I recently got interested in typography and read a bunch of books on it. In
the process, I discovered that, in the standard fonts, there are a lot of
unused glyphs that simply don't get used because there is no easy way to
access them. Well, that plus I don't suppose very many designers are aware
of them as options.
There's a great Windows utility out there called AutoHotKey that – among
it's manay capabilities – let's you create auto-correct shortcuts where one
string of text is automatically replaced by another (much like the way
Office works). I created a script that gives me easy access to high-ASCII
characters, giving me more options when designing UI using text. The basic
concept is to use the grave accent as an escape character, so typing '.
gives a middle dot · and * gives a bullet • and 'x gives the multiplication
sign × and so on. I've included my latest script below if you want to download
AutoHotKey <http://www.autohotkey.com/download/> and try it out yourself.
I've found it most useful for using proper fractions like 1½, using proper
dimensions like 1024×768, using the em dash as you can see throughout this
email, and – my favorite – using a middle dot intead of a hyphen to ·
separate · items · on · a · line. I hope you find it useful.
; high-ASCII punctuation auto-correct
; by David Cortright
#HotString C Z * ?
; punctuation and math with no escape character
::''--::— ::--::– ::1//4::¼ ::1//2::½ ::3//4::¾ ::^0::º ::^1::¹ ::^2::² ::^3::³ ::^o::° ::^a::ª ::(C)::(c) ::(c)::(c) ::(R)::(r) ::(r)::(r) ::(tm)::™ ::(TM)::™ ::<<::« ::>>::» ::+-::± ::+'_::± ::...::…