If you know the ASCII code, which is generally easy enough to look up, you can hold down ALT while typing in the code. For example, ALT+ 26 makes a right arrow ???.
Many are now using notebooks/netbooks without a dedicated numberpad (my last ASUS G2S was one such example)... ASCII code doesn't work off the top-set number keys. You can still use the Character Map, but quite so streamlined or time-efficient.
To use ALT+ASCII codes on a laptop, most laptops have a number pad in the regular keyboard that's activated by the Function+Num Lock key or some similar combination. Just don't forget to reset the function, especially if using someone else's laptop, or they may wonder why the J key is putting out ones, and the U is printing fours.
they are doing away with the num-pads on newer smaller laptops... no? mine is 2009 version and it doesn't have this option.
- Keyboard Shortcuts: