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When I name a file of a music score on the computer, I use a 'b' as flat and '#' as sharp. My question is is there in any way to use the real sharp or flat? It's not a big problem but for esthetic and the right way to name a file, why shouldn't we do it the right way . Thanks I forgot to mention that I use windows.

  • 2
    And 'natural', not for your files, obviously! I tried and failed to find a simple typed sign. # nearly worked, but I can't get the Tipp-Ex off my screen... – Tim Jan 31 '18 at 17:02
  • Is it different if it's in a file name compared to just regularly entering the symbol? – Richard Jan 31 '18 at 18:14
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    There are answers that tell you how to do this, but you really shouldn't. It is likely to cause any number of compatibility problems, and it's better to spell out the note. – chrylis -on strike- Jan 31 '18 at 19:47
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    While possible I would be extremely conservative using those characters in filenames. Better to just stick to plain old ASCII. This is because Unicode support still isn't universal and by using Unicode characters in filenames you run the risk that files can not be read by some programs. In other words: it may look nice but it is a bad idea to name your files like that. – Pieter B Feb 1 '18 at 8:13
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    And "double-sharp," tho' I would refuse to play a piece written in X-double-sharp on principle :-) . – Carl Witthoft Feb 1 '18 at 12:55
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There's a way in Windows, without installing any additional software, to be able to write those Unicode characters out of thin air using ALT + Unicode hex number.

If somebody wants to memorize those codes, he would be able to type them from thin air in a file name, a word document, notepad or other.

First as described here, you need to enable EnableHexNumpad in your registry under the following key below.

Way #1 to do the registry change easily:

To do so, the easiest and fastest way is to download this .reg file and double click on it.

Click here to download it

Double click on it:

enter image description here

Reboot your computer.

Way #2 to do the registry change by hand:

If you're uncomfortable trying below, please use Way #1.

First, open the registry editor by going on Start > Run (or by pressing Windows Key + R) and typing regedit:

enter image description here

Then navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method

And right-click in the right-hand side box and choose New > String Value, call it EnableHexNumpad, and set it to 1:

enter image description here

Once you're done and it looks like the image above, just close RegEdit and reboot your computer.

Continue here:

Now you'll be able to type the hex codes directly using ALT + your numpad. Important detail is that you should enter the Hexadecimal code of the musical character (or any other unicode character) you're trying to type.

As a quick reference, here they are:

♩ 2669 quarter note
♪ 266A eighth note
♫ 266B beamed eighth notes
♬ 266C beamed sixteenth notes
♭ 266D music flat sign
♮ 266E music natural sign
♯ 266F music sharp sign

So now I'm going to do it for the music flat sign character. Its hexadecimal code is 266d, so I would just have to type:

ALT + + + 266d

And once I release the ALT key I got:

Note that you actually have to press on the numpad's + key after ALT. So it's ALT followed by + followed by the 4 number/characters.

Here I've put it in a filename:

enter image description here

Hope it helps somebody out there!

  • I'm a little bit in the back when it comes to the inside of the computer, how do I get to the registry that I can open this option? – Nachmen Jan 31 '18 at 19:47
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    File, Run, RegEdit. Be EXTREMELY careful editting the registry. You can easily disable your computer by making a wrong move. You can always use the Character Map utility to find flats and sharps if you don't know what you're doing. – trw Jan 31 '18 at 20:04
  • @Nachmen, I've added easy to follow screenshots on how to get there and handle it accordingly. – Wadih M. Jan 31 '18 at 20:05
  • Very grateful for you input. – Nachmen Jan 31 '18 at 20:09
  • I further added another method via a double-clickable .reg file that is easier and faster. – Wadih M. Jan 31 '18 at 20:14
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♯ & ♭
I use the system typing replacer. System prefs > Keyboard > Text

enter image description here

All my triggers start with 'nc' for historical reasons, so 'ncsharp' becomes ♯ & 'ncflat' becomes ♭.
I'm on Mac, so I've no idea about alt-codes for Windows, but if someone knows those... feel free to add.

Windows seems to handle these in file & folder names just fine - examples from Mac & Win7...


  • 1
    I don't think there's a built-in equivalent of a "system typing replacer" in Windows, but AutoHotkey (third-party) does let you do that. – Bob Feb 1 '18 at 6:22
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When I name a file of a music score on the computer, I use a 'b' as flat and '#' as sharp. My question is is there in the ascii code a way to use the real sharp or flat?

No. There is nothing in ASCII. ASCII only has 128 characters, there's no place for musical notation in there.

Unicode, however has over 136000 (out of 1114112) assigned codepoints (as of now, more are added regularly) including 544 musical ones. The codepoints you are looking for are:

  • ♯ U+266F MUSIC SHARP SIGN
  • ♭ U+266D MUSIC FLAT SIGN
  • Minor nitpick: It's codepoints, not characters – Cole Johnson Feb 1 '18 at 0:53
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If you want ascii this site has a list of music related ascii codes: https://www.alt-codes.net/music_note_alt_codes.php

these are mainly the ones you asked about:

♭   Flat note   ♭
♮   Natural note    ♮
♯   Sharp note  ♯

here are all the UNIcodes for music symbols: https://unicode.org/charts/PDF/U1D100.pdf

i was able to take this symbol: ♭ and paste into a file name on my windows machine. that may be the easiest way. good luck.

  • My main aim is to get the flat or sharp in the file name. I didn't know how to write the question, I thought it has to do with ascii. My aim is to get it right any way and the easiest way . Even if you gave me the code I wouldn't know how to use it. I need a step by step instructions how to do it. – Nachmen Jan 31 '18 at 19:57
  • are you on a windows machine or mac? – b3ko Jan 31 '18 at 20:23
  • Windows 10 computer – Nachmen Jan 31 '18 at 20:27
  • updated answer about pasting the character into the filename. – b3ko Jan 31 '18 at 20:29
  • They are not ASCII. They are HTML character references. – Franklin Yu Aug 3 '18 at 15:13

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