1.31 FAQ-148 How Do I Insert Special Characters into Text Labels?

Last Update: 10/11/2019

There are two basic modes for inserting special characters into text labels:

  • Most users will add special characters and formatting using "in-place" methods for creating and editing text labels.
  • For existing text objects, the user has the option of adding special characters and formatting via the text object's Properties dialog box.

Adding Unicode Characters, Versions 2018 and Newer

To create a text label, click the Text tool Button Text Tool.png on the Tools toolbar, then click at the point on the graph, worksheet, etc. where you want to add a label. You are now in "in-place" edit mode.

  • Choose a font and enter the Unicode 4-character hex code sequence (e.g. 03B8 for θ) and press ALT+X on your keyboard.
Unicode alt x.gif
  • Right-click and choose Symbol Map. Set Font, as needed, leave Unicode checked, find your character and click Insert. Alternately, enter the 4-character Unicode sequence in the Go to Unicode box and click Insert.
Symbol map.gif
Note: Prior to Origin 2018, Origin did not support Unicode. Therefore, if you working with 2018 or later and you plan to share your work with Origin users who are using pre-2018 versions of Origin you should (1) insert your Unicode characters using the Symbol Map (not the Character Map) and (2) be sure to check the Use escape notation check box at the bottom of the Symbol Map dialog. Lastly, save your project file as an OPJ file (not OPJU).
FAQ148 Use Escape Sequences Box.png

Adding Special Characters, Versions 2017 and Older

  • While in in-place edit mode, highlight the text that you want to bold, italicize, etc., then click the one of the buttons on the Format toolbar; or click the desired button then type your character(s).
Superscript subscript.gif
  • Alternately, you can click to select an existing text object, then right-click and choose Properties. This puts you into the Text Object dialog box where you can use the upper panel to edit text or select text and click one of the format toolbar buttons above the edit box.
Object Properties Text Format Buttons.png
  • Click the Symbol Map button Properties symbol map button.png to the right side of the Text Object dialog box. Select your Font, then the desired character and click Insert. Optionally, check the Unicode box and enter the 4-character hex code for the symbol in the Go to Unicode box. Verify that the returned symbol is correct and click Insert. Note that even though you have checked the Unicode box, Origin still inserts the character with a leading escape sequence, making the characters compatible with earlier versions of Origin.

There is no circumflex or caret ("^") button on the Text page of the Text Object dialog, but you can add "^" above an alpha character by (1) pressing the sequence "0302" on the keypad, then (2) press ALT+X, (3) press left-arrow on keypad then (4) type your base character. This is tedious so if you need to create many such characters, consider installing our free LaTeX App (click Add Apps in the App Gallery and Search for "latex").


Keywords:Unicode, ALT+X, Greek, ASCII, Extended ASCII, ANSI, mu, pi, delta, alpha, beta, epsilon, lambda, degrees, superscript, subscript, extended character, escape sequence, overline, tilde, dot, caret, rich text, angstrom, math, umlaut, diaeresis, acute, tilde, accent mark, macron, circumflex, Planck