Windows

Create your own special characters in Windows XP


If you've ever wanted to create your own font or maybe just a special character -- for example, a character showing your initials for when you wish to approve documents with your "signature" -- you can easily create your own special characters using a hidden Windows XP tool called the Private Character Editor. Here's how:

  1. Press [Windows]R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type eudcedit in the Open text box and click OK.
  3. When the Private Character Editor launches, you'll see the Select Code dialog box. Click OK.
  4. A user interface that looks and works very much like Paint will appear. From this, you may use standard tools to create your characters.
  5. When you finish, select the Save Character command on the Edit menu.

Once you save your new character, you can access it using the Character Map tool. Here's how:

  1. Press [Windows]R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type charmap in the Open text box and click OK.
  3. When the Character Map appears, select the Font drop-down list and select All Fonts (Private Characters).
  4. Select your character, click the Select button, and then click the Copy button.

You can now paste your font character in any document that you want.

Miss a Windows XP tip?

Check out the Windows XP archive, and get more hands-on Windows XP tips.

Stay on top of the latest XP tips and tricks with our free Windows XP newsletter, delivered each Thursday. Automatically sign up today!

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

55 comments
cotemathieu
cotemathieu

hi I?m trying to learn Thai and my teacher is using some special character for the different sound. I tried the eudcedit command and it work except that it?s creating an extra space before and after the character. Is there a wait to remove those extra blank. Thank you

Joe4Teching
Joe4Teching

I hit some keys together by accident & now on certain sites when I type, nothing but special characters comes out. For example: z = ? a = ? q = ? I don't know what I did wrong & I don't know how to make it right other than close IE or restart XP. Anybody?

varun
varun

but how to increase the font size???,,,

Sir Furious
Sir Furious

Is there a program i could use to do this?

sonoffar
sonoffar

Hats off to Greg. I think most seem to be missing the beauty, and the real point of this XP tip. Greg has provided a tip that will allow you to create a unique character for, lets say a signet of your approval for an interoffice memo or directive. If your created character cannot be seen using any computer but your own you have in fact created your own personal, 'back door'. It's the; Yes I approved this directive but you can't prove it. signet gambit. Well done Greg

DebiR
DebiR

Why is it hidden?

kohl
kohl

Because special fonts often (usually?) do not reside on other machines, I believe you are best to generate a graphic and use that if you can.

mikifin
mikifin

You can also create a special "scratch" sheet for characters you use often in a pinch to make it easier to copy and paste.

00catera
00catera

Is there a way to create (ALT + ?)shortcut for your new special character?

blarman
blarman

The article is misleading. A font is an entire character set that maps a set of glyphs (characters) to the standard set of ASCII designations. This tool creates special characters without mapping them. Having worked for a company that specialized in building fonts for Hewlett-Packard, I would ask that you get your nomenclature correct. To create a real font, you need a real tool such as Fontographer.

adennya
adennya

OK, after you've created one of these characters for testing how do you delete it?

embrose
embrose

I like the how to, extremely useful. Thanx

ronnymfho
ronnymfho

When I run the eudcedit, the "paint-like" interface pp up but immediately close itself. I got the same result for my 3 WinXP SP2 computers(WinXP Pro Traditional Chinese, WinXP Pro English and WinXP Home Traditional Chinese).

granitech
granitech

This is a pretty cool li'l trick. I was able to do it in both XP and Vista. Marvinator makes a good point though in that if using it in email, if font not installed on the other end, it comes up blank.

marvinator2003
marvinator2003

Oh yeah, you can create a character, and make it look however you want; Initials, Characters, Cartoons - whatever. The problem is that once the character is attached to the document, unless those who RECEIVE the document have the same character font set installed on their computer they will only see a blank square.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Could be interesting in some cases but as previously mentioned, how to include it on another PC. You create a document in Word and include a few of these characters and then send it to a friend. They won't get the characters but whatever Word chooses in a font substitution. Probably would be simpler in creating the image you want in Paint [or whatever] and save it. Then import the image into the application.

sbw07
sbw07

This works in Vista too.

clgan333
clgan333

Whenever we created a lot of special character, especially the Chinese Character, how do we copy it to other PC? Looking eagerly for the solution

marvinator2003
marvinator2003

Yes, I also agree as this would at least move with the document in question. The document can also be locked so that the graphic cannot be removed or changed.

mirossmac2
mirossmac2

1. even if your new character is just 4 pixels thick, Windows allots it the maximum width. 2. There seems to be an obligatory after it. But Word will embolden and italicize the character, so it has some TrueType attributes.

seanferd
seanferd

character map will tell you the code

Mond0
Mond0

C:\WINDOWS\Fonts

DuhGreek
DuhGreek

I know that in MS Word and Powerpoint, you can embed fonts so that they are available for the document in which they are embedded. (No such option for Excel.) Select "Tools"/"Options", select the "Save" tab, check "Embed True Type fonts". (There may be further options depending on your version.) I know that this works for Word and PP. I would think that it would work for these characters, but I haven?t tested to be sure.

jwebfoot2togo
jwebfoot2togo

How'd you do it? I've tried several times and ways. When I go into fonts drop down list in word the All Fonts box is grayed out. And I use select - copy in character map and get some asian ideograph. Every thing else seems to go well. Am I missing something

jwebfoot2togo
jwebfoot2togo

Additional information: there seems to be a problem with linking to the All Fonts file in that it is grayed out in the font drop down list.

jwebfoot2togo
jwebfoot2togo

I followed the authors directions I highlighted the character pushed select button and then the copy key. Pasted into a word document and got the ideograph instead.

marvinator2003
marvinator2003

Both files are located in the c:\Windows\Fonts Directory, but are not listed in the fonts. They are: EUDC.EUF EUDC.TTE These are the End User created characters. However, it should be noted that if you move these to a new machine, any characters created on THAT machine will be lost. In addition, as suggested by the original article, one person's "Initials" would be available to anyone with this file, thus giving everyone in the office your 'initials' for authorization. Hardly secure.

scratchbaker
scratchbaker

Per http://www.syschat.com/windows-xp-hidden-apps-3122.html, a hidden file called eudcedit.exe is a private character editor. I would guess that is where your special characters are stored. Try finding that file on your other PC and rename it (e.g. eudcedit.exe.old), then copy and transfer the eudcedit.exe file from the PC with your special characters to the other PC. Hope this works. Let us know.

mirossmac2
mirossmac2

go back into eudcedit, select the character, select the black pixels in the raster, press DEL! That will delete the character only. Use MondO's way to delete the entire "font"

ronnymfho
ronnymfho

I am quite confident that my PCs are free of virus and malware becasue they are protected with: 1. NAV / AVG (full system scan several days ago) 2. Spybot (system scan several days ago) 3. NIS / Comodo / PCTools firewall pro from the very begining AND with very frequent update. Anyway, I took your advice and scan one PC with online McAfee and another PC with Symantec. No problem found and eudcedit still not work.

marvinator2003
marvinator2003

This is a special character, and NOT a true type font, so it does not work as you describe. .

mirossmac2
mirossmac2

I just tried it and it doesn't work. I had a piece of text with a TTF font (runic script) unique to one of my computers and a character created with eudcedit, then saved a Word file with both (plus universally availble fonts) to a usb-stick and carried it to another computer. The embedded runic script came up even though it was not in the fonts on the 2nd machine, but the eudcedit character showed as a hollow square. Does anyone know of a cheap or open source TTF font editor-creator?

neil.satra+tr
neil.satra+tr

got the same problem, just tinkered around and figured the answer...link it to a font first, from the file menu(i linked to calibri)...then follow the normal process, copy it into the text field(i was using word...) and then select the chinese symbol and change the font to the one u linked it to, like calibri, and voila...

amandi8
amandi8

I just tried it on my vista machine for the first time following the steps in this article and it worked fine for me as well. Could be there is something corrupt in your vista? Good luck!

seanferd
seanferd

Private something. It would not be stored in the executable.

mirossmac2
mirossmac2

I was giving the way to delete an individual characters (in response to addenya). That's all.

jwebfoot2togo
jwebfoot2togo

Why would I want to delete the character I'm trying to create? The problem seems to be the linking of the All Fonts file to the drop down list. And if this is the dumb way what is the smart way to create a special character?

fosm
fosm

I have the same problem as ronnymfho. Did you manage to resolve the problem?

ronnymfho
ronnymfho

Tried Revo Uninstaller and scanned my computer. Removed some left behind stuffs. Eudcedit behaves the same(the window pops up and immediately goes away). I guess it is not related to Revo. Am I correct?

Mond0
Mond0

I think that I'd try the old uninstall/reinstall route. You might want to use something other than Windows Add/Remove for this, since it's probably corrupted and most likely wont remove cleanly. In another post, Sleepin'dawg told us about [url=http://www.revouninstaller.com/][b][u]Revo Uninstaller[/u][/b][/url] and C-net gives it 5 stars. It looks good and I've d/l it, myself. Here's a quote from their web site: "[i]With its advanced and fast algorithm, Revo Uninstaller analyzes an application's data before uninstall and scans after you uninstall an application. After the program's regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over on your computer. Even if you have a broken installation, Revo Uninstaller scans for an application's data on your hard disk drives and in the Windows registry and shows all found files, folders and registry keys so you can delete them.[/i]"

igorok
igorok

Just because a doc with a special char (or font) converted to pdf shows up on your machine does not mean that it will show up if you send that pdf doc to someone else. Acrobat files are not free-standing by default -- i.e., they will link to your local font files. When viewing a pdf doc, there is a setting in Acrobat to either use or not-use local fonts. You need to set it for not-use local fonts, and if the special char then shows up you are probably OK. Also, there is a setting in Acrobat to embed local fonts when creating/converting a file. If this is to work in an Adobe file then my hunch is that you have to turn embed on for this particular "font", though whether the special char is listed as a "font" in the Adobe list, I dunno. YMMV.

mirossmac2
mirossmac2

I just tried converting a Word document with an eudcedit character into pdf format. It works there, so you could email a file/document in that format and have it readable at the other end

Timbo Zimbabwe
Timbo Zimbabwe

"Could be there is something corrupt in your vista?" Yes, it's called Microsoft. ;)

bfpower
bfpower

We all knew that from the get-go!!!

Editor's Picks