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I am currently using the normal Evil keybindings (defaults). How do I enter unicode characters such as U+21d2 ⇒ ? In routine applications such as Gedit or Firefox, we can use Ctrl+Shift+U 2 1 d 2 or in Vim, we can use Ctrl+V u 2 1 d 2. What is the equivalent in Spacemacs? I've tried Ctrl+V u 2 1 d 2 as well as Ctrl+V 2 1 d 2. The first one just doesn't work whereas the second one stops after two letters.

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This answer is written for Spacemacs 0.105.19 with default keybindings.

Since you already know that Ctrl+v might be one way to do it, you can look at the documentation to understand what it does. In Insert mode, type Ctrl+h (help) then k (for describe-key) and then Ctrl+v. Amongst other things, this points out that

The variable `read-quoted-char-radix' specifies the radix for this feature; set it to 10 or 16 to use decimal or hex instead of octal.

You can click on read-quoted-char-radix and it will show you the current value and the default (which is 8). Click on customize to change the value: set it to 16 for hex codes and 10 for decimal codes.

After you've set read-quoted-char-radix to 16, you can use Ctrl+v 2 1 d 2 RET in Insert mode to put in the ⇒ arrow. Using SPC instead of RET will give an extra space unlike other applications.

In normal editing mode (i.e., not Insert mode), you can also do a reverse lookup using SPC i u and typing say "rightwards double arrow" will give you several options such as ⇒ (rightwards double arrow), ⟹ (long rightwards double arrow) etc. You can pick an option and the character will be inserted at the cursor position.

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    wow you are replying to yourself like you were someone else :-D – syl20bnr May 3 '16 at 18:03
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    I'm a bit star-struck right now :D. Actually I had asked this question in the Gitter chat a couple of months back and TheBB had nicely described the solution for me. Turns out I forgot the solution. So I retraced my steps and wrote down the solution step-by-step. Now I can't forget it :). – cutculus May 3 '16 at 18:10

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