BabelMap is a free character map application for Microsoft's Windows operating system that enables users to browser and copy any of the 144,000 special characters that it contains.
The program may be useful to users who need to write special characters but don't know how to do that using other means. While there are options, e.g. using copy and paste if the desired character is found on a site or in a document, or using Alt-codes, it may be faster to use a program like BabelMap for that especially if different characters are needed regularly.
Tip: we reviewed several programs with similar functionality in the past, among them WinCompose, KbdKaz 500, and Extra Keys. The trusted Character Map application that is included in Windows may also be useful.
The program can be run right after its archive has been extracted to the local system. BabelMap uses tabs to sort characters into different groups.
One of the issues here is that the program uses abbreviations for tab titles and that most users will probably have difficulties finding the right tab that is holding the characters that they want to use.
The program supports a simple find option; all it takes is to type a character and hit F2 to locate it and look up its properties. While that is useful to look up information, it does not work if you cannot type or paste a character.
The built-in advanced search may be helpful in this regard as you may use it to find characters based on their name, Unicode properties, aliases and other information.
The character map displays the available characters. You may select any character and use the copy button at the bottom or Ctrl-C to copy the character to the Clipboard. The display of characters can be switched to hex, decimal, HTML, and UCN with the click the mouse to copy these instead.
The application displays information when a character is selected; this includes properties and other information such as its Unicode name and encoding information.
A character lookup tool is also provided for finding Han, Yi, and Tangut characters. Users who use Emoji regularly may find the Emoji editor useful as it lists all Unicode-defined Emoji and includes options to copy them just like any other character displayed by the application.
The program supports a bookmarking system to access information more quickly.
BabelMap is a well-designed application to look-up, browse, and copy special characters. While it may be overkill for Windows users who need to copy one or two characters per year, it could be very useful to users who need the functionality regularly.
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