Alt codes are shortcuts that allow Windows 8.1 users to type special characters by holding down the "Alt" key and entering a series of numbers. There are hundreds of alt codes in Windows 8.1, which users can look up by accessing the Windows Character Map.
To view the Character Map, enter the Start screen and type "Character Map" into the search bar. Find the desired character in the map and click on it; the alt code is displayed in the bottom-right corner of the window. The codes are written as "Alt+" followed by the numerical sequence. For example, the code for "è" is Alt+0232, and the code for "©" is Alt+0169.
To enter a specific alt code, hold down the alt key. While holding the key down, enter the four-digit code that follows the "+" symbol. After hitting the keys in the correct order, release the alt key to make the character appear. The user must use the rectangular number pad to enter the numbers rather than the row of numbers above the standard keyboard.
Not every Windows character has an associated alt code. If there is no code available for a certain character, users can click Select and Copy with the character highlighted in the Character Map to copy the character to the Windows clipboard.