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Department of Linguistics

LING110 Language Description
Phonetics and Phonology Pages


Creating Documents Containing Phonetic Characters

The simple way to create documents containing phonetic characters is to use the font Lucida Sans Unicode. Normal English symbols can be typed using the keyboard. You can insert special phonetic characters into a word document using three main methods.
(Note that these methods are available for PCs. Mac users may need to use different methods.

1. Using the Insert Symbol facility

  • In Word, select the font that you wish to use (either Lucida Sans Unicode or another phonetic font that you have installed on your computer).
  • Select Symbol from the Insert menu.
  • Select the correct font in the symbol window then double click on the symbol you want to insert into the document.

2. Using the character map

  • Open the character map from the Start Menu, All Programs, Accessories. (I usually pin this to desktop for easy access)
  • Select the font that you want to use.
  • Double click on the required symbol to add it to the "characters to copy" box.
  • Copy and paste the required symbols into your document.

3. Using Richard Ishida's web based character picker

  • Make sure Lucida Sans Unicode (or other phonetic font) is selected for your document
  • On the character picker webpage, click on the symbol you require. This places the symbol in the copy textbox.
  • Copy and paste the symbols into your document.

More advanced information about downloading and installing specific phonetic fonts such as Charis SIL and Doulos SIL can be obtained here. Be aware that the library does not support these SIL phonetic fonts.