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Wingdings are a series of dingbat fonts which render letters as a variety of symbols. They were originally developed in 1990 by Microsoft by combining glyphs from Lucida Icons, Arrows, and Stars licensed from Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes.[1] Certain versions of the font's copyright string include an attribution to Type Solutions, Inc., the maker of a tool used to hint the font.

None of the characters were mapped to Unicode at the time; however, Unicode approved the addition of many symbols in the Wingdings and Webdings fonts in Unicode 7.0.[2][3]


Wingdings font.png
Category Symbol
Designer(s) Charles Bigelow
Kris Holmes
Foundry Bigelow and Holmes, Microsoft Corp.
Date released 1990
Wingdings sample text

Wingdings is a TrueType dingbat font included in all versions of Microsoft Windows from version 3.1 onwards.[4]

The Wingdings trademark is owned by Microsoft,[4] and the design and glyph order was awarded U.S. Design Patent D341848 in 1993.[5][6] The patent expired in 2005. In many other countries, a Design Patent would be called a registered design. It is registration of a design to deter imitation, rather than a claim of a novel invention.

This font contains many largely recognized shapes and gestures as well as some recognized world symbols, such as the Star of David, the symbols of the zodiac, index or manicle signs, hand gestures, and obscure ampersands.

Mosaic of Wingdings characters

Wingdings 2[edit]

Wingdings 2
Wingdings 2 font.png
Category Dingbat
Designer(s) Charles Bigelow
Kris Holmes
Foundry Type Solutions
Wingdings 2 sample text

Wingdings 2 is a TrueType font distributed, for example, with Microsoft Office.[7] The font was developed in 1990 by Type Solutions, Inc. The current copyright holder is Microsoft Corporation. Among the features of Wingdings 2 are 16 forms of the index, Enclosed Alphanumerics from 0 to 10, multiple forms of ampersand and interrobang, several geometric shapes and an asterism.

Mosaic of Wingdings 2 characters

Wingdings 3[edit]

Wingdings 3
Wingdings 3 font.png
Category Symbol
Designer(s) Charles Bigelow
Kris Holmes
Foundry Type Solutions
Wingdings 3 sample text

Wingdings 3 is a TrueType dingbat font distributed with Microsoft Office and some other Microsoft products.[8]

The font was originally developed in 1990 by Type Solutions, Inc. Currently,[when?] the copyright holder is Microsoft Corporation. Wingdings 3 consists almost entirely of arrow variations and includes many symbols for key tops as defined in ISO/IEC 9995-7.

Mosaic of Wingdings 3 characters


The "NYC" symbols typed out in Wingdings

In 1992, only days after the release of Windows 3.1, it was discovered that the character sequence "NYC" (a frequently used abbreviation for New York City) in Wingdings was rendered as a skull and crossbones symbol, Star of David, and thumbs up gesture. This was often claimed to be an antisemitic message referencing New York's large Jewish community.[9] Microsoft strongly denied this was intentional, and insisted that the final arrangement of the glyphs in the font was largely random. (The character sequence "NYC" in the later-released Webdings font, in turn, was intentionally rendered as eye, heart, and city skyline, referring to the I Love New York logo.[10])

9/11 attacks[edit]

The "Q33 NY" symbols typed out in Wingdings

After September 11, 2001, an email was circulated claiming that entering "Q33 NY", which it claims is the flight number of the first plane to hit the Twin Towers, in Wingdings would bring up a character sequence of a plane flying into two abstract symbols which may be interpreted as skyscrapers, followed by the skull and crossbones symbol and the Star of David.[9] This is a hoax; the flight numbers of the two airplanes that hit the towers were American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175; the tail numbers were N334AA and N612UA.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Notes on Lucida designs(by Charles Bigelow, November 2005)
  2. ^ Unicode 7.0.0 Pictographic symbols (including many emoji), geometric symbols, arrows, and ornaments originating from the Wingdings and Webdings sets
  3. ^ Wingdings and Webdings Symbols (Unicode document 11-052) by Michel Suignard, 2011-02-15, study of the repertoire and possibilities of unification
  4. ^ a b Fonts supplied with Windows 3.1.
  5. ^ Typeface - Google Patent Search
  6. ^ United States Patent: D341848
  7. ^ Wingdings 2 - Version 1.55
  8. ^ Wingdings 3 - Version 1.55
  9. ^ a b "Does Microsoft's Wingdings font includes hidden anti-Semitic and 9/11-referential messages?". 11 December 2005. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  10. ^ MS Denies Wingding Thing, Again|Wired Magazine