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In computing, a Unicode symbol is a Unicode character which is not part of a script used to write a natural language, but is nonetheless available for use as part of a text.
Many of the symbols are drawn from existing character sets or ISO or other national and international standards. The Unicode Standard states that "The universe of symbols is rich and open-ended." This makes the issue of what symbols to encode and how symbols should be encoded more complicated than the issues surrounding writing systems. Unicode focuses on symbols that make sense in a one-dimensional plain-text context. For example, the typical two-dimensional arrangement of electronic diagram symbols justifies their exclusion. (Box-drawing characters are a partial exception, for legacy purposes, and a number of electronic diagram symbols are indeed encoded in Unicode's Miscellaneous Technical block.) For adequate treatment in plain text, symbols must also be displayable in a monochromatic setting. Even with these limitations – monochromatic, one-dimensional and standards-based – the domain of potential Unicode symbols is extensive. (However, emojis – ideograms, graphic symbols – that were admitted into Unicode, allow colors although the colors are not standardized.)
Symbol block list
As of version 11.0, the following Unicode blocks encode symbols:
- Alphanumeric variants (based on Latin characters in Unicode)
- Enclosed variants
- Emoji and emoticons
- Dingbats (U+2700-U+27BF)
- Emoticons (U+1F600-U+1F64F)
- Miscellaneous Symbols (U+2600-U+26FF)
- Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs (U+1F300-U+1F5FF)
- Supplemental Symbols and Pictographs (U+1F900-1F9FF)
- Transport and Map Symbols (U+1F680..U+1F6FF)
- Additional emoji can be found in the following Unicode blocks: Arrows, Basic Latin, CJK Symbols and Punctuation, Enclosed Alphanumeric Supplement, Enclosed Alphanumerics, Enclosed CJK Letters and Months, Enclosed Ideographic Supplement, General Punctuation, Geometric Shapes, Latin-1 Supplement, Letterlike Symbols, Mahjong Tiles, Miscellaneous Symbols and Arrows, Miscellaneous Technical, Playing Cards, and Supplemental Arrows-B.