Currency symbols in Unicode and a keyboard layout for them

The following table shows basic information about currency symbols in Unicode. The “Key” column indicates how the symbol can be typed when using a special currency keyboard layout (for Windows; works on any QWERTY keyboard). The notation AltGr indicates that the Alt key to the right of the space bar (often with the engraving AltGr) is used to modify the effect of a letter key.

Currency symbols in Unicode
Code Name Browser Image Key Usage (Quotations are from the Unicode Standard)
U+0024 DOLLAR SIGN $ view Shift S Used for several currencies, not only for the US dollar.
U+00A2 CENT SIGN ¢ view C Used for hundredth of a US dollar.
U+00A3 POUND SIGN £ view AltGr L Used for British pound.
U+00A4 CURRENCY SIGN ¤ view X Used as a generic placeholder for a currency.
U+00A5 YEN SIGN ¥ view Y Use for Japanese yen and Chinese yuan.
U+058F ARMENIAN DRAM SIGN ֏ view Shift D
U+060B AFGHANI SIGN ؋ view A
U+09F2 BENGALI RUPEE MARK view AltGr B Historical.
U+09F3 BENGALI RUPEE SIGN view Shift B Used in Bangladesh.
U+0BF9 TAMIL RUPEE SIGN view AltGr Shift T
U+17DB KHMER CURRENCY SYMBOL RIEL view AltGr K Used in Cambodia.
U+20A0 EURO-CURRENCY SIGN view AltGr E Was intended for ECU (European Currency Unit).
U+20A1 COLON SIGN view AltGr C Used in Costa Rica and El Salvador.
U+20A2 CRUZEIRO SIGN view Shift C Used in Brazil.
U+20A3 FRENCH FRANC SIGN view F Historical.
U+20A4 LIRA SIGN view AltGr Shift L Was intended for lira.
U+20A5 MILL SIGN view M Rarely used for 1/1000 of US dollar.
U+20A6 NAIRA SIGN view N Used in Nigeria.
U+20A7 PESETA SIGN view AltGr P Historical.
U+20A8 RUPEE SIGN view Shift R “India, unofficial legacy practice.”
U+20A9 WON SIGN view W Used in Korea.
U+20AA NEW SHEQEL SIGN view S Used in Israel.
U+20AB DONG SIGN view D Used in Vietnam.
U+20AC EURO SIGN view E Widely used in Europe.
U+20AD KIP SIGN view K Used in Laos.
U+20AE TUGRIK SIGN view T Used in Mongolia.
U+20AF DRACHMA SIGN view AltGr Shift D Historical.
U+20B0 GERMAN PENNY SIGN view AltGr Shift P Historical.
U+20B1 PESO SIGN view P Used in the Philippines.
U+20B2 GUARANI SIGN view G Used in Paraguay.
U+20B3 AUSTRAL SIGN view AltGr A Historical.
U+20B4 HRYVNIA SIGN view Z Used in Ukraine.
U+20B5 CEDI SIGN view AltGr Shift C Used in Ghana.
U+20B6 LIVRE TOURNOIS SIGN view Shift L Historical.
U+20B7 SPESMILO SIGN view AltGr Shift S “Historical international currency associated with Esperanto.”
U+20B8 TENGE SIGN view Shift T Used in Kazakhstan.
U+20B9 INDIAN RUPEE SIGN view I Official rupee currency sign for India.
U+20BA TURKISH LIRA SIGN view L Official lira currency sign for Turkey.
U+20BB NORDIC MARK SIGN Shift M Historical, early representation of the Mark currency used in Denmark and Norway.
U+20BC MANAT SIGN AltGr M Azerbaijani currency.
U+20BD RUBLE SIGN view R The Central Bank of Russia has announced that this sign is official.
U+5143 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-5143 (yuán) view Shift W
U+5713 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-5713 (yuán) view AltGr W Used in Chinese for various currencies.
U+A838 NORTH INDIC RUPEE MARK view Shift N Historical.
U+FDFC RIAL SIGN view AltGr R Used in Iran.
U+FE69 SMALL DOLLAR SIGN view AltGr S Small form variant of $.
U+FF04 FULLWIDTH DOLLAR SIGN view Q S Fullwidth version of $.
U+FFE0 FULLWIDTH CENT SIGN view Q C Fullwidth version of ¢.
U+FFE1 FULLWIDTH POUND SIGN view Q L Fullwidth version of £.
U+FFE5 FULLWIDTH YEN SIGN view Q Y Fullwidth version of ¥.
U+FFE6 FULLWIDTH WON SIGN view Q W Fullwidth version of ₩.

The table contains Unicode Characters in the “Symbol, Currency” category. It is larger than the Unicode block Currency Symbols, which is just an area dedicated for currency symbols. For historical and other reasons, currency symbols appear in other blocks, too.

In addition, the characters 元 U+5143 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-5143 (yuán) and ᙑ U+5713 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-5713 (yuán) are included for their meaning as currency symbols, even though they are not in the “Symbol, Currency” category.

The new character for the Russian ruble has been included into the PT Sans font, available also as hosted by Google. It has been added to several fonts (Arial, Calibri, Microsoft Sans Serif, Segoe UI, Tahoma, Times New Roman) in a software update to Windows.

Some other characters are sometimes called currency symbols, despite being letters that just have a currency denotation as one of their uses. For example, a symbol called “Kannada rupee mark” (ರ, U+0CBO), is Kannada letter ra, which may be used as an abbreviation of rupee.

Information about the use of currency symbols in different languages and countries can be found on the CLDR page By-Type Chart: Numbers:Currencies (entries with names ending with “-symbol” or “-symbol-narrow”.

The keyboard layout

The “currency keyboard layout” is a demonstration of a concept: a method of allowing simple and relatively natural way of entering special characters when they can be mentally associated with letter keys. Here the association is primarily based on the shape of the symbol, secondarily (especially when the symbol does not resemble any Latin letter) on the name or meaning of the symbol.

The layout may be freely used, distributed, and modified. It was created using Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (MSKLC) and can easily be edited with it. The layout is also available as a .klc file.

The layout is useful if you need to type different currency symbols. For a more common case, typing just one currency symbol, it is usually more convenient to use a keyboard layout suitable for the language(s) being written and just enhance it with a key combination for the symbol (say, AltGr Y for the yen sign, or AltGr L for the Turkish lira).