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UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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12.9 Special Characters

This subsection lists the following special characters:

  • Characters that reside on the standard fonts

  • Miscellaneous characters

  • Bracket building symbols

  • Mathematics symbols

  • Greek characters

The characters in the first table below are available on the standard fonts. The characters in the remaining tables are available only on the special font.

Table 12.1: On the Standard Fonts
Char Input Character Name
' ' Close quote
` ` Open quote
 - \(em 3\4 em dash
- - Hyphen or
- \(hy Hyphen
- \- Minus in current font
· \(bu Bullet
 \(sq Square
_ \(ru Rule
¼ \(14 1/4
½ \(12 1/2
¾ \(34 3/4
fi \(fi fi ligature
fl \(fl fl ligature
ff \(ff ff ligature
ffi \(Fi ffi ligature
ffl \(Fl ffl ligature
° \(de Degree
[dagger] \(dg Dagger
' \(fm Foot mark
¢ \(ct Cent sign
® \(rg Registered
© \(co Copyright
Table 12.2: Miscellaneous Characters
Char Input Character Name
§ \(sc Section
´ \(aa Acute accent
` \(ga Grave accent
_ \(ul Underrule
-> \(-> Right arrow
<- \(<- Left arrow
-^ \(ua Up arrow
-v \(da Down arrow
| \(br Box rule
[dbldag] \(dd Double dagger
[rhand] \(rh Right hand
[lhand] \(lh Left hand
[circle] \(ci Circle
(+) \(vs Visible space indicator (ditroff only)
Table 12.3: Bracket Building Symbols
Char Input Character Name
[ltbcb] \(lt Left top of big curly bracket
[lcbcb] \(lk Left center of big curly bracket
[lbbcb] \(lb Left bottom of big curly bracket
[rtbcb] \(rt Right top of big curly bracket
[rcbcb] \(rk Right center of big curly bracket
[rbbcb] \(rb Right bottom of big curly bracket
[ \(lc Left ceiling (left top) of big square bracket
| \(bv Bold vertical
[ \(lf Left floor left bottom of big square bracket
] \(rc Right ceiling (right top) of big square bracket
] \(rf Right floor (right bottom) of big square bracket
Table 12.4: Mathematics Symbols
Char Input Character Name
+ \(pl Math plus
- \(mi Math minus
= \(eq Math equals
* \(** Math star
/ \(sl Slash (matching backslash)
[v/] \(sr Square root
\(rn Root en extender
>= \(>= Greater than or equal to
<= \(<= Less than or equal to
== \(== Identically equal
~ \(~~ Approx equal
~ \(ap Approximates
!= \(!= Not equal
× \(mu Multiply
÷ \(di Divide
± \(+- Plus-minus
U \(cu Cup (union)
[cap] \(ca Cap (intersection)
[subset] \(sb Subset of
[superset] \(sp Superset of
[subset/equal] \(ib Improper subset
[superset/equal] \(ip Improper superset
[infinity] \(if Infinity
d \(pd Partial derivative
[nabla] \(gr Gradient
¬ \(no Not
[integral] \(is Integral sign
[proportional] \(pt Proportional to
Ø \(es Empty set
[isin] \(mo Member of
| \(or Or

12.9.1 Greek Characters

Characters that have equivalents as uppercase English letters are available on the standard fonts; otherwise, the characters below exist only on the special font.

Char Input Char Name Char Input Char Name
[alpha] \(*a alpha A \(*A ALPHA
[beta] \(*b beta B \(*B BETA
[gamma] \(*g gamma [Gamma] \(*G GAMMA
[delta] \(*d delta [delta] \(*D DELTA
[epsilon] \(*e epsilon E \(*E EPSILON
[zeta] \(*z zeta Z \(*Z ZETA
[eta] \(*y eta H \(*Y ETA
[theta] \(*h theta [Theta] \(*H THETA
[iota] \(*i iota I \(*I IOTA
[kappa] \(*k kappa K \(*K KAPPA
[lambda] \(*l lambda [Lambda] \(*L LAMBDA
[mu] \(*m mu M \(*M MU
[nu] \(*n nu N \(*N NU
[xi] \(*c xi [Xi] \(*C XI
[omicron] \(*o omicron O \(*O OMICRON
[pi] \(*p pi [Pi] \(*P PI
[rho] \(*r rho P \(*R RHO
[sigma] \(*s sigma [Sigma] \(*S SIGMA
[sigma] \(ts terminal sigma
[tau] \(*t tau T \(*T TAU
[upsilon] \(*u upsilon [Upsilon] \(*U UPSILON
[phi] \(*f phi [Phi] \(*F PHI
[chi] \(*x chi X \(*X CHI
[psi] \(*q psi [Psi] \(*Q PSI
[omega] \(*w omega [Omega] \(*W OMEGA


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