Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer?

Posted by: Patrick Toomey

Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 06:20 AM

Can someone out there share with their secrets about how to insert the symbols for sharp, flat and natural into a word processing document. I work on an iMac MAC-OS platform and use MS Word. Recently I attempted to create a table for my own use showing the various keys, the degrees of the scale and a column of which sharps or flats were used/needed and the individual notes that were needed in a particular chord. I was shocked to discover that none of the symbol tables included in Word or anywhere else that I looked had a sharp, flat or natural symbol! How do y'all do that. I had no idea that these were not ASCII characters.

Patrick
Charlottesville, VA

PS: 21st century, men on the moon, iTunes, Netflix, our first Black president, and no way to write music symbols. Have we really evolved very far as a culture?
Posted by: Mati

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 06:37 AM

Those are unicode symbols with codes U+266D, U+266E and U+266F respectively. If Mac Os has a program called "character map" or something similar they should be there to be found. But beware, not every font will support thet characters.

http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/266d/index.htm
http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/266e/index.htm
http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/266f/index.htm

You can also always copy them from here: ♭♮♯and make a document from which you will copy these symbols to your texts.

It's quite possible there is a simplier way - but I'm not a Mac user unfortunately. I hope someone else will give a greater insight on using unicode symbols in MacOS.


My best!
M.
Posted by: Gyro

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 12:24 PM

The symbols on a regular keyboard are
sufficient for accidentals. Sharp
is #, flat is lower-case b, natural is the
letter name of the note with nothing
next to it, double sharp or double flat
is ##, bb. So A natural, sharp, flat,
double sharp, double flat are, respectively:
A, A#, Ab, A##, Abb.
Posted by: Mati

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 01:02 PM

Gyro, they are as natural as Ł is for pound and S is for dollar. They are just substitutes for when you have no access to ♭♮♯. They DO differ in looks. They are convenient in fast discussion, but not in typesetting.


M.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 01:12 PM

 Quote:
You can also always copy them from here: ♭ ♮ ♯
Worth highlighting. Just did (copy). Thanks. \:\)
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 01:34 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mati:
Gyro, they are as natural as Ł is for pound and S is for dollar. They are just substitutes for when you have no access to ♭♮♯. They DO differ in looks. They are convenient in fast discussion, but not in typesetting.
[/b]
I don't think any symbol exists for double sharp. I use "x" in a pinch, but it is rather confusing…
Posted by: Mati

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 01:50 PM

There is 𝄪 for double sharp and 𝄫 for double flat - but not many fonts support them. As we can all see, default system fonts don't.


M.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 02:00 PM

Mati, I see two squares.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 02:04 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Gyro:
The symbols on a regular keyboard are
sufficient for accidentals. Sharp
is #, flat is lower-case b, natural is the
letter name of the note with nothing
next to it, double sharp or double flat
is ##, bb. So A natural, sharp, flat,
double sharp, double flat are, respectively:
A, A#, Ab, A##, Abb. [/b]
Wow, who would ever have been able to figure that out on their own?

Steven
Posted by: rocket88

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 02:06 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Gyro:
natural is the letter name of the note with nothing
next to it. [/b]
If that's the case, how would you make an A natural that follows an A that has an accidental such as # before it in the same measure?

Simply putting an A as the second A would indicate that it also is sharped by the previous accidental. It would need a natural sign, or be referred to as a B double flat or G double sharp, both of which are clumsy, and likely not in the original score if one exists.
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 02:15 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Mati, I see two squares. [/b]
He just told you that you wouldn't see them. The font here doesn't support the symbols. ;\)
Posted by: keystring

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/16/08 02:19 PM

 Quote:
He just told you that you wouldn't see them. The font here doesn't support the symbols. ;\)
I'm slow on the uptake. "As you can see here" should have told me. Thanks.
Posted by: Patrick Toomey

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/17/08 11:03 PM

Howdy all,
Turns out there is a way to insert almost all of the various musical codes IF a person is using a Mac! I was able to successfully use all of the various symbols that I needed simply by clicking a mouse from what ever application I was running at the time. Here are some fo the symbols available:

𝄞 𝄢 𝄪 𝄐 𝄫 ♭ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♩ ♭ ♮ ♯

The fellow that told me how to do this is from Australia and he got back to me on an iMac forum. Here is his explanation.


Character Palette is your friend.
Go to System Preferences.
In the International preference pane, select the 'Input Menu' tab.
Ensure that 'Character Palette' is ticked and 'Show input menu in menu bar' is ticked.
Close System Preferences.
In the menu bar at the upper right of your screen you will see a symbol of a flag r, and this indicates default keyboard layout that, when clicked with the mouse, is a drop-down box.
Select 'Show Character Palette'.
View: Code Tables and the Unicode tab.
Find your musical symbols under Miscellaneous Symbols AND Musical Symbols (no idea why they are split).
Select each symbol you wish to use and, using the drop-down box (lower left), Add each symbol in turn to favorites.
Now, whenever you want to add a musical symbol to a Word document just launch the Character Palette and select Favorites to get to the desired symbol.
Alternatively, make a new Word document, or a Sticky Note, and put your musical symbols in there. When you need a symbol just open the document or note, double-click on the symbol and drag it into your Word document.
Posted by: Bryan P. Carney

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 11/21/08 03:32 AM

Because it wasn't mentioned, these special characters can by entered into any OS and its programs by the so-called Alt-codes.

On Windows boxes, these are entered by turning the number lock on and, with a numerical keypad - the square on the right of the KB, holding down the "Alt" key and entering a series of numbers. This number is simply the ASCII or Unicode designation for the symbol.

I have used Macs, PCs, Sun boxes, and all flavors of Unix and most systems accept the codes, assuming no hotkeys or additional functionality has supplanted the Alt-(x) character set function. Macs, additionally have stranger modifier keys which follow many schemes and none at all.

The most complete collection of Alt-codes I use is Alt Code Chart

Google "alt-codes" and "insert your Mac flavor" for the Mac's codes.

If you find yourself using particular special characters frequently, you can always reassign keys on your KB to them. Ask me for further details if needed.

HTH
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 08/29/09 12:26 AM

[deleted] Sorry for accidentally reviving an old topic!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 08/29/09 12:31 AM

You realize your response is 8 months late?
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 08/29/09 12:31 AM

Yeah, my forum view reverted to ascending sort. mad
Posted by: arpeggio52

Re: Symbols for sharp , flat and natural on a computer? - 01/19/10 01:08 PM

I realize that this response is quite a bit after the initial request for assistance for sharp and flat fonts. However, it is still timely for those who are currently in search of information and reading older threads.

One of the problems that I have encountered with special musical fonts and fonts using Alt codes is that they do not match the text in size and style that you a person may wish to use. In particular, the vertical spacing required by some special fonts may interfere with the fonts and images above and below the special font.

One approach that I have found to work well is to search the fonts that are already installed on your computer to see which ones give you the most satisfactory image for the musical symbols you are looking for, in particular, sharp and flat fonts.

The technique that I use is to type a small b in a Word document, increase the size of the font to about 30 to make its features clearly visible, highlight it and begin with the fonts at the top of your font list to observe what that b looks like in your font set. Once your letter is highlighted, simply select fonts to get the dropdown active and use your Down arrow to scroll down through your fonts and watch as the b changes with each font. I have found that quite a few fonts make a passable flat symbol out of a b.