Windows’ Character Map utility is helpful for finding and copying various special characters. If you frequently need to use special characters and symbols in your essays or other documents, this tool is a real time-saver. Better yet, you can pin it to the Quick Launch toolbar for even easier access.

In Windows 7, you simply need to click Start, start typing ‘character’ and when Character Map appears in the menu, drag it down to the taskbar.

For Windows XP users click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools. You’ll see Character Map in that menu. Right-click (yes, right-click) and hold the icon, then drag it down to the Quick Launch toolbar and release it. Choose Copy here from the menu that appears.

Win 7 Character Map

Note that an alternative option is to left-click the icon and drag it. Doing so would have moved the item out of the System Tools menu. This way, you have a copy of the shortcut in both places.

You can use the same steps for just about any program or Windows tool.