Unicode, software

UniSpy is an old, yet useful tiny tool for browsing the Unicode standard. You can use it to quickly find the character you are looking for, get information about any code, explore the standard with several filtering options, examine codepages, pick up your favorite symbols, etc. The application is periodically updated to the latest version of the Unicode standard. Currently it supports version 7.0.


Main panel

This is the main program panel, allowing you to browse the characters of the selected Unicode ranges. Select the desired ranges by clicking the double-arrow button: you can select by code ranges or scripts, and filter by typing some characters in the top textbox.

You can filter by range, category, Unicode name, and attributes like decomposable, mirrored and numeric. The results are displayed in the bottom grid, where you can see the hexadecimal and decimal character code, its glyph, category and name. To change the grid font, click Settings at the top of the window and select your preferred font. When you hover a character row in the grid, an enlarged version of its glyph appears on the right side.

To copy the currently selected character in the grid click the copy button in its toolbar; to save the current grid view into a delimited text file click the floppy button.

Also, the Settings menu allows you to select the font used for glyph samples, or set UniSpy as a topmost window.


Code panel

The code panel allows a quick lookup of any character code. Just type the code in the textbox, either hexadecimal (default) or decimal (by checking the 10 option), and you will get information about the corresponding character. You can also copy the character by clicking the copy button.

Information displayed includes essential data like hexadecimal and decimal code, name, category, decomposition, direction, and the like.

Hover the mouse on the yellow boxes to get more tips.


Favorites panel

The favorites panel keeps a set of your favorite characters for easy pick.

Use the toolbar to add or remove characters, reorder them, colorize them, and save or load their set into a file:

  • to load or save a set of characters with their customizations and keyboard shortcuts, use the folder and floppy buttons.
  • to add a character, just type it in the textbox, or enter in the same textbox its code, either hexadecimal (in the format +HHHH) or decimal, and then click the plus button. The application leverages its knowledge of the Unicode standard to automatically assign to the added code its name, category and color (colors are assigned according to Unicode category).
  • to customize a character color, select it and choose a color from the list in the toolbar. To restore its default color, select it again and click the X on colored rectangle button.
  • to move a character left or right in the list, select it and click the desired arrow button.
  • to remove a character, select it and click the X button.


Typewriter panel

The typewriter panel allows you to type or paste Unicode text and immediately get a list of all its characters codes, using several formats (hexadecimal, decimal, or "escape"-like (choose the format from the dropdown list). If the text you are typing belongs to a right-to-left script, check the left-arrow button. To see more details about characters, click the lens button: this will show hexadecimal and decimal code, glyph, category and name for each character in the input text.

You can also change the input text so that wherever possible characters sequences are replaced by their precomposed equivalents, or vice-versa. Finally, you can zoom in or out the text with the slider.


Code panel

This panel allows you to play with different text encodings. Choose your encoding from the dropdown list, and your numeric base (decimal, hexadecimal, binary or octal). You can then paste or type some text and click the Show bytes button to show the corresponding bytes in the selected encoding, or vice-versa enter some codes in the bytes textbox and click the Show text button to show the corresponding text in the selected encoding.


Base converter panel

This panel hosts a simple numeric base converter. Just type a positive integer number in the desired textbox (decimal, hexadecimal, binary or custom-base) to see the same value converted into different bases. The custom-base textbox allows you to choose an arbitrary base value.