Feature Overview

PopChar makes it easy to "type" unusual characters, HTML special characters and characters from Unicode fonts. It gives you quick access to all characters of all fonts, even those that cannot be generated from the keyboard.

showing the small "P"PopChar Win is a background-only application. The small "P" in the system tray indicates that PopChar is running.

Though small and unobtrusive, the "P" icon is always there when you need to insert a special character - no matter in which application you are currently working.

Whenever you need a special character, just click the "P" or activate PopChar with a user-defined hot key.

To get an impression how PopChar eases insertion of unusual characters and how you can explore the contents of your fonts, click here to see a short demo movie.

Full Unicode support

PopChar supports Unicode fonts with thousands of characters. The grid-like character table of PopChar gives you an excellent overview of all characters in a font, neatly arranged in the standard Unicode blocks or by scripts and symbols. You can collapse groups you don’t need and use the navigation menu to quickly jump to a specific group.

Note: To insert Unicode characters, the target application must be able to handle Unicode. In older applications without Unicode support, you can still use PopChar in ASCII mode, although this will limit the number of usable characters.

shows PopChar in Unicode mode

Unicode blocksYou can easily navigate through the Unicode characters by scrolling. You can also use the category menu right above the scroll bar to quickly jump to an arbitrary section.

Search for characters


 

 

Instantly search for particular characters by name.

search for characters

Enter the character "e" into the quick search area to display special characters based on "e" (è. é, ê, ë, …) only.

search for numbers

If you need any particular representation of a number, just enter "number" in the search field to see all appropriate characters.

You can enter decimal or hexadecimal numbers to find the characters with the corresponding Unicode number.

Last but not least, you can copy an arbitrary piece of text and paste it into PopChar’s search field.

PopChar then displays all characters that occur in the text you entered.

in PopChar Win 6: Font information

In addition to the characters inside fonts, PopChar can also display information about fonts. The Font Info view reveals background information like version number, properties, copyright and license statements, information about the designer, manufacturer, vendor, number of characters and glyphs, and more.

font info

The Font Info view is a valuable source of information for font aficionados. With PopChar, the font information is quickly accessible with a few clicks at any time.

The Font Info view is available in PopChar Win 6.2 and newer.

in PopChar Win 6: Font Preview and Sample Text views


Get an impression of a selected font with the new Font Preview and Sample Text features of PopChar 6.

font previewIn typesetting, one important task is to get a message across. Using the right font can help substantially to emphasize the meaning of text and deliver an enjoyable reading experience. PopChar helps you to evaluate fonts. Select the Font Preview or Sample Text views to see a font in action.

font samplePopChar shows some typical characters and sample text fragments in the selected font to give you an impression of the font's properties. You can choose from predefined filler texts in different languages, such as the famous Lorem ipsum, Fillerati, Blindtext, and La Bastille.

in PopChar Win 6.3: Font sheets


The Font Preview and Sample Text views can be printed to create beautiful font sheets with PopChar.

print font preview   Viewing fonts on the screen is perfect for making a quick choice or interactively finding characters in a font.

But when you want to see what a font will look like in print, there is no way around actually printing the font.

PopChar's font preview and sample text views allow you to create beautiful font sheets.

View PDF version

print font samplePrint them, use them in design discussions, collect them in a printed font catalog, or save them as PDF documents to show off a selected font.

If you want, you can even create a a font sheet in PDF format to send it to someone else, who doesn't need to have the font or PopChar installed.

View PDF version

Custom favorite characters and fonts

Favorite characters

FavoritesIf you need the same characters again and again, simply add them to the Favorites group. This group is always visible at the top of the character table and gives you quick access to all frequently needed characters. Technical symbols, accented characters in foreign languages, arrows, mathematical operators, circled numbers, astrological symbols, etc. You define which characters are important for you.

The Favorites section provides fastest possible look-up and insertion of special characters with a single click. It couldn't be easier. To add a character to the Favorites section simply right-click the required character and choose "Add to Favorites" from the menu.

Favorite fonts

Favorite fontsYou can also build a set of favorite fonts. This makes font selection a no-brainer even with hundreds of fonts installed.

To add a font to the Favorites font list simply right-click the font in the font drawer and choose "Add to Favorites" from the menu.

To see the favorite fonts only, choose "Favorites" from the popup menu at the very top of the font drawer.

Magnifier tool

PopChar's magnifier tool lets you see an enlarged view of characters. This is especially useful for characters with small, subtle details.

The grid lines in the close-up lens also let you see exactly where a character sits relative to the baseline.

Just activate the magnifier in the bottom-left corner of the window. Whenever you point at a character, PopChar then displays a close-up view of the character.

Hint: You can toggle the current setting of the magnifier at any time by pressing the shift key.

PopChar's magnifier tool

Work across font boundaries



With "Union of All Available Fonts", you can work with all available characters in any font.

searching for characters within a fontImagine you need the cubic meters symbol in a text written in Verdana. Searching for "cub" does not yield any results, as the Verdana font does not contain such a symbol. To find a matching font in the regular Unicode view, you would need to click through hundreds of fonts until you find one that contains the desired symbol.

search for a character in all fontsAs an alternative, simply switch to "Union of All Available Fonts" to see the entire repertoire of Unicode characters available in any font. The search for "cub" now produces the cube root as well as some metric units cubed, including the symbol for cubic meters. Click the symbol, and PopChar inserts it into your document. See also the "reverse search" feature below.

"Reverse search" for fonts that contain a particular character

If you have found the cubic meters symbol, you probably wonder in which fonts it exists.

To find all fonts that contain a particular character, you can use the "reverse searching" feature of PopChar: Just use the context menu to mark all fonts that contain the desired character. Then click one of the marks to jump directly to the marked character in any of these fonts.

mark fonts

Recent characters view

shows recently used characters

The PopChar window contains an area displaying the most recently used characters, enabling you to locate and insert frequently used characters faster. Besides that, PopChar highlights recently selected characters in the main view.

The "Recent Characters" view is a good starting point for reviewing your previous activities and adding frequently used characters to the Favorites section.

Custom sizes for individual fonts

Different fonts have different metrics. Whereas the characters of one font may appear large enough in PopChar's table, another font may have light and small characters with subtle details.

PopChar lets you deal with these different metrics easily.

Favorites

Use the slider at the bottom of the PopChar window to adjust the sizes of certain fonts.

PopChar remembers your preferred settings individually per font.

You can also use this dialog to manage your favorite fonts list.

Flexible user interface

The PopChar character table appears in a window that can be placed anywhere on the screen.

Preference settings give you detailed control to adjust the behavior of the window to your liking.

You can leave the window open permanently until you dismiss it or make it disappear immediately after each use, depending on your personal working style and the size of your monitor.

"View & Insert" tab of PopChar's Preference Window

To make PopChar as unobtrusive as possible, choose "Close window after inserting a character" in the Activation tab of the Preferences window.

Display the keyboard combinations

shows the keyboard equivalent of a character

If a character has a keyboard equivalent, PopChar displays which keys generate the character. This is most useful for quickly typing accented letters in foreign languages. If you need the same character again and again, PopChar tells you how to type it.

Automatically detects the current font in your document

shows "As in document"PopChar can detect the font being used in the current document for many popular applications (such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, ...). Check the "As In Document" option, and PopChar will keep track of the current font.

showing the font being used in current documentWhenever you select a different font in your current document or move the insertion point into a text portion that uses another font, PopChar automatically displays the same font.

Optimized font menu

PopChar helps you keep track of your frequently used fonts, even if you have hundreds of fonts installed.

The font menu gives you quick access to the recently used fonts. When you need another font or wish to explore the available fonts, just open the font drawer.

font list

You can filter the font list according to various categories, show only those fonts that contain a special character, or filter to see only your favorite fonts.

Various insertion modes

PopChar offers three insertion modes.

You can choose to insert selected characters as plain text or as formatted text, along with font information and in the font size you specify.

Web designers will appreciate the HTML mode that lets them insert characters as numeric or named HTML codes.

You can also right-click a character to open a context menu for copying the character to the clipboard in various formats.

context menu showing various formats for copying a character