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euro Currency Symbol FAQ

Updated: June 25, 2009

Special thanks to John Gray for his help and feedback.


General

Q.What is it?
A.

The euro is the name given to the single currency of the European Union. The euro was established as a currency in 1999 and gradually moved into general use, with the introduction of coins and notes in 2002. For more information see the Euro Web site run by the European Commission.

Q.Should the word 'euro' be capitalized? Is the plural form 'euro' or 'euros'?
A.

The form varies depending on the language. In English, 'euro' and 'cent' should not be capitalized, and the plural forms should not include an 's' in official documents.

Q.What does the symbol look like, and how was it chosen?
A.

According to the information posted on the euro Web site, about thirty draft designs were drawn up internally by the European Commission. The general public assessed ten designs, narrowing the shortlist to two. Jacques Santer, president of the European Commission, and Yves-Thibault de Silguy, the European commissioner in charge of the euro, chose the final design.

The euro symbol as it appears in Courier New, Times New Roman and Arial.

euro in Arial, Times New Roman and Courier New.

Q.Why do the symbols shown above look different from the one posted on the official euro site?
A.

We have chosen to make instances of the euro symbol font- and style-specific. The design of the symbol takes on the characteristics of the font in which it resides.

Traditionally, numerals and currency symbols are the same width for any given font. This helps values line up properly in tabular applications like spreadsheets. To make the euro symbol the correct width for Arial and Times New Roman, it had to be condensed.

Q.
A.

Unicode and Codepage Assignments

Q.What is the symbol's Unicode assignment?
A.

The euro character is encoded in the Unicode Standard as U+20AC EURO SIGN. To avoid confusion, the historical character U+20A0 EURO-CURRENCY SIGN has been updated with an informative note and a cross reference to U+20AC EURO SIGN. See the Unicode Consortium's Unicode Technical Report #8 for more details.

Q.What is the symbol's Windows codepage location?
A.

The symbol has been added to the following codepages at position '0x80': 1250 Eastern European, 1252 Western, 1253 Greek, 1254 Turkish, 1257 Baltic, 1255 Hebrew, 1256 Arabic, 1258 Vietnamese, 874 Thai. In 1251 Cyrillic, the symbol will be added at position '0x88'. Other codepages are controlled by governments or standards bodies. Microsoft is working with these organizations on the placement of the euro.

Q.
A.

Keyboard Access

Q.How do I access the euro symbol?
A.

To access the euro from your keyboard, please refer to the following chart.

 Keyboard layoutKeystroke(s)1

BE

Belgian (French KBD120)

AltGr+e

BENE

Belgian Dutch 120

AltGr+e

CR

Croatian/Slovenian

AltGr+e

CZ

Czech

AltGr+e

CZ1

Czech 101

AltGr+e

CZ2

Czech_Programmer's

AltGr+e

DA

Danish

AltGr+e

NE

Dutch - KBD143

AltGr+e

EST

Estonia

AltGr+e

FO

Faroese

AltGr+e

FI

Finnish

AltGr+e

FR

French

AltGr+e

GR

German

AltGr+e

GR1

German_IBM

AltGr+e

HE

Greek

AltGr+e (epsilon)

HE220

Greek IBM 220

AltGr+e (epsilon)

HE319

Greek IBM 319

AltGr+e (epsilon)

HELA2

Greek IBM 220 Latin

AltGr+e (epsilon)

HELA3

Greek IBM 319 Latin

AltGr+e (epsilon)

GKL

Greek Latin

AltGr+5

HU

Hungarian

AltGr+u

HU1

Hungarian 101

AltGr+u

IC

Icelandic

AltGr+e

IR

Irish

AltGr+4

IT

Italian

AltGr+e

IT142

Italian 142

AltGr+e

LV

Latvia

AltGr+e

LV1

Latvia-QWERTY

AltGr+4

LT

Lithuania

AltGr+e

LT1

Lithuanian_New

AltGr+e

MAC

Macedonian_Cyrillic

AltGr+e

NO

Norwegian

AltGr+e

PL

Polish

AltGr+u

PL1

Polish Programmer's

AltGr+u

PO

Portuguese - KBD163

AltGr+e

YCL

Serbian_Latin

AltGr+e

YCC

Serbian_Cyrillic

AltGr+e

SL

Slovak

AltGr+e

SL1

Slovak (QWERTY)

AltGr+e

SP

Spanish

AltGr+e

SW

Swedish

AltGr+e

SF

Swiss French

AltGr+e

SG

Swiss German

AltGr+e

TUF

Turkish F 440

AltGr+e

TUQ

Turkish Q 179

AltGr+e

UK

United Kingdom

AltGr+4

USX

US-International

AltGr+5

 

others2

Alt+0128

1If your keyboard doesn't have an 'AltGr' key, use the right 'Alt' key.
2On standard US keyboards, hold down either the Alt key and type 0128 on the numeric keypad part of your keyboard. The AltGr combinations listed are not implemented on US keyboard, as users expect both right and left Alt keys to have the same effect.
Microsoft's Natural keyboard Elite

In addition, most keyboard manufacturers, including Microsoft, are now producing keyboards that have a 'euro-key'.

Q.
A.

Printing

Q.Will my printer output the new symbol?
A.

Yes, it should work fine, providing you don't use printer resident fonts that do not include the euro. You may need to adjust your printer setup options, as using resident fonts will probably be the default setting. Look for 'print fonts as graphics' or similar settings in your printer setup options.

Printing fonts as graphics instead of using resident fonts will often result in slower printing. Check with your printer manufacturer to see if they have updated drivers or print managers that may improve performance. Newer printers should have support for the symbol built into their resident fonts.

Q.
A.

Font Availability

Q.What about PostScript Type 1 fonts?
A.

Initially, Adobe added the euro to their Symbol font. It is encoded at position 240 of the symbol font encoding array. On 27 May 1998, Adobe released three PostScript type families that include the euro currency symbol. These are available for free download from the Adobe Web site. All OpenType fonts from Adobe (except pi/ornaments fonts) include a design-sensitive euro currency symbol

Q.When can we expect the euro to be included in all new fonts?
A.

Microsoft includes the symbol within all the original fonts we produce and fonts we supply with our products. Most independent font vendors also now include the symbol within their fonts.

Q.New and Links
A.

A special euro-related news and links page has been posted in our Links, news and contacts section.

Q.
A.

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