I am trying to indicate the sex of a species using the symbols ♀ and ♂ in MapInfo. I would like the symbols to display in the label of each species point, but I cannot find out how to do this.

I had thought I could maybe use chr$(), but I can't find the code for these symbols.

  • 1
    Can I ask how you did the symbols in the question?
    – Nathan W
    Nov 16, 2010 at 11:12
  • I got them from word. I inserted a symbol, and they are under the subset Miscellaneous Symbols in the insert symbol dialog. They seem to have a character code of 2640 and 2642 from unicode.
    – James S
    Nov 16, 2010 at 11:18

2 Answers 2


Done in QGIS:

However there is a catch [as always] you can't save it [to shapefile anyway], once you save it they revert to ?. You also have to use Lucida Console font in order to get the symbols to show up. I just made the codes up and used the female symbol to test

EDIT: Turns out you can save it, with the correct ♀ and ♂ and even use other fonts, if you use a spatiallite database as the file type rather then shape file.

I did try this trick in MapInfo to but it doesn't seem to work, you just get a ? even if you use Lucida Console. alt text

  • You cant mix and match fonts in the same label. You would have to add the layer into the map window twice, and label each layer differently. This creates lots of problems with aligning the labels as I would like to have the species code followed by the gender symbol.
    – James S
    Nov 16, 2010 at 13:50
  • Just a proposal, as I can't see your data, would you be able to use the male/female sex symbols for the point object symbols and use two layered thematics. One for the sex symbols and the other with maybe just a plain circle of colour to show species. Not what you asked but just a thought.
    – Nathan W
    Nov 16, 2010 at 14:35
  • Thanks for the suggestion. Ordinarily I would use that approach but for this map I need to follow a specific set of styles. The point needs to be styled as the 2 letter species code (BT, R.), followed by the ♀ and ♂ symbols depending on whether they are male or female.
    – James S
    Nov 16, 2010 at 15:27
  • hmmm I know I could do this in QGIS but I'm not sure how well you could do it in MapInfo.
    – Nathan W
    Nov 16, 2010 at 23:03
  • 1
    I'll see if I can come up with something and post a screenshot.
    – Nathan W
    Nov 17, 2010 at 9:58

If you really want to do it in MapInfo you could create a custom symbol for it and use that, rather than putting the symbol in the label. Obviously though this may not be ideal as you wouldn't be able to, for example, label a polygon object with the symbol. You could even create a point symbol and the gender symbol as one image - as long as you keep the point part at the centre of the image this could work well. You could then add label text on top of this.

Another simpler way would be to use "M" and "F" but that's just avoiding the problem!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.