I wondered if it was possible to type Unicode characters like an em_dash and curly quotes into ed. I am completing a project that requires these special characters in the document.

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    What have you tried? What didn't work as expected? Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 7:18
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    I have no issues using s/😝/🤪 to change one emoji to another on the current line using ed, or using smart quotes etc. If you just have a way of entering these special characters (which is not something ed will help you with), ed will accept them. Please describe your issue in a bit more detail.
    – Kusalananda
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 7:55
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    Does this help in any way? What are curly quotes and can I use them in my code?
    – Kusalananda
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 8:01
  • If I try to enter smart quotes in windows using alt+0147 or alt+0148 I get these characters instead of smart quotes: ôö. I am using a US keyboard.
    – Edman
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 9:12
  • Thank you. I have found another way (aText) to insert smart quotes, and they appear fine in ed. My original question was whether ed itself could do this, but this has been answered. Thank you.
    – Edman
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 10:50

1 Answer 1


When in user input mode, the ed editor takes the input from the user the way it is given. The editor does not provide any method of entering special glyphs but will accept these if the user generates them as input.

So, if the window environment, or some other application, allows you to input "smart quotes" conveniently, ed will gracefully insert these into the document.

Possibly also of relevance:

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