# In LyX, is it possible to customize the special characters (specifically symbols)? [closed]

This could be a problem to many newcomers to LyX (and LaTeX in general), who are migrating from word processors; the story is that first I try to insert a special character, an arrow for example, so I choose `Insert -> Special Character -> Symbols...` from the menu, and choose the `Arrows` category. That works fine for some fonts such as the Latin Modern Roman but not for others such as Palatino.

The next thing I would try is to use symbols from the Dingbats category. And again, it doesn't always work with errors such as ```l.31 \textrightarrow{}\FiveStarConvex {} I wasn't able to read the size data for this font, so I will ignore the font specification.```

The third thing I would do is to change the encoding to unicode by putting `\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}` in the preamble (can also be done through the `Document -> Settings` dialog). This has the effect of adding many other dingbats to the dingbats symbol category. But again, this seems to be useless (at least from a beginner's point of view).

My problem in summary is that I'm not able to insert special symbols from the `Insert -> Special Character -> Symbols...` dialog the way I can in Open Office Writer for example. Is it possible to make symbol insertion more usable, probably through some configuration?

Or may be using XeTeX helps in this situation? I tried XeTeX actually but it ignored the symbols I inserted, obviously because they are not supported in the font I was using.

So any clue, or tutorial on this?

I found that some fonts include representation for Dingbats, such as FreeSerif. Other fonts such as Times New Roman don't. I also found that the Character Map tool of Gnome doesn't show that some characters are not provided by some fonts. So may be I just need to use XeTeX, and find an alternative to the Gnome Character Map tool to know which fonts provide which symbols.

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I installed the fontmatrix program and strangely enough, I found that FreeSerif doesn't have glyphs for Dingbats, though I could include Dingbats in a sample XeTeX document using FreeSerif! –  John Kirollos May 27 '11 at 22:41
This is essentially a feature request for Lyx, and therefore not actually a question we can answer. –  Joseph Wright Mar 3 '12 at 21:33