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When you look at a Mac keyboard for the first time, you will see the usual setup - A through Z, numbers 1 through 0, plus all of your standard symbols such as speech marks, question marks, commas, and full stops. Plus, let's not forget the currency symbol for your country such as the US dollar, the British Pound, and the Euro. This is obviously not unique to a Mac keyboard, but to all keyboards for all operating systems.

But did you also realize that there are other symbols available on the keyboard, which are not so readily visible? Ones that are hidden away, but can be brought to the surface with the aid of a keyboard shortcut? This is not very difficult if you know which buttons to press, in order to achieve the desired icon. You just have to remember them or make a list and keep it nearby.

mac keyboard shortcut symbols 

The most important button on the keyboard in all of this is the Option key. This is the one on the bottom row, three keys from the left. If you hold this button down first, and then press another button, the hidden icon will be displayed. Some of them will be really important and necessary. Others not so much. Just quickly try them all out and make a note of the ones which are the most useful to you.

For example, the Copyright symbol. This would be necessary if you wanted to assert your copyright protections and you needed to type the symbol next to a name. But how to get the symbol? It's certainly not shown on the keyboard. Glaring omission? Hardly. Just hold down the Option key and then the letter G. The Copyright symbol will then appear.

mac keyboard shortcut symbols 

Speical Character

Mac Shortcut Speical Character Mac Shortcut

å

OPTION + A OPTION + S

OPTION + B OPTION + T

ç

OPTION + C ¨ OPTION + U

OPTION + D √ (tick) OPTION + V

OPTION + E OPTION + W

ƒ

OPTION + F OPTION + X

© (Copyright)

OPTION + G ¥ OPTION + Y

ª

OPTION + H Ω OPTION + Z

OPTION + I ¡ OPTION + 1

º

OPTION + J " OPTION + 2

OPTION + K OPTION + 3

@

OPTION + L ¢ OPTION + 4

µ

OPTION + M [ OPTION + 5

~

OPTION + N ] OPTION + 6

ø

OPTION + O | OPTION + 7

π

OPTION + P { OPTION + 8

«

OPTION + Q } OPTION + 9

®

OPTION + R OPTION + 0

Another source of special characters is by opening an application such as a Word Processing doc-ument. Then in the top Mac menu, choose Edit, followed by "Special Characters". This opens up a Pandoras Box of emoji and more special characters than you can shake a stick at.

In German, the Umlaut (two small dots above the letters a, o, and u) can normally be found as separate unique keys on a German Mac keyboard. However, if you are using say a US or UK key-board, the umlauts can also be accessed by holding down the necessary letter (a, o, or u) for a few seconds, and then a small popup window will appear, with variations on that letter.

mac keyboard shortcut symbols 

If software is the route you prefer to go for your hidden icons, then that is catered for too. You don't have to do keyboard shortcuts if you don't want to. A software app can take care of it instead, and may even save you time, depending on your point of view.

The software is called "Characters" (catchy eh?) and you can get the download link at http://getcharacters.com/. Unfortunately it is not free - it is $2.99, but that may be excellent value if you will need to access these shortcuts on a regular basis.

So this just goes to show that Mac users have a wide range of options - and they are not always advertised. It pays to dig around and see what sprouts up.

mac keyboard shortcut symbols 




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