Introduction to the Insert Character Docker
Have you ever entered text in CorelDRAW, or any other program, and needed a special character, such as a Registration Mark (®), a Copyright Symbol (©), a Cent Sign (¢), or an English Pound Sign (£)? Where are those characters on the keyboard? As you know, they don’t exist there, unless you have a special keyboard.
Well, perhaps CoreDRAW’s Insert Character Docker is just what the doctor ordered. See picture 1.
Insert Character Docker
The Insert Character Docker has been a part of CorelDRAW for many versions. It was given a major overhaul in version X7, which carried forward into version X8.
The Insert Character Docker provides access to all the glyphs in a font. What’s a glyph? – So, what’s a glyph? – in essence it’s a character that has some meaning as a symbol, or in language.
Accessing the Docker
To open the Docker, click on Window/Dockers/Text/Insert Character. If you are working in CorelDRAW X7 or X8, and have some Dockers open already, then, you can open the Insert Character Docker by clicking on the Quick customize icon at the bottom of the Docker’s panel. Of course, the easiest way to open the Docker is to use the keyboard shortcut key – Ctrl+F11.
As shown in all of our screenshots, we have the Insert Character Docker docked to the left side of our workspace. By default, the first time you open it, it will be docked to the right side of the workspace.
Areas and Controls in the Docker
There are 7 areas and/or commands in the Docker. They are as follows:
- Recently used glyphs – this area displays the most recently used characters.
- Font – this provides a drop-down list of fonts that are installed on the computer.
- Character Filter – this filters what characters/glyphs are displayed in the display section of the Docker for the selected font.
- Character Display Controls – there are 2 controls here. The first displays all the variations for characters/glyphs that have variations. The second is a zoom control, which controls the size of the characters/glyphs in the display area.
- Character Display area – this portion of the Docker displays all the characters/glyphs that are contained in the font, and meet the Character Filter requirements. You will also notice that some characters have a dropdown arrow below them. Those characters have variations which are revealed when you click on the arrow.
- Character Information – there are 5 information items here. They are:
- Name – the common name of the character/glyph.
- GLYPH ID – the id number of the glyph in the character array.
- Unicode – the character’s Unicode number.
- Keystroke – in Windows, this is the keystroke combination that will generate the character/glyph while entering text in any Windows program. To use it:
- Hold the Alt key down.
- Enter the number combination, which is the decimal equivalent of the Unicode number.
- Then, release the Alt key. The character will be entered in the text string.
- OpenType – this is an OpenType description of the character/glyph.
- Copy – this command button copies the selected character into the Recently used glyphs window.
How to use the docker
The Insert Character Docker is easy to use. While typing in text, when you find you need a special character just:
- Select the font you are using (unless you want a character from a different font).
- With the Text tool selected, and the cursor at the point of insertion, simply double-click on the character/glyph you need at that location.
- The character will be inserted at that point, at the appropriate point size.
If you want to use a character/glyph as a graphic object, then just drag-and-drop the character from the Character Display area onto your layout, or double-click it. If you double-click it, it will be added to the center of the page. If you drag-and-drop it, you can place it where it’s needed. In either case, it will be added at the default point size for Artistic Text.
Once you have the object in your layout, you can size it and/or make any other changes you want. This is very useful for creating logos et al, using letters as graphic elements.
The drag-and-drop/double-click feature is also extremely useful for accessing characters/glyphs in symbol fonts, like Wingdings, Webdings, etc.
In short, the Insert Character Docker is yet another powerful tool for text manipulation within CorelDRAW. Explore it. – Enjoy! It’s easy to use.