Numpad minus on English and other languages keyboards

inktrap's picture

I recently fiddled around with MS Keyboard Layout Creator and was shocked to discover that even the minus key on numeric keypad inputs a hyphen instead of a minus. Now, I use a Croatian keyboard, so I would like to know if that is the case of bad regional keyboard mapping or a general thing even with English and other keyboards. Could you guys check your keyboards and enlighten me?
You can type the numpad minus and the hyphen and compare them, minus should be slightly longer (like I need to tell that to you guys) or you can type the numpad minus in MS Word, select it, go to “Insert > Symbol” and the selected symbol should be highlighted.

Michel Boyer's picture

I can also type - in MorxTester on the macintosh an here here is what I get:

Applications like calculators, Excel etc are expecting U+002D when you type the "minus" key on the keyboard; that hex value belonged to the ASCII set long before Unicode and those applications don't care for fancy typesetting. To work properly, they need what they used to get before Unicode. Whatever application you are using, InDesign, Word, Excel, etc, the character that the application receives as input is fixed by the keyboard layout, and the keyboard layout knows nothing of the applications that are running.

ahyangyi's picture

Actually it's neither the hyphen (U+2010) nor the minus (U+2212). Instead, it's the hybrid "HYPHEN-MINUS" from in the pre-Unicode age.

inktrap's picture

Thanks for the feedback.

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