Unicode input in lyrics on windows

Revised question: How do I enter Unicode characters directly into the lyric popover? (Note that unicode characters are different than alt-nnnn characters).

I’m doing the usual xxxx+alt+x to enter a unicode character (US Intl keyboard) in my lyrics. Nothing happens. Is it possible to enter unicode in the lyrics box and if so, how do I enter them? (I want to enter a lower case u with a breve diacritic). I know I can go to something like wordpad, type in the lyrics then cut/paste but I’d rather do it all in Dorico if possible.

If I type ALT+0169 into a text box, I get the expected copyright symbol. I don’t use a prefix; I just type ALT+[the four digit code for the desired character]. I have never tried the format you suggest, but what I have seems to work.

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I’m not a Windows user, but ISTR Alt+nnnn works only with a numeric keypad. Doing a little research, I find that the nnnn Alt+X method is specific to MS Word.

Do you perhaps have a function key that gives you a numPad on 789-UIO-JKL-M? If not, I think you’re stuck with having to use a separate app. Anyone else have better advice?

If you want to enter ŭ into the lyrics popover, press Windows-key and period to open the emoji popup, click on the Omega sign at the top of the popup to obtain symbols, click on the C-cedilla at the bottom to obtain Latin symbols, scroll down to the letter U and click on ŭ. Then close the popup.

ALT+xxxx only works for some characters, not the u-breve (and I have a numeric keypad). The Alt-X method works with various windows software, not just MS word and not just those produced by Microsoft (but yes, not all windows software accepts unicode input). I know about the emoji popup.

I know Mac users have a unicode input method that other posts in the forum seem to suggest work just fine in Dorico but I’m not sure? I’m editing my original post to ask this question: How do I enter Unicode symbols directly into the lyrics popover?

If you are comfortable with modifying the registry, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method, add a new value of type REG_SZ named EnableHexNumpad if it does not already exist, set its value to 1 and reboot your computer. You can now enter Unicode characters into the lyrics popover using this method:

  1. Press and hold down the Alt key.
  2. Press the + (plus) key on the numeric keypad.
  3. Type the hexadecimal Unicode value.
  4. Release the Alt key.

I have just tested this on Windows 10 and 11 and it works for me.

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It’s not a solution for all Unicode symbols but by far the easiest and quickest way to enter characters like ŭ in Dorico (if you don’t know the code from memory or can’t enter a hexadecimal code) is to install Microsoft PowerToys and turn on Quick Accent.

In your case you would hold down u, press one of the activation keys (the defaults are Left, Right or Space), and use the activation key again to cycle through the options in the menu that pops up. It’s like holding to choose an alternative character from an on-screen keyboard on a phone, and there’s minimal interruption to typing.

I like the EnableHexNumpad option. For most of my needs the available diacritics on the US international keyboard will do. I recently had a short piece in the Taiwan language in Latin characters. There were a few diacritics I’d never run across before. The most challenging being the lower case ‘o’ with a straight vertical line above it. The only way to enter it is to use combining unicode characters. (Enter the letter then U+030D). There was also a superscript letter n in small caps placed at the end of some words.

I think my best solution is to keep a list of unicode characters and/or codes in a file. I’ll enter the lyrics in a text editor then copy/paste into Dorico or use the enablehexnumpad method.

Thanks for all the ideas.

The EnableHexNumpad trick mentioned above works great. However, I’m finding that combining characters ( “o +U030D”) shows the vertical line to the right of the lowercase o rather than centered above it.

Unfortunately, whether separately entered o and ¯ are displayed as one character may depend on the font. In the meantime, ō has its own Unicode codepoint U+014D.

@JAMES_GILBERT was talking about the U+030D Combining Vertical Line.

Oops, misread, sorry

Instead of having to remember and type in thousands of possible Unicode values, it’s much easier to use a dedicated glyph browser that pastes them into your text, like PopChar:

It works perfectly for adding stuff to popovers. Mac version available, too.

As @PjotrB suggested, whether separately entered o and the vertical line U+030D are displayed as one character depends on the font, and it seems that Dorico’s default lyrics font Academico does not handle this combining character correctly. Choosing a different font for lyrics like Arial or Times New Roman will handle it correctly.

The point about Quick Accent in PowerToys is that (as long the language one’s using is supported) there’s no need to move from a popover at all. If I press a + space or one of the arrow keys, I’m offered áàäâăåαāαąȧãæ.

Interesting! In what language or context is o̍ used?

Don’t you dare…! :face_vomiting: :rofl:


I only have to worry about 10, so far. I’ll definitely have to check into PopChar.

Romanized Taiwanese. (Sorry, I don’t remember the specific name of the language). Until last week I didn’t know there was a Latin version of Chinese languages. I’m not sure what details I can share on a public forum other than to say I’m digitizing a number of songs with East Asian and English lyrics.

Thanks everyone for the help.

Nice. A fancy version and easier to use version of character map that comes with Windows.

Everything I’m doing gets exported into musicxml and into another product. It handles the o with the vertical line just fine.

I figured as much. I don’t think I’ll switch to Arial as what it looks like in Dorico is not as critical as I thought, so long as the musicxml export handles it, were’ good.

Thanks! Based on searching for it in Wikipedia, my first guess would have been somewhere in southeast Asia. Apparently it’s a marker for the 8th tone in those languages.