When I did some work for a local non-profit, people were amazed and astounded by all the cool little check boxes I could put into the forms I created. No, I don't have an innate ability to draw teeny tiny pictures, but I do know about the special characters you can access in Windows. For example, everyone knows how to type a dollar sign because it's on the keyboard. But how do you type a cent sign?
The answer is you hold down the Alt key and type 0162 on the numeric keypad. Because this process isn't terribly intuitive and there's no way any of us could remember all those numbers, the trick to adding special characters is to use the Windows Character Map program. To find out the keyboard combinations for useful symbols, click the Start button and choose Programs|Accessories|System Tools|Character Map. (If you don't see Character Map listed, you may not have installed it when you installed Windows.)
In the Character Map, you can use the Font drop-down to see what symbols are available in all those special "weird" fonts that come with Windows, like Wingdings. For example, the boxes that wowed my cohorts actually is the letter "q" in the Wingdings font. To use the Character Map, select a font and click on the symbol to see a larger view of it. If you decide that it is the character you want to use, click the Select button, then the Copy button. Then go to whatever program you were using and choose Edit|Paste. (If you use Microsoft Word, the Character Map may look somewhat familiar because it's virtually the same thing you see when you choose Insert|Symbol.)
If you don't find the Character Map program in your Start menu, you can install it. You need to have your Windows CD-ROM in the drive. Then choose Start|Settings|Control Panel and click Add/Remove Programs. Click the Windows Setup tab and wait while Windows thinks. When it's done, scroll down to System Tools and double-click it. A window appears with a list of optional tools. Click to add a checkmark in front of Character Map. Click OK twice and the Character Map will be installed from your CD.
And now you can find all those unusual characters quickly and easily