This has all kinds of uses. If I don't recognize what language I'm looking at, Character Identifier can usually help. If I want to know how some Unicode character was composed (e.g., strikethrough in plain text, h̶o̶w̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶s̶i̶b̶l̶e̶?̶), this often helps. If I'm unsure of which character I'm looking at (some characters in some fonts look identical or nearly so), this tells me what it really is.
It would be nice to be able to identify characters in textboxes, though.
This extension seems a bit forgotten, both by the author (no update since 2011) and the users (no recent comment!). I use it quite occasionally, but I am always happy to have it handy. It loads data lazily (only on first usage), so it doesn't take much memory.
I was a bit disappointed to find out it didn't recognize a character I found (not displayed by Firefox): U+26E2
Fortunately, the author left the data in the open (no encryption / compression).
I went to my profile\extensions\firstname.lastname@example.org\data and found out a file named UnicodeData.txt. I renamed it (to keep in as fallback), and downloaded a file of same name at http://www.unicode.org/Public/7.0.0/ucd/ (just change the version number to get a more recent version).
After a restart of Firefox, I could find out the name of this character: ASTRONOMICAL SYMBOL FOR URANUS
I would appreciate a way to copy text from the result...
I updated the database to Unicode 8.0.0. Sorry it took so long; I'd been meaning to do that for a while.
Really, much of the extension should be rewritten: the context menu should be hooked in using the mechanism in Web Extensions (which would make it restartless), and I expect that will require that I rewrite the UI in HTML rather than XUL, which would in turn probably make it easier to allow copying.
Does what it says it does. Useful when I do not wish to switch to the terminal for checking the characters.
David, it would be great if you updated this add-on to the current Unicode standard.
Two feature wishes: 1. A shortkey to open the Character Identifier window directly, without going through the context menu 2. Checking the selected text (such as “U+2764”) and, if valid, displaying the character and its description
(Also, many thanks for your work on the CSS side!)
While some of us will be more interested in Unicode than others, considering its projected omnipresence, I expect many of us continue to search for the best way to express Unicode in our own compositions. Character Identifier, the mozilla add-on XPI, deserves your attention as a practical Unicode learning tool. By identifying only those characters which have been "selected" in a text (i.e. text selected using the mouse, or a combination of shift+arrow-keys), it eliminates the need to sort through charts and tables to find the desired code point for a particular character glyph, or set of characters/ glyphs. I've given Character Identifier a high rating because I appreciate the author's attention to detail: select a bit of text (i.e. rendered from HTML, as in a web page), choose "Identify Characters" from the context menu, and a new dialogue window appears showing, in itemized detail, the Unicode Character which corresponds to each of the glyphs selected. The code points are hexadecimal, aligned with the Unicode Character name (i.e. unicode.org "Characters, not Glyphs" , Fig 2.2 http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode5.0.0/). This is a proper learning tool for people interested in Unicode, but it will serve as a means of simply learning NCR's as well.
When testing sites that use numerous transliterated characters, I can't imagine NOT using Character Identifier. It is simple, accurate (and a screenshot with an open Char display is a nice addition to a bug report).