How to Type Special Characters on a Mac Keyboard: Currency, Trademarks, Accents, and Math Symbols (2023)

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to type a special character on a Mac keyboard and end up copying and pasting every single letter. You’re thinking to yourself, “oh $*«π” — but frustratingly, you’re not even able to type how you’re feeling.

With over 12 years of experience in all things Mac, we’ve learned a plethora of tips and tricks to help speed up your work. Whether you’re looking to accelerate your special character game or learn tips such as how to zoom in with keyboard shortcuts, we’ve got you covered.

Keep reading to learn how to type special characters on a Mac keyboard, including currency, trademarks, accents, math symbols, and much more.

Table of contents:

  • Special characters
  • Accents
  • Math symbols
  • Other special characters
  • Hidden characters
  • Special characters with character view

How to type special characters on a Mac

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for typing special characters on a Mac keyboard. You can copy and paste these special characters or learn how to type each character with our keyboard shortcut guide below.

Key

+Option

+Option - Shift

Key

+Option

+Option - Shift

A

å

Å

º

B

¹

1

¡

Ž

C

ç

Ç

2

D

Î

3

£

Ð

E

´

(used with a character)

´

4

¢

ð

F

ƒ

Ï

5

ƒ

Þ

G

©

6

§

þ

H

Ó

7

ý

I

ˆ

(used with a character)

8

°

J

Ô

9

ª

·

K

š

-

L

¬

Ò

=

±

M

µ

Â

[

N

˜

(used with a character)

]

O

ø

Ø

\

´

ª

P

π

/

¿

Q

œ

Œ

!

¡

R

®

,

¯

S

ß

Í

æ

Æ

T

ˇ

.

˘

U

¨

(used with a character)

¨

;

Ú

V

W

X

˛

Y

¥

Á

Z

Ω

˛

Special characters are keyboard characters without dedicated keys or require more than two steps to create. Although things like password prompts may refer to symbols like @, !, #, or % as special characters, these symbols actually have dedicated keys on U.S. keyboards and are (without getting too pedantic) technically not special characters.

Special characters on a Mac refer to things like currency, trademarks, copyrights, and math symbols.

Below, we cover the keyboard combinations used to type these special characters.

€ (European Euro)

The Euro symbol shortcut on the Mac is different depending on whether you’re using a US orUK keyboard, with an easier method on the latter. When used in English, the Euro symbol should come before the number. However, when used in French or Dutch, place the Euro symbol after the number.

Here’s how to type the Euro symbol on a Mac keyboard:

  • UK: Option + 2
  • US: Option + Shift + 2

Example: English: €25, French/Dutch: 25€

£ (British Pound)

The British Pound symbol is a staple key on the UK keyboard, taking the place of a pound sign (#) on the US keyboard.

Here’s how to type a British Pound symbol on your keyboard:

  • UK: Shift + 3
  • US: Option + 3

Example: £25

¥ (Japanese Yen or Chinese Yuan)

The ¥ symbol is used for both Japanese Yen and Chinese Yuan. In both languages, it is typed before the number.

Here’s how to type a Yen or Yuan symbol:

  • ¥ — Option + Y

Example: ¥50 or CN¥50

(Video) Typing Special Characters Using Unicode On Your Mac

¢ (Cents)

The cent symbol is a commonly used denomination across several currencies. Contrary to most other symbols, the cent symbol is typed after the number.

Here’s how to type a cent symbol:

  • ¢ — Option + 4

Example: 50¢

™ (Trademark)

A trademark is a symbol (mark) that’s unique to a business (trade). Trademarks are used to differentiate a product from another brand.

Here’s how to type a trademark:

  • — Option + 2

Example: 3M: Science. Applied to Life.™

® (Registered symbol)

You can think of a registered symbol as a superpowered trademark. The ® symbol stands for, you guessed it, a registered trademark. This means it’s protected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Registered trademarks protect a slogan, logo, or brand name — essentially, it protects an intangible piece of intellectual property.

Here’s how to type a registered trademark:

  • ® — Option + R

Example: Coca-Cola®

© (Copyright)

While the registered symbol (®) protects a slogan, logo, or brand name, the copyright symbol (©) protects the product itself. A copyright protects the right to make copies of or license a particular piece of work.

Here’s how to type a copyright symbol:

  • © — Option + G

Example: © 1998 — 2022 Costco Wholesale Corporation. All rights reserved.

˚ (Degrees)

The degrees symbol is one of the most commonly used special characters. Whether you’re bracing for a winter storm or battling the desert heat, you’ll need to know how to use the degree symbol in a variety of scenarios.

Here’s how to type a degree symbol:

  • º — Option + 0

Example: Today is 73º Fahrenheit.

How to type accents on a Mac keyboard

The option key helps you add several different types of accents and diacritic marks. Usually, you can press the Option key + the letter you’d like to add an accent to, and several options will appear.

Check out these accent shortcuts with a guide to keystrokes, or the order of keys you’ll need to press.

(Video) Mac Keyboard Tutorial: Enter Special Characters & Symbols

Character

Accent

Key Stroke

Uppercase

Lowercase

´

Acute

Option + e + character

Á É Í Ó Ú

á é í ó ú

`

Grave

Option + ` + character

À È Ì Ò Ù

à è ì ò ù

˜

Eñe / Tilde

Option + n + character

Ã Ñ Õ

ã ñ õ

ˆ

Circumflex

Option + i + character

Ê Î Ô Û

â ê î ô û

¨

Umlaut

Option + u + character

Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü Ÿ

ä ë ï ö ü ÿ

Ø or ø

Option + o

Ø

ø

Å or å

Option + a

Å

å

Æ or æ

Option + ‘

Æ

æ

Œ or œ

Option + q

Œ

œ

Ç or ç

Option + c

Ç

ç

¡

Option + !

¡

¿

Option + ?

¿

Acute accent: á, é, í, ó, or ú

An acute accent represents a variation in tone for spoken words, signifying a sharper pitch. Acute accents are commonly used in languages such as Latin, Spanish, Greek, and various Eastern European dialects.

Here’s how to type an acute accent on your Mac keyboard:

  1. Press Option + E
  2. Press A, E, I, O, or U (the letter you want to add an accent to)

Example: Sí papá

Grave accent: à, è, ì, ò, or ù

Contrary to acute accents, grave accents are spoken with a heavier, louder tone. Grave accents are common in languages such as Italian, French, Portuguese, Norwegian, Catalan, and Vietnamese.

Here’s how to type a grave accent on your Mac keyboard:

  1. Press Option + ` (upper left of keyboard)
  2. Press A, E, I, O, or U (the letter you want to add an accent to)

Example: Vai in città

Eñe character: ñ, ã, õ

An eñe (ñ) character is a commonly used letter of the Spanish alphabet and is unique in how it has its own place in the alphabet (after N).

However, you will not be able to find it on a regular QWERTY keyboard. So if you need to learn how to type ñ on a keyboard, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s how to type an eñe character on your Mac keyboard:

  1. Press option + N
  2. Press N, A, or O (the letter you want to add an accent to)

Example: No, señor

Circumflex character: â, ê, î, ô, or û

Circumflex characters are commonly used in languages such as French, Portuguese, Welsh, Turkish, Persian, Russian, and Ukrainian.

Here’s how to type a circumflex character on your Mac keyboard:

  1. Press option + I
  2. Press A, E, I, O, or U (the letter you want to add an accent to)

Example: Côte d'Azur

Umlaut accent: ä, ë, ï, ö, or ü

Umlaut accents are well known for being a feature of the German language but they’re used in a plethora of others too. This includes Finnish, Hungarian, Slovak, Swedish, and Turkish.

Here’s how to type a circumflex character on your Mac keyboard:

  1. Press Option + U
  2. Press A, E, I, O, or U (the letter you want to add an accent to)

Example: Äpfel

Ø or ø

The character ø is commonly used in Scandinavian languages such as Danish, Norwegian, and Faroese.

(Video) How To Use Hidden Characters On Your Mac Keyboard

Here’s how to type an Ø or ø on your Mac keyboard:

  • Ø | Uppercase: Shift + Option + O
  • ø | Lowercase: Option + O

Example: mør

Å or å

Similar to ø, the character å is commonly used in Scandinavian languages including Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Faroese.

Here’s how to type an Å or å on your Mac keyboard:

  • Uppercase: Shift + Option + A
  • Lowercase: Option + A

Example: ålder

Æ or æ

The character Æ represents a ligatured ae.

Here’s how to type an Æ or æ on your Mac keyboard:

  • Uppercase: Shift + Option + ‘
  • Lowercase: Option + ‘

Example: Cæsar

Œ or œ

The character œ is a ligature of o and e. It is most often used in Latin and French.

Here’s how to type an Œ or œ on your Mac keyboard:

  • Uppercase: Shift + Option + Q
  • Lowercase: Option + Q

Example: manœuvre

Ç or ç

The character ç is often used in Middle Eastern languages such as Albanian, Azerbaijani, Turkish, and Kurdish. It is also used in some European languages including Catalan, French, and Portuguese.

Here’s how to type an Ç or ç on your Mac keyboard:

  • Uppercase: Shift + Option + C
  • Lowercase: Option + C

Example: comme ça

¡

Inverted punctuation, such as ¡ or ¿, are commonly used in Spanish and Latin American Spanish languages. These characters are used to begin and end an exclamatory sentence.

Here’s how to type ¡ on your Mac keyboard:

  • Option + 1

Example: ¡Celebración!

(Video) Typing Special Characters (#1057)

¿

Similar to ¡, the character ¿ is used to begin a question. It is mirrored at the end with the standard punctuation format of a question mark.

Here’s how to type ¿ on your Mac keyboard:

  • Shift + Option + ?

Example: ¿que?

How to type math symbols on a Mac keyboard

There are two ways to type math symbols on your Mac keyboard: using the character viewer to manually select symbols, or using character combinations.

Check out the keyboard shortcuts below:

  • — Option + W
  • Π or π — Option + P / Shift + Option + P
  • — Option + J
  • ƒ — Option + F
  • Ω — Option+ Z
  • — Option + X
  • — Option + V
  • — Option + B
  • Μ or µ — Option + M
  • — Option + <
  • — Option + >
  • — Option + 5
  • — Option + + (plus sign)

Other special characters

Above, we listed several common special characters and how to type them on a Mac keyboard.

But there are several additional characters you can type using keyboard shortcuts as well. Keep reading for additional characters and how to type them.

  • § — Option + 6
  • — Option + 7
  • — Option + 8
  • ª — Option + 9
  • — Option + t
  • — Option +

For other special characters not listed, you can always use the character viewer from your emoji keyboard. This will allow you to type special characters including hearts, arrows, stars, horoscopes, and more.

How to type special characters with character view

If keyboard shortcuts feel a bit overwhelming to memorize, character view is a great alternative you can add to your menu bar.

However, using the character view can be time consuming since you’ll need to manually search for and select each character.

To use the character viewer, use the shortcut ^ + Command + Space, or:

  1. Click Edit on your menu bar
  2. Click Emojis and Symbols
  3. Click the expansion button on the top right
  4. Click the symbol type you’d like to use on the left-hand side
  5. Manually select your symbol

How to see hidden characters on your Mac

If you’re more of a visual learner, you may want to consider using the keyboard viewer to see an on-screen representation of the hidden characters on your keyboard.

However, it’s important to note that running background processes like this could slow down your Mac.

Here’s how to see more hidden characters on your Mac:

  1. Go to your system preferences and select Keyboard
  2. Select the Input sources tab
  3. Check the box titled Show Input menu in menu bar
  4. Look at your menu bar to find a symbol that looks like a calendar with a command symbol within it — this is the keyboard viewer
  5. Click Show emojis and symbols
  6. Click the calendar icon in the top right corner of the new window to reveal the full list of special characters

Conclusion

If you’re looking up special characters, it’s likely that you spend quite a bit of time on your Mac.

(Video) how to insert special characters on a mac

We don’t blame you — we love Macs too! To keep your computer running in tip-top shape, read this Mac basics guide to find out how.

FAQs

How do you type math symbols on a Mac? ›

You can use the Character Viewer to add special characters and symbols to text, such as math symbols, Latin characters, and pictographs. Click in the text where you want to place the character, then choose Edit > Emoji & Symbols (or press Control-Command-Space bar). The Character Viewer appears where you clicked.

How do you make fancy letters on a Mac? ›

The Option Key Accent Method on Mac

Just press and hold the Option key (the same as the Alt key), then press the "e" key, and then release them and press the letter key to which you'd like to add the accent.

How do I insert special characters in Word for Mac? ›

On the Insert menu, click Advanced Symbol, and then click the Special Characters tab. Click the character that you want.

Is there a keyboard for math symbols? ›

Mathematical Symbols Press/hold Alt key while typing the numbers on the keypad (with Num Lock on). Symbol appears when you release the Alt Key.

Why can't I type accents on Mac anymore? ›

Check the preferences for the keyboard to be sure modifier keys are set to their defaults. You can do this from the Apple () menu then System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys... > Restore Defaults. Restart your Mac from the Apple () menu then Restart. Thanks.

What is Alt FN F10 on Mac? ›

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press Alt + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + OPT + F10. The focus is placed on the first icon on the left in the top row. Use the right and left arrow keys to move forward and backward. The up and down arrows don't work to navigate to different rows.

What is the command for special characters? ›

The US International Keyboard gives you two ways to add a special character: Use the right-hand Alt key in combination with the appropriate letter to get one of the more common combinations. For example, Alt+e will result in: é Press the symbol you want to use and then the letter you want to use it with.

Can you customize Mac keys? ›

You can create your own keyboard shortcuts for menu commands in any macOS app, including the Finder. This might be useful if a global shortcut, which works the same with most apps, conflicts with a specific app shortcut. In this case, you could create a new key combination.

How do I get special characters in a font? ›

With Microsoft Word® and Powerpoint®, you can access the swashes using the Insert menu. First, select the font from the font menu. Then, go to the Main menu, click on the Insert tab, and then click Symbols.

How do you get the hidden special characters? ›

As with most things in Word, you can use either a keyboard shortcut or the mouse to see the hidden formatting characters. Keyboard, hit Control+Shift+8. Mouse, simply click the Show/Hide button on the Home tab.

How do you type letters with accents? ›

To add accent marks to letters in foreign words, Microsoft Word users can utilize the following keyboard shortcuts to add the accent marks. For example, to get the character ñ, press the Ctrl and Shift Keys while pressing the ~ key (tilde key). Then, release all three keys and quickly press the n key.

Does Apple have a math keyboard? ›

The Math Keyboard 4+

The Math Keyboard gives you quick access directly in your keyboard to hundreds of useful Math and Scientific characters. Simply open of the Math Keyboard in any App and type math symbols anywhere you like.

How do you type all real numbers symbol? ›

If the domain of a function is all real numbers, you can represent this using interval notation as (−∞,∞).

How do you type all symbols? ›

In short, the three methods to type for all (∀) symbol are Alt X Method: type 2200 and press Alt+X immediately after it, Insert Symbol: Navigate Insert -> symbols and click “for all” symbol in Subset: Mathematical Operator and the best method Math Autocorrect Method: type \forall and press space.

What does ∈ ø mean in math? ›

The set Ø = { } is the empty set containing no elements. The set ℕ = {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, … } is the set of all natural numbers. We treat 0 as a natural number.

What does ∈ mean? ›

The symbol ∈ indicates set membership and means “is an element of” so that the statement x∈A means that x is an element of the set A. In other words, x is one of the objects in the collection of (possibly many) objects in the set A.

What is the * symbol in math? ›

asterisk multiplication

Why are my special characters not working? ›

You might have forgotten to turn off the NumLock. And when that happens, the characters won't work. Press the NumLock button a couple of times on your keyboard to check if it turns off or on. Then, try entering the special characters.

Why is the at symbol not working on Mac? ›

If you look on your keyboard, you should see the @ above one the keys, probably the number 2. Try the combination Shift + that number and see if that works.

How do you put symbols above letters? ›

Holding the "Ctrl" key plus a punctuation key and the letter will insert the marked letter on your document. Diacritics include the acute, grave and circumflex accents. These keyboard shortcuts will help you display text more accurately in your business documents.

What is F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 F10 F11 F12? ›

The function keys or F-keys on a computer keyboard, labeled F1 through F12, are keys that have a special function defined by the operating system, or by a currently running program. They may be combined with the Alt or Ctrl keys.

What is F1 F2 F3 on the keyboard? ›

F1 – Opens the Help screen for almost every program. F2 – Allows you to rename a selected file or folder. F3 – Opens a search feature for an application that is active at the moment. F4 – Alt + F4 closes the active window.

What is Alt += on Mac? ›

Alt key. On North American Mac keyboards, a key on the bottom row is labeled both Alt and Option. This is the closest thing the Mac offers to the Windows Alt key. In many situations, keyboard shortcuts that involve the Alt key in Windows use the Option key on the Mac.

How do you type special characters without a shift key? ›

Hold Alt and type the number below using the numeric pad on your keyboard. When you release Alt, the symbol will appear. NumLock must be enabled.

Where is the character map on Mac? ›

Using the Keyboard pane

On some Macs, you can set an option in the Keyboard pane of Keyboard System Preferences to access the Character Viewer by pressing the Fn key or the globe icon (if it's available on your keyboard).

What are the most useful keyboard shortcuts on Mac? ›

Cut, copy, paste, and other common shortcuts
  • Command-X: Cut the selected item and copy it to the Clipboard.
  • Command-C: Copy the selected item to the Clipboard. ...
  • Command-V: Paste the contents of the Clipboard into the current document or app. ...
  • Command-Z: Undo the previous command. ...
  • Command-A: Select All items.
24 Oct 2022

What is the weird key on Mac? ›

The Option key, ⌥, is a modifier key present on Apple keyboards. It is located between the Control key and Command key on a typical Mac keyboard. There are two Option keys on modern (as of 2020) Mac desktop and notebook keyboards, one on each side of the space bar.

How do I access glyphs on Mac? ›

How do I access glyphs on a Mac computer? To access glyphs on a Mac, go to the Finder, Click Applications and then scroll to find the Font Book. Open the Font Book and click on the Font that you want to use. Then scroll and find the glyph you want to use.

How do you insert shapes symbols and special characters? ›

Special characters like em dashes or section marks (§)
  1. Click or tap where you want to insert the special character.
  2. Go to Insert > Symbol > More Symbols.
  3. Go to Special Characters.
  4. Double-click the character that you want to insert. ...
  5. Select Close.

How can we type special symbols like * & and on the computer monitor? ›

To find the keyboard in Windows 10, roll your cursor over to the lower-right side of the screen and right-click on the taskbar. Then, click on Show Touch Keyboard button. You can then long-tap or long-hold your mouse down on any given letter to find symbols and other alternate characters.

What is this emoticon called ❦? ›

Emoji Meaning

A decorative heart-shaped character, which is supported on most platforms as a plain text dingbat. See also ☙ Reversed Rotated Floral Heart Bullet which has an emoji presentation on Samsung devices. Floral Heart was approved as part of Unicode 1.1 in 1993.

How do I view special characters? ›

Click System Tools (click the words, not the check box), and then click Details. Click to select the Character Map check box, click OK, and then click OK.

What is a Unicode character? ›

Unicode is an international character encoding standard that provides a unique number for every character across languages and scripts, making almost all characters accessible across platforms, programs, and devices.

How do you type accents without alt codes? ›

You can also type these by holding the apostrophe or tilde keys as you would the Shift key and typing the letter that you want to add an accent to.

Why does my keyboard type È instead of quotation marks? ›

It could be possible that you have set the keyboard layout incorrectly. The layout controls which characters appear on the screen when you press the keys on your keyboard. To change the layout, go to Control Panel\Clock, Language, and Region\ Change keyboards or other input methods.

How do I insert math Symbols in Word for Mac? ›

On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click the arrow under Equation, and then click Insert New Equation. Under Equation Tools, on the Design tab, in the Symbols group, click the More arrow. Click the arrow next to the name of the symbol set, and then select the symbol set that you want to display.

How do I insert a trademark symbol in Word for Mac? ›

Press and hold the “Option” key and then press the “2” key on your MacBook's keyboard to type the “TM” trademark symbol.

What does this ⌘ mean? ›

The meaning and origin of the Apple Command key, ⌘, or Apple key, is a modifier key which purpose is to allow the user to enter keyboard commands in system.

Is there a MathType for Mac? ›

MathType is compatible with Office 2021 and Microsoft 365 apps. Available for Windows, macOS and iOS.

What is this Face 🙃? ›

🙃 Upside-Down Face emoji

It can indicate silliness, sarcasm, irony, passive aggression, or frustrated resignation. Outside of these, this emoji can be used for even still more ambiguous emotions.

What does T_t mean in texting? ›

An emoticon representing a crying face. quotations ▼

What does 3 dots mean in texting? ›

They signal either that something has been omitted from quoted text, or that a speaker or writer has paused or trailed off in speech or thought. That's the basics.

Who invented math 😡? ›

The study of mathematics as a "demonstrative discipline" began in the 6th century BC with the Pythagoreans, who coined the term "mathematics" from the ancient Greek μάθημα (mathema), meaning "subject of instruction".

Can you get an A * in maths? ›

Threshhold for Maths A levels (A*) usually exceed 90% in region 4. But that is because Maths is easy and many students are able to score 90%+ marks. That is the case of average student. If you are below average, even a B isn't a bad grade.

How do you type MathType? ›

Using MathType to insert Math in Word
  1. To type a math equation within text, click on “Inline” in the MathType Tab in the Insert Equations group. ...
  2. MathType window will open displaying an edit area to type the math.
  3. Now type the mathematical expression using numbers from your keyboard and symbols from the MathType window.

Is MathType still available? ›

MathType is compatible with Office 2021 (or earlier) and Microsoft 365 apps. Available for Windows, macOS and iOS.

How do you write an algebraic expression on a Mac? ›

in the toolbar, then choose Equation. You can also choose Insert > Equation (from the Insert menu at the top of your screen). Enter an equation in the field using LaTeX commands or MathML elements.

How do I enter a MathType key? ›

If you have already downloaded and installed MathType and just need a product key to unlock it, you do not need to download or install MathType again. To unlock MathType, go to MathType's Help menu and select 'About MathType', select 'Unlock MathType' and enter your product key.

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