Applet to bypass Character Map for common symbols

I am an Australian who is currently working in Europe, and I brought my non-European laptop with me. This has caused a problem for me: I do not have a euro (€) key on my keyboard, and as it is a laptop I cannot use Alt combinations to enter this symbol. This means that if I want to use a euro symbol I have to open Character Map and copy it, or copy it from an existing document. This started pissing me off, so I decided to do something about it.

I have written a small system tray applet whose primary function is to copy the euro symbol into the clipboard with a single click. It did not take long to create and I learned a little bit along the way. The applet implements a system-wide hotkey to copy the euro symbol (Alt-4). Then I had an idea, at my old office I had, printed out, a small table with the keystroke codes for several different symbols, which I stuck to my monitor. Why not replicate this functionality in the applet? So I added support for:

  • € – euro
  • £ – UK pound
  • é – e acute
  • © – copyright
  • ® – registered trademark
  • ™ – trademark
  • ° – degrees
  • … – ellipsis (note that this is a single character, and is the ‘right way’ to do it)

The applet (called Pinkjoint.Euro) is written in C# and requires .net Framework 1.1, and has only been (vaguely) tested on Windows XP. Maybe it will work on other flavours of Windows, perhaps you can tell me in the comments below.

Pinkjoint.Euro can be downloaded here. It runs in the System tray and has no configuration options or installer. Just extract the file to a folder of your choice and run. You can drag it to your startup folder if you want to always have it available (and who wouldn’t).