 1990 15:17:00 GMT". The page is still functional in most modern Web browsers, and even contains a functional HyperLink!

Early HTML Markup

So, what was early HTML actually like? The following is the code used in the oldest HTML document referenced above:-

<*title>Hypertext Links
<*h1>Links and Anchors
A link is the connection between one piece of
hypertext and another.

These are the tags and attributes evident from the first five days of Dec 1990:-

SGMLguid + HyperText = HTML?

But, why these tags? Was there anything that influenced early HTML? Tim had mentioned that some of the early HTML documents were based on an old SGML language that CERN was already using:-

We have included in HTML some tags from the SGML tagset used at and once supported at CERN [...] The HTML parser will ignore tags which it does not understand, and will ignore attributes which it does not understand of CERN-SGML tags. -

I did not know that HTML had been derived from such a language until I stumbled across an interesting set of documents from the 19th December 1990, that contained the following unusual tags:-

  • [1] had the tags bl bib bib@id hp1
  • [2] had the tags xmp h3
  • [3] had the tags box fn
  • [4] had the tags i1 i1@ix dl dt dd dl@compact
  • [5] had the tags bibref bibref@refid

Looking carefully at these documents, they are actually extracts from a large SGMLguid document (SGMLguid was the SGML language at CERN that Tim refered to) last modified by TimBL on the same date. In other words, they weren't actually HTML as I first thought, but Tim was in the process of converting them over: i.e. hyperlinking them together!

After further study of these documents and others in the same subdirectory, it became apparent that most of the early HTML tags were actually taken from the CERN SGMLGuid language, which itself was a variant of AAP (an early SGML language). For example, title, hn, p, ol and so on are all apparently taken from this language. The only radical change was the addition of the all important anchor (<*a>) link, without which the WWW wouldn't have taken off.