While browsing the Internet (as well as in the offline world), we come across many symbols. Some of them are common, but for others, you’ve probably wondered what a particular symbol means more than once.
Fortunately, the Internet has plenty of symbol identifier resources to help. We’ll show you how to find the meaning of a symbol using a variety of methods.
1. Identify symbols using Symbols.com
The aptly named symbols.com is a great place to start your symbol search. Along with the featured selections and categories on the home page, you can use its symbol search engine to find what you’re looking for. Just type a query at the top and you will see symbols that match it.
That’s great if you want to find a symbol by text (for example, looking for the symbol for “kosher”). But in many cases, you’ll see a symbol and wonder what it means. Fortunately, the site offers other ways to identify a symbol.
At the bottom left of the page, you will see the graphic index section. This allows you to search for a symbol based on its characteristics. It provides some simple dropdown boxes that allow you to specify whether the shape is open or closed, whether it has colors, whether the lines are curved or straight, and the like.
Enter all the information you know, then click Search to search for symbols that match your criteria. If this doesn’t help you find what you’re looking for, you can use the Symbol Categories to browse groupings like currency signs, warning symbolsand others.
Failing that, you can search alphabetically using the letters at the top of the screen. If you’re not looking for anything in particular, the random entry The link can help you learn something new.
This website is part of a network called STANDS4 that helps you find a lot of other information. See the links at the bottom to visit similar sites to find information on zip codes, common phrases, rhymes, and more.
2. Draw a symbol to discover its meaning
If you are puzzled by a symbol you saw offline, it makes more sense to find the symbol by an image. You will find several sites that offer the functionality of drawing a symbol and finding out what it means.
one of these is shape catcher. Simply draw the symbol you want to find with your mouse or touch screen and click the Recognize button. The service will return symbols that match your drawing.
If you don’t see a match, draw it again and try again. The site only uses free Unicode fonts, so it may not have all possible symbols. For an alternative, try detexify. It focuses on LaTeX symbols, but is still generally useful and will point you in the right symbol direction.
3. Google Search Symbols
If you come across an unknown icon while browsing the web, you don’t have to worry about looking it up on a symbol identifier site. Just run a symbol search with Google, and you should have your answer in seconds.
In Chrome, along with most other browsers, you can easily search for any text on Google. Just highlight it on the page, right-click and choose Search on Google “[term]”. This will open a new tab with a Google search for what you highlighted. If your browser doesn’t have this for some reason, you can simply copy the symbol as you would any other text and paste it into Google in a new tab.
Either way, Google should point you in the right direction to find the meaning of that symbol. You can learn all about it on resources like Wikipedia.
4. Browse a list of symbols
Unicode (the standard for text encoding) supports a number of common symbols, which is how they can appear as standard text. While they don’t have dedicated keys on a standard keyboard, you can use various methods to type foreign characters instead.
If you couldn’t find the symbol you’re looking for with any of the above methods, you can find it by browsing through all the symbols supported by Unicode. Look at this Compart list of “other symbol” Unicode characters and you may find the one that interests you. If you prefer an alternative, take a look at the Unicode character table.
Of course, not all symbols are Unicode-compliant. Traffic signs, religious symbols and symbols of everyday consumption are not part of it. You may need to dig deeper Wikipedia Symbol List Page for those types of icons, or see List of Ancient-Symbols For the less technological.
5. Learn what the emoji symbols mean
While you might argue that they aren’t technically symbols, emojis often pose a point of confusion for people. After all, there are hundreds of emojis to keep track of, their designs differ between platforms, and many have multiple meanings. New emojis appear all the time, making them a whole additional language to keep track of.
First, we recommend checking out our guide to emoji face meanings. This will bring you up to speed on some of the more common ones.
If you still have questions about emoji symbols, take a look at emojipedia. Here you can search for a specific emoji, browse by categories, and read emoji news. Each emoji’s page tells you not only what its official meaning is, but also what it’s commonly used for.
6. Use a stock ticker symbol finder
We round off our discussion of discovering symbol meanings by mentioning financial symbols. They’re obviously different than the symbols mentioned above, but they’re still a type of symbol you might want to look for.
market clock is one of the best ways to check stock prices online and offers a handy symbol lookup tool. If you know the symbol you are interested in, enter it to see the details of that company. If you’re not sure what it is, enter a company name and you’ll see matches.
Once you land on a business page, you can see all kinds of data, like trends, news, and competitors.
Learn what any symbol means easily
Now you know where to turn whenever you come across an unknown symbol. Whether you do a quick Google search or draw a symbol you saw offline, you no longer have to guess what these icons mean.
Meanwhile, many platforms and services have their own symbols that you should also be aware of.