Find Pi fonts – Font Technology

The characters in a pictogram font cannot be accessed via the keyboard - how can I find them?

Unlike the situation you were familiar with for older pictogram fonts in the Postscript and TrueType formats, you can no longer “type” the pictograms in modern fonts, in other words, you cannot use them by means of your keyboard keys.

Like in all current fonts, the characters in pictogram fonts are assigned according to the so-called Unicode Table*. This ensures that, if you type an “a”, an “a” will actually appear – and what is much more important, when changing the character font or transferring from texts, problems do not arise and cause the representation of incorrect characters.

On the other hand, however, this means that pictograms cannot be assigned to the positions for letters. There are specific positions in the Unicode for these characters, which, however, cannot be accessed via the keyboard.

In order to be able to use such pictograms in your texts, you have to search for the symbols in the character map and insert them from there. In layout programs, such as InDesign, the program provides you with the glyph table. In Office programs, such as Word, the extended symbol view, however, does not always display all the pictograms and so you have to fall back on the overviews in the operating system (MacOS: Font Management; Windows: Character Map). A somewhat more convenient way of accessing all the characters, including the pictograms, is to use the font data in FontExplorer X.

A little hint: Many normal text fonts are provided with some attractive pictograms by the designers. It is worthwhile to cast a glance at the character map for these fonts as well, in order to find the symbols and use them in your layouts.

You can search for the appropriate symbol in the FontExplorer X character overview, copy and paste it in the appropriate position in your text.

Layout programs, such as Adobe InDesign, offer their own glyph table, from which you can directly select and insert all the pictograms.
*) If you have a particular interest in the Unicode character mapping, take a look at the web site.