The (Unusual) Punctuation Solution

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Q: I occasionally write emails in Spanish and French. Is there an easy way to insert the proper characters in Gmail or an email client?

ToolkitInBody.jpgA: You could program your computer with different keyboard shortcuts or write all your emails in Word. But the easiest way that we've found to deal with this problem is CopyPasteCharacter.com. The site is simple, as you can see in the screenshot. Just click on the character you want and it gets copied to the clipboard. Hit paste in whatever you're working on and the symbol appears.

The site is also extremely useful if you've got a love for unusual punctuation marks like the interrobang (‽), the spork of the punctuation world . In Word, you have to set your font to Wingdings 2, then hit shift-6. With CopyPasteCharacter, you just click the interrobang and wham -- ‽ -- there it is.

It's simple. It's free. It sits nicely in your bookmark bar. Try it.

Tools mentioned in this entry:

More questions? View the complete Toolkit archive.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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