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Entering non-ALA diacritics and special characters

When entering information in bibliographic records in Connexion, you can insert most letters, numbers, diacritics and special characters by using the ALA Character Set, which is available in

  • Connexion browser as a pop-up menu (F7) or as bar syntax by clicking on Diacritics in the header
  • Connexion client via ALA Character Entry (Edit/Enter Diacritics, or Ctrl-E, or toolbar option "ALA")

When entering diacritics, enter the diacritic after the character which it modifies. It will appear in the proper position. However, in some instances the ALA Character Set does not supply the appropriate representation. In those cases follow the instructions in the table below.

For more information, see Library of Congress Rule Interpretation 1.0E.

Original Character Equivalent Example Type As

Subscript or superscript alphabetic character


If no distortion or loss of intelligibility results, use standard lowercase alphabetic character.



2e 2e
no no
Otherwise use the double underscore with the standard character representing the superscript or subscript character. Image39.gif-spaces lp.gif
Subscript or superscript period Blank space followed by dot below character or superior dot. (Since the dot below a character and superior dot are diacritics, a blank space is required to allow the dot to occupy its own position.) Fe (51. 5) Rh (83.4) Fe ( 5 1 . 5)  

Rh (8 3 . 4)
Old German small e Umlaut Fursten Fu¨rsten
Scharfes s or ess-zet written as two characters 1 Image45.gif sz Auszenhandel Auszenhandel
Scharfes s or ess-zet written as a ligature 1     scharfe_ss.gif ss Aussenhandel Aussenhandel
Special letters or diacritics used in African languages
For a special letter, use a double underscore with the nearest roman alphabet equivalent to the unavailable letter.
Image47.gif a.gif
Image48.gif b.gif
Image49.gif d.gif
Image50.gif e.gif
Image51.gif g.gif
Image52.gif k.gif
Image53.gif n.gif
Image54.gif o.gif
Image55.gif v.gif
Image56.gif z.gif
For a ^ below a letter, use a double underscore below the letter.
Image57.gif d.gif
Image58.gif l.gif
Image59.gif n.gif
Image60.gif t.gif
For a Image61.gif below a letter, use a dot below the letter. Image62.gif e_du.gif
Image63.gif o_du.gif
Image64.gif s_du.gif
Abbreviation Image65.gif in Spanish or Portuguese a . Image66.gif  5a. regia ~o
Abbreviation Image67.gif in Spanish or Portuguese o . Image68.gif 9o. Distrito
Inch(es) Image72.gif Image73.gif Image73.gif
Foot (feet) Image74.gif Image73.gif Image73.gif
Minutes. SEE Foot      
Prime sign. SEE Foot      
Seconds. SEE Inch(es)      
Single quotation marks not enclosed within double quotation marks on source document Double quotation marks New 'half-inch' cycling road maps New "half-inch" cycling road maps
Other signs or symbols not represented in character set Use existing characters when this can be done without distortion or loss of intelligibility. Image75.gif for social studies Rx for social studies
Otherwise, describe the special sign or symbol in words and enclose the descriptive words within brackets. If the special sign or symbol appears within a word, do not leave spaces on either side of the brackets If the special sign or symbol is used as a separate word, input spaces as for a word. A study of the Ankh A study of the [ankh]
Schwa   Image76.gif ha¨t
Greek characters (in scientific or mathematical contexts)

 Note: Greek characters should be used in a record only if the item is written in Greek.

Spell out in English and enclose in square brackets Determining α-helix correspondence for protein structure. Determining [alpha]-helix correspondence for protein structure.
Lambda- calculus [lambda]-calculus

1   The ess-zet is not yet authorized by the Library of Congress for use in Authority records. NACO participants should check the LC Guidelines Supplement for the most current information. Another source to consult is the Authority File Comparison Rules (NACO Normalization) (

Spacing characters

You can now enter these characters as characters (you may continue to enter them using hex values).

 Note: Do not confuse these spacing characters with their non-spacing counterparts. Use of the spacing characters is limited almost exclusively to URLs. For example, Núñez uses the non-spacing tilde, but {{""}} uses the spacing tilde.

Original Character Equivalent Example Type As
Enter as character or hex value Spacing circumflex/circumflex accent ^ %5E
Spacing underscore/low line 2   _ %5F
Spacing grave/grave accent ` %60
Spacing tilde/tilde ~ %7E
Enter as hex value only vertical bar | %7C

2   Because the Spacing Underscore may cause problems with MARC output, users may prefer to continue entering it with the hexadecimal value %5F.

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