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Coming from a Mac, then switching to Windows about 3 years ago, I've come to rely on character maps and glyph palettes for special characters, since I never mastered Unicode keystrokes. I'm a longtime user of Illustrator at work but chose not to upgrade a number of years ago at home. I'm very excited about Affinity Designer but the inability to access OT and special characters is a non-starter for me. Will this be included at some future point?





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  • OpenType Features are accessible from the Typography dialogue (Ctrl + Shift + T)
  • A few symbols are available on the Text menu, Insert Character submenu (en dash, em-dash, zero width space, etc.)
  • Many more are not available, including Smart Quotes. 
  • For now, Babel Map is a much better alternative to the Windows Character Map, as it allows you to paste more than one character at a time, and offers some search tools to find the glyph that you need.

I agree that some kind of Insert Symbol palette would be better than relying on third-party solutions. 


If your need is primarily for typing accented characters like àèìòù then I strongly recommend installing an extended keyboard to suit your particular language needs. I used the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator to develop a comprehensive PagePlus Keyboard for typing Pāḷi words with diacritics. It also supports a wide range of accented characters for most European languages: çţ etc. Once you learn the few dead keys, typing any accented character is much quicker than picking them from any character map. 

AMD A10-6800K, with Radeon HD Graphics 4100 GHz

8 Gb on Windows 10 64-bit build 17763.316 •  My Free OpenType Fonts

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Feature roadmap for Affinity Designer:



'Text features' are mentioned in the list so maybe a character map will also be included. In the long term I believe 'Affinity Publisher' a comprehensive DTP program is being developed.

v2.1.1 Designer/Photo/Publisher | Mac mini (M1, 2020) | Ventura 13.4.1 (c)

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