Accessing graphic characters

Products are shipped with support for one or more coded character sets. When a coded character set is active, in theory one may enter and display all of its graphic characters. Unfortunately, some products offer the user no way to access characters that were not immediately useful to the product developers.


Guideline F4

Provide access to all the graphic characters in the active coded character set.

Example: The ISO/IEC 8859-1 international standard, 8-Bit Single-Byte Coded Graphic Character Set, contains all the Western European national characters. This Latin 1 character set can address the computational needs of users in Western Europe, Canada, and the USA. The English version of your product may use only a subset of the total characters in these coded character sets, but you must support the input, output, and processing of all the characters in the Latin 1 set.

Example: Not all characters in the Latin 1 character set are available on the keyboard. On Windows platforms, holding down the (left) "Alt" key while typing decimal digits using the numeric keypad on the keyboard can be used as an alternative method of entering characters. To enter the Yen Sign (which has code 165 in decimal) using this ALT+0nnn method, you would press the left Alt key down, type 0165 and then release Alt.