Curated list of awesome lists
Awesome Code Points
This is a curated list of characters in Unicode, that have interesting (and
maybe not widely known) features or are awesome in some other way.
Table of Contents
Standalone code points
Code points that affect others
Breaking and Gluing other characters
Record holders and extremes
Other Lists of Code Points
Standalone Code Points
The code points of the Unicode blocks Box
Drawing (U+2500 to U+257F) and Block
Elements (U+2580 to U+259F) cover
most of your monospace command-line visualization needs.
U+2E2E REVERSED QUESTION MARK - the “irony
mark” to express irony/sarcasm. A useful character⸮
U+DFFF - surrogate code points. They are
only reserved to ease UTF-16
U+FEFF ZERO WIDTH NO-BREAK SPACE - it’s name
suggests, that it can be used like U+2060 WORD JOINER. And in fact the
latter was introduced to inherit its semantics. This is because U+FEFF had
become a special beacon called the byte order
mark, that was placed on
the beginning of some UTF-8 files. In complying software (including many
text editors) this character is stripped from the start of a file and
handled as metadata. In non-complying software (like the PHP interpreter)
this leads to all sorts of fun behaviour.
U+FFFD REPLACEMENT CHARACTER - when a
character cannot be displayed (e.g., decoding an erroneous UTF-8 sequency),
this code point steps into the breach.
U+1D455 is missing. It would be an italic
small “h”. It was not encoded, because it would be identical to the Planck
constant ℎ (U+210E).
U+FF03 FULLWIDTH NUMBER SIGN - it is the
＃. Sites like Twitter accept it as equivalent to the
Code Points that Affect Others
U+202E - change the text direction.
U+FE0E VARIATION SELECTOR-15 - force
black-&-white emoji. If this code point follows an emoji, an explicit
monochrome rendering of the emoji is requested (if the client supports it).
U+FE0F VARIATION SELECTOR-16 - force
colorful emoji. If this code point follows an emoji, an explicit colorful
rendering of the emoji is requested (if the client supports it).
Diacritics and combining marks: There is a host of
characters, that add
to the characters before. Those are called Combining Marks. Unicode
provides a handy FAQ on the
details, but in a nutshell: If you add one after a character, it is placed
on top of that previous one. So,
a + ̊ = å. This may lead to all kinds
of funny problems, because for some combinations there are pre-composed
characters. Our little
å here can also be encoded as U+00E5. You might
note, that while this has a length of one character, the combination of
and combining ring has a length of two characters.
Of course, one can also do fun things with those characters like
this answer on StackOverflow.
The Regional Indicator Symbols
U+1F1E6 to U+1F1FF resemble the 26 latin characters. They are used to
create flag emoji. Since the Unicode consortium didn’t feel like getting on
board with international politics, the solution to flags is to combine
these 26 characters to the respective ISO code for a country. Examples:
||Emoji (if supported)
||U+1F1FA + U+1F1F8
||U+1F1E9 + U+1F1EA
||U+1F1E8 + U+1F1F3
Skin color of emoji: There are five code points, that control the skin color
of emoji, U+1F3FB to U+1F3FF.
They are called “Emoji Modifier Fitzpatrick Type” 1 to 6, with 1 the palest
and 6 the darkest. If one of these characters follows an emoji, that emoji
is meant to be rendered in the appropriate skin color of the Fitzpatrick
scale. If no such
modifier is added, the skin tone should be unnatural, e. g., bright yellow.
Fun fact: Since the Fitzpatrick modifiers are normal code points, emoji
with such skin colors have the length 2, which Twitter users noticed first.
Here is a comparison chart directly from the
||EMOJI MODIFIER FITZPATRICK TYPE-1-2
||EMOJI MODIFIER FITZPATRICK TYPE-3
||EMOJI MODIFIER FITZPATRICK TYPE-4
||EMOJI MODIFIER FITZPATRICK TYPE-5
||EMOJI MODIFIER FITZPATRICK TYPE-6
Breaking and Gluing other characters
U+00A0 NO-BREAK SPACE - force adjacent
characters to stick together. Well known as
U+00AD SOFT HYPHEN - (in HTML:
like ZERO WIDTH SPACE, but show a hyphen if (and only if) a break occurs.
U+200B ZERO WIDTH SPACE - the inverse to
U+00A0: create no space, but allow word breaking.
U+200D ZERO WIDTH JOINER - force adjacent
characters to be joined together (e.g., arabic characters or supported
emoji). Apple uses this to compose some emoji like different families.
U+2060 WORD JOINER - the same as
U+00A0, but completely invisible. Good for writing
@font-face on Twitter.
For better comparison of which code point has which effect, consult this
Smashing Magazine featured a comprehensive
article on the
different types of whitespace.
Record Holders and Extremes
U+0000 <control> - first code point.
U+10FFFF (non-character) - last code
point. The whole rest of its plane apart from U+10FFFE, the code points
in the 0x10000-0x10FFFD range, are private use characters, guaranteed to
be never filled by a future Unicode standard.
U+1F402 OX - shortest name.
- U+1FBA8 BOX DRAWINGS LIGHT DIAGONAL UPPER CENTRE TO MIDDLE LEFT AND MIDDLE RIGHT TO LOWER CENTRE
U+1FBA9 BOX DRAWINGS LIGHT DIAGONAL UPPER CENTRE TO MIDDLE RIGHT AND MIDDLE LEFT TO LOWER CENTRE - longest name: 88
U+FDFA ARABIC LIGATURE SALLALLAHOU ALAYHE
WASALLAM - longest decomposition form: 18 characters.
U+16B61 - code points that represent the
highest “single-digit” number. In both cases that’s 1,000,000,000,000, a
U+0F33 TIBETAN DIGIT HALF ZERO - code point that
represents the lowest “single-digit” number and at the same time the
only negative one, -½.
- The trophy for most useless code points goes to
U+0099. These so-called C1 control
characters are more or less unspecified. They got into Unicode, because
they were present in the very first version of what should later become ISO
10646, the ISO-standardized version of Unicode. They were meant to be part
of an upgrade to ISO
never came to be.
- A close second place in this regard goes to the CJK unified ideographs
彁. These so-called “ghost characters”
came to Unicode via the Japanese JIS standard, where they were added, because
they were mis-read or misinterpreted from other signs, when JIS was compiled
from original printed text sources.
U+006F LATIN SMALL LETTER O - leads the list
of characters with confusable shapes. Of all the possible mappings in the
list of confusable
characters, the small “o”
leads with a whopping 73 entries of similar looking glyphs, followed by
U+006C LATIN SMALL LETTER L with 70
U+1F4C0 DVD - only code point name without any vowel (source)
U+1680 OGHAM SPACE MARK - a space that looks
like a dash. Great to bring programmers close to madness:
1 + 2 === 3.
U+037E GREEK QUESTION MARK - a look-alike to
the semicolon. Also a fun way to annoy developers.
U+1DD2 COMBINING US ABOVE - this is the most
romantic code point.
U+F8FF PRIVATE USE CODEPOINT - this private
use code point is rendered as Apple logo on many Apple devices.
U+1F574 MAN IN BUSINESS SUIT LEVITATING -
A rather curious character, that only made it into Unicode for its
appearance in the Webdings font (for reasons of backwards compatibility).
U+1F596 RAISED HAND WITH PART BETWEEN
MIDDLE AND RING FINGERS - the Vulcan salute. Live long and prosper!
U+1F918 SIGN OF THE HORNS - Rock on!
U+2800 BRAILLE PATTERN BLANK - A Braille pattern that has zero of its six or eight dots filled in. According to the standard: “* while this character is imaged as a fixed-width blank in many fonts, it does not act as a space” Essentially it is rendered as white-space, but since it is designated as not white-space it isn't matched by white-space-validating regular expressions. This can be used to bypass all kinds of validation that disallows or trims white-space.
For plain-text gaming, Unicode is well equipped with several complete sets:
Other Lists of Code Points
Contributing Your Code Points
See the contribution guide for details.
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the license file for details.