How to type Greek letter mu (micron symbol, etc.)

Here are summaries and links to discussions for Frequently Asked Questions.

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

Chris S.
Site Admin
Posts: 3531
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

How to type Greek letter mu (micron symbol, etc.)

Post by Chris S. »

Due to forum software, it's often difficult to type the Greek letter mu: μ. This of course is the symbol for "micron" (aka micrometer), and "micro" for other units, such as μF (microfarad). Here is an easy way that works.
  • Enter the following shown in red: μ (You can copy and paste--the red color and bold-face will not carry through to your post.)

    It will display as
    μ
ChrisR researched and disclosed this method here. I'm putting it in a FAQ to make it easier to find.

--Chris S.

ChrisR
Site Admin
Posts: 8561
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:58 am
Location: Near London, UK

Post by ChrisR »

Was it me? I use the "other" method :
Hold down "Alt" while typing 0181 on the numeric keypad.

Not possible in phones, Chromebooks, etc.
Don't know about Apples.
Chris R

Chris S.
Site Admin
Posts: 3531
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Chris S. »

ChrisR wrote:Was it me?
Yes, mate, it was you who published this successful and easy method. My FAQ copied the approach from your post. :D
ChrisR wrote:I use the "other" method :
Hold down "Alt" while typing 0181 on the numeric keypad.

Not possible in phones, Chromebooks, etc.
Don't know about Apples.
This method does not work on my Windows 10 computer. No idea why.

For this reason, I placed in the FAQ the method you documented that seems to always work. (At least until someone tells us otherwise.)

Any kudos go to you.

--Chris S.

ChrisR
Site Admin
Posts: 8561
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:58 am
Location: Near London, UK

Post by ChrisR »

How odd, I quite often use µ and a few others I've learned, but can only produce them using the Alt method:
° ± ² ³ «»¯¿

&#956 however comes out as &#956

They don't all work - in some places Alt+ 234 produces an Omega (for Ohms) character, but here it's Û
I also find that Alt 937 should work but that gives me ®
I can only get an Omega by switching to Symbol font.

Try Windows' Character Map - I have it on my Toolbar.
Picking the symbol shows you the Alt code.

There ae probably unicode etc settings, to be elucidated.
Chris R

rolsen
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 1:21 am
Location: Finland

Post by rolsen »

ChrisR wrote:How odd, I quite often use µ and a few others I've learned, but can only produce them using the Alt method:
° ± ² ³ «»¯¿

&#956 however comes out as &#956
You have to add semicolon after the number 6.
- Rane

Harald
Posts: 614
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:33 am
Location: Steinberg, Norway
Contact:

Post by Harald »

Just press alt+y on a Mac and you get µ :P
Kind Regards
Harald

Lier Fotoklubb / NSFF
AFIAP / CPS
BGF / GMV
http://www.500px.com/blender11

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21030
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Re: How to type Greek letter mu (micron symbol, etc.)

Post by rjlittlefield »

Chris S. wrote:
  • Enter the following shown in red: μ (You can copy and paste--the red color and bold-face will not carry through to your post.)

    It will display as
    ? [shown as a µ until Submitted as a quote]
There's a problem: that &-sequence ends up generating the kind of µ that the forum database cannot handle.

So although it works great for the original poster, anybody who quotes the post, either by copy/paste or by using the forum's "quote" button, will get the dreaded question mark after they submit. Even the original poster can get screwed up if they Edit their post, because then the μ will have gotten replaced by the wrong kind of µ, which will get turned into ? on the Submit of the edit.

On Windows, the safe and easy way to create a forum-compatible µ is to use the Windows Character map. Just click the character you want, then Select/Copy from the Character Map window and then paste into the forum post.

I often get µ by Alt-m on my keyboard, after setting the keyboard into mode United States - International. But some setup is required to make that mode available. And I have no idea what the Alt- codes are for other useful symbols like degrees or +- or copyright (that is, ° or ± or ©). So I'm thinking the Windows Character map is probably a better solution.

I assume there's something similar on Mac, but I haven't tried to track that down yet.

--Rik

Yawns
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

ChrisS.. ChrisR... both administrators :shock:
I Swear I did not notice it was 2 diferents persons until now.. I thought you were being cheeky and doing a funny monologue :D

anyway none of the methods worked in my Mac... (probably it's me who isn't working)
YAWNS _ (Y)et (A)nother (W)onderful (N)ewbie (S)hooting

Yawns
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

???????

just quickly changed my keyboard layout to Greek in the keyboard little icon in the top menu bar (on mac) and "m" returns ?

only takes a copule of clicks to change to Greek and return to Portuguese layout.
YAWNS _ (Y)et (A)nother (W)onderful (N)ewbie (S)hooting

Chris S.
Site Admin
Posts: 3531
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: How to type Greek letter mu (micron symbol, etc.)

Post by Chris S. »

rjlittlefield wrote:
Chris S. wrote:
  • Enter the following shown in red: μ (You can copy and paste--the red color and bold-face will not carry through to your post.)

    It will display as
    ? [shown as a µ until Submitted as a quote]
There's a problem: that &-sequence ends up generating the kind of µ that the forum database cannot handle.

So although it works great for the original poster, anybody who quotes the post, either by copy/paste or by using the forum's "quote" button, will get the dreaded question mark after they submit. Even the original poster can get screwed up if they Edit their post, because then the μ will have gotten replaced by the wrong kind of µ, which will get turned into ? on the Submit of the edit.

On Windows, the safe and easy way to create a forum-compatible µ is to use the Windows Character map. Just click the character you want, then Select/Copy from the Character Map window and then paste into the forum post.
Aaarrrgh!!

I was trying to put something here that people could copy and paste, rather than having to pull up the Windows Character map and search it. Also, when I search for "mu" using the Windows Character map, I get a non-working-here version.

So here goes another try with a different &-sequence, which worked just now in off-line testing, through repeated quotation:
  • Enter the following shown in red: µ (You can copy and paste--the red color and bold-face will not carry through to your post.)

    It will display as
    µ
Explanation--our software can handle the micro sign, but not the Greek letter mu:

µ (which apparently works) is an HTML Entity for Unicode Character U+00B5, called the "Micro Sign".

μ (which our forum corrupts) is an HTML Entity for Unicode Character U+03BC, called the "Greek Small Letter Mu".



Please try to break this approach. If it holds up, I'll eventually clean up this FAQ.

--Chris S.

Chris S.
Site Admin
Posts: 3531
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Chris S. »

Yawns wrote:ChrisS.. ChrisR... both administrators :shock:
I Swear I did not notice it was 2 diferents persons until now.. I thought you were being cheeky and doing a funny monologue :D
Good heavens! I wonder if there are others here who do not know that we are separate people? Glad you brought this to our attention. (BTW, avoidance of confusion is why I try to always sign "Chris S." and not just "Chris."

I had a university professor who went by two names: Dr. Fee and Mr. Foe. Dr. Fee wore regular ties, had his Ph.D., and was pleasant; Mr. Foe wore bolo ties, did not have his Ph.D., and was angry. Depending on what kind of tie he was wearing, you knew how to address him and what personality to expect. Utterly brilliant fellow, from whom I learned a lot. And he wasn't crazy--it was a teaching/research method.

But I promise ChrisR and I aren't doing anything of this sort. I don't even know what kind of ties he wears.

--Chris S.

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21030
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Re: How to type Greek letter mu (micron symbol, etc.)

Post by rjlittlefield »

With luck, I just now fixed the underlying problem, by converting the database character set.

Let's see if the quote works now.
Chris S. wrote:Due to forum software, it's often difficult to type the Greek letter mu: μ. This of course is the symbol for "micron" (aka micrometer), and "micro" for other units, such as μF (microfarad). Here is an easy way that works.
  • Enter the following shown in red: μ (You can copy and paste--the red color and bold-face will not carry through to your post.)

    It will display as
    μ
ChrisR researched and disclosed this method here. I'm putting it in a FAQ to make it easier to find.

--Chris S.
OK, that seems to work.

Now we just have to wait to see what else the change breaks. Murphy's Law and all that...

--Rik

mawyatt
Posts: 2479
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:54 pm
Location: Clearwater

Post by mawyatt »

Rik,

Initally works on my Mac.

μ

Best,


Copy and paste.

Initally works on my Mac.

μ


Best,
Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21030
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Post by rjlittlefield »

Again, just in case anybody else is currently running tests:

With luck, I just now fixed the underlying problem, by converting the database character set.

Now we just have to wait to see what else the change breaks. Murphy's Law and all that...

--Rik

Pau
Site Admin
Posts: 5164
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:57 am
Location: Valencia, Spain

Post by Pau »

For me both methods are working.

Now, what about other useful symbols like infinite, alpha....? :twisted:

(Admin edit: See reply on next page -- Rik)
Pau

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic