Including keyboard symbol glyphs in the typeface?

Hello community,

I want to include keyboard symbols like those: ⌘ ⇧ ⌥ ⌃ ⌫ into the typeface I’m developing - because they are needed in the UI of the product where this typeface is customised for. But I haven’t found enough information regarding:

  1. how should they react to the weight changes across the typeface?
  2. where can I find a full list of those symbols that would include as many keyboards (Mac, PC, etc.) as possible? - they don’t seem to be included as a list in glyphs app.
  3. I’ve figured most typefaces don’t have them included in the glyphs set - anyone knows why or why not?

It would be nice if someone with experience in this topic can share with me some best practices. :slight_smile:

For Mac, you have already posted the most important ones: ⌘ ⇧ ⌥ ⌃. Some other commonly used symbols are :globe_with_meridians:︎ ⏎/:leftwards_arrow_with_hook: ⌫ ⌦ ⎋ ⌧ :eject_button: ⇪ ⇟ ⇞. For Windows and Linux, these are also useful: ⊞ ⎇ ≣ ◆ ⎈. In general, arrows are used for many keys: → ← ↑ ↓ :arrow_lower_left: :arrow_upper_right: :arrow_upper_left: :arrow_lower_right: ⇥ ↹ ⤒ ↸ ⇱ etc.

There are many more at The Macintosh Biblioblog: Special Key Symbols, but most of them are rarely used. There is no consensus, which Unicode characters to use for certain keys. Return might be ⏎ or :leftwards_arrow_with_hook: or ⤶ or ↵.

If a unified appearance of key symbols is important to you, you might need to offer a stylistic set that swaps conventional glyphs for keyboard-symbol glyphs.

For example, here I have decided that ⇪ should match ⇬ and ⇭, but there is an OpenType feature to turn /capslock into /capslock.alt:

The feature then can have a name like “Keyboard Forms”:


A post was split to a new topic: Terminology used in the German translation

Thanks Florian! The list of those symbols is very useful! :grinning: