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Special characters

It is possible to use Unicode characters with editor. In 1991, the Unicode Consortium set the goal to register, index and provide virtually an character used in any language (plus a large number of additional symbols such as mathematical operators, phonetic symbols, geometric shapes, arrows and musical notes) in suitable codes that today comprise more than one million characters. Online editors can only enter a very small part of these characters directly via the keyboard. Special characters must be entered via specific short cuts or character tables. The rich text editor provides such a table containing some of the most frequently used special characters. Table 8 lists these characters and explains when they are used.


Character name



Non-breaking space


The non-breaking space is used when no line break is desired, it is frequently used between numbers and units (for example: 20.00 €).

Short dash

According to the Duden, the short dash is the only dash permissible in German. There is a blank on the left and right of the dash respectively. It is recommended to enter a non-breaking space between the dash and the word preceding it so that the dash does not appear at the beginning of a line. The short dash is also used to designate a distance between two locations (Hamburg – Berlin, with spaces) or two opponents (Germany-Hungary 3:2, without space).

Long dash

In English texts, the long dash is used. In German, it is used to replace "00" of currency values in tables and price lists (for example: 20,— EUR).


The sign in the upper right-hand corner of the numeric pad (-) is not a minus symbol, but a simple hyphen! The "genuine" minus symbol is used as mathematical operator and as negative sign.

Omission marks

Omissions and continuations are often depicted by three subsequent dots. If the omission marks appear at the end of a sentence, no full stop will follow, however, there might be other punctuation marks. Omission marks have a space on their right and left side respectively, unless they replace letters of the preceding word.

Single bottom quotation mark

According to the Duden, the German character set generally uses two variants of quotation marks or inverted commas:

  • Double quotation marks, consisting of double bottom and top quotation marks („foo“).

  • Double angle marks (also called guillemets or French quotation marks) consist of double angle marks pointing to the right and to the left («foo»).

Additionally, there are so called single quotation marks (‚foo‘ and ‹foo›) used for proper names, definitions of terms or quotations within a quotation.

Anglo-Saxon countries follow different rules. The opening quotation mark is not typed at the bottom but at the top, just like the closing one and turned towards the word (“Foo”).


Single left quotation mark

Single right quotation mark

Single angle mark pointing to the right

Single angle mark pointing to the left

Double bottom quotation mark

Double quotation marked inclined to the left

Double quotation marked inclined to the right

Double angle mark pointing to the right


Double angle mark pointing to the left



In German, the apostrophe is used as omission mark for one or several letters (»Wie geht’s?«) or to mark the genitive case of names ending in ss, ß, tz, z or x having no article (»Das ist Lars’ Aufgabe.«). The correct character to be used is the right quotation mark (').







Registered trademark





One half



One quarter



Three quarters



Per mill


Center point