Unicode character recognition!
This is a tool to help you find Unicode characters. Finding a specific character whose name you don't know is cumbersome. On shapecatcher.com, all you need to know is the shape of the character!
How do I use it?
Draw your character as best you can in the "drawbox". You can do this by clicking and holding the left mouse button and moving around. Draw as many strokes as you need to, then click "Recognize" to start the recognition. If you want to clear the canvas and the results click on "Clear".
My character isn't found!
It might simply not be in the database yet. For the time being, I only use glyphs from free Unicode fonts to avoid licensing problems. The algorithms behind the character recognition could handle many more characters, so I hope to extend the database in the near future. See the Unicode list if you want to know which Unicode blocks are currently supported.
If you can't find Chinese, Japanese or Korean glyphs,
it is because I have yet to find a good free CJK font to use . Google recently created Noto, which aims to offer free high-quality typefaces for all languages with a very permissive license (Apache 2.0). The CJK font they include seems to be excellent, too. I do have plans to include it, but sadly I'm currently not having much time to improve Shapecatcher.
Alternatively, shapecatcher might not perform well on your character. Try to draw it as precisely as you can. Drop me an e-mail if you think that the results are particularly disappointing.
Help! It doesn't work at all!
This project is still in a beta stage. The drawing box relies on HTML5 features, so you need a newer browser. I have tested the site succesfully with Firefox 6 and recent versions of Chrome, Opera, Safari.
If you get a "Bad Gateway" error, the recognition engine can't be reached or is currently offline. Feel free to inform me by e-mail about it.
I like this project, how can I help you?
Spread the word! Also both praise and criticism are very welcome!
Do you support Latex characters?
No, but if you want the commands for special characters in Latex, take a look at Detexify.
I want to know more, how does this work?
More information is on the about page!