The way to Sort Symbols and Characters in Home windows and MacOS

Emoji, accented characters, and other special characters add fun and accuracy to the texting experience. However, what if you're on your PC and want to break up simple old text with cool symbols and special characters? Assuming you are using a QWERTY keyboard, you may not be able to find these special characters.

In this guide, we'll show you how to use the Character Viewer (Character Viewer on Mac) and keyboard shortcuts to insert special characters into your copy. You can also check out our guide to the best keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10 and macOS.

Enter symbols in Windows 10

Dan Baker / Digital Trends

There are many Alt key combinations programmed on your Windows PC that can be entered quite easily. Note, however, that if you are using Windows and a keyboard with a full number pad, you will only be able to perform these key combinations if you are using the number keys on your number pad with the number keys activated. Using the number keys just below the row of F keys doesn't work, which we found in independent testing.

If you don't have a numeric keypad keyboard, you can perform these tasks using the onscreen keyboard in Windows. To find the keyboard in Windows 10, move your cursor to the lower right side of the screen and right-click on the taskbar. Then click the Show Touch Keyboard button. You can then long tap or hold a specific letter to find symbols and other alternate characters.

Step 1: Open your word processor and find one of the Alt keys on your keyboard. Usually the Alt keys are on either side of your spacebar.

Step 2: Search the lists below for the symbol you want to enter.

Step 3: Make sure the cursor is where you want to insert the symbol of your choice. Then enter the appropriate key combination. For example, if you hold down the Alt key and press the 1 on your numpad, a smiley face (☺) will be inserted into your copy.

Emoji

symbol

Alt + 1
Alt + 2
Alt + 3

IP

symbol

Alt + 0169 ©
Alt + 0153
Alt + 0174 ®

mathematics

symbol

Alt + 35 #
Alt + 241 ±
Alt + 0188 ¼
Alt + 0189 ½
Alt + 0190 ¾
Alt + 0247 ÷
Alt + 60 <
Alt + 62 >
Alt + 242
Alt + 243

Letters accented with capital letters

symbol

Alt + 0192 A
Alt + 0193 A
Alt + 0194 A
Alt + 0195 A
Alt + 0196 A
Alt + 0199 Ç
Alt + 0200 È
Alt + 0201 É
Alt + 0202 Ê
Alt + 0203 Ë
Alt + 0204 I
Alt + 0205 I
Alt + 0206 ú
Alt + 0207 û
Alt + 165 Ñ
Alt + 0210 Ö
Alt + 0211 Ö
Alt + 0212 Ö
Alt + 0213 Ö
Alt + 0214 Ö
Alt + 0217 Ù
Alt + 0218 Ú
Alt + 0219 Û
Alt + 0220 Ü
Alt + 0221 Ý
Alt + 0159 Ÿ
Alt + 0142 Ž

Lowercase accented letters

symbol

Alt + 0224 a
Alt + 0225 a
Alt + 0226 a
Alt + 0227 a
Alt + 0228 a
Alt + 0229 a
Alt + 0230 æ
Alt + 0231 ç
Alt + 0232 è
Alt + 0233 é
Alt + 0234 ê
Alt + 0235 ë
Alt + 0236 I
Alt + 0237 I
Alt + 0238 I
Alt + 0239 I
Alt + 164 ñ
Alt + 0242 Ö
Alt + 0243 Ö
Alt + 0244 Ö
Alt + 0245 Ö
Alt + 0246 Ö
Alt + 0154 š
Alt + 0249 ù
Alt + 151 ù
Alt + 150 û
Alt + 0252 ü ü
Alt + 0253 ý
Alt + 0255 ÿ
Alt + 0158 ž

currency

symbol

Alt + 0164 ¤
Alt + 155 ¢
Alt + 156 £
Alt + 157 ¥
Alt + 158
Alt + 159 ƒ

Using the Character Map on Windows

Character Map is installed on every Microsoft operating system. You can copy and paste accented letters and symbols into documents whether you are using Word, WordPad, Google Docs, or another program.

Step 1: Go to the Windows Start menu and search for “Character Map”. After that, click on it to open the application. Then click on it to open the app when it appears in the search results.

Step 2: Once opened, a list of characters is displayed. Scroll through the list until you find the symbol or letter you want. Once you find it, click the Select button next to the text box. The selected symbol or letter will then appear in the text box labeled Characters to Copy.

Step 3: Click Copy and paste them in the appropriate places in your document.

Enter symbols in MacOS

Entering symbols on a Mac is much easier. On Macs, each shortcut includes the Option key, which is usually located between the Command and Control keys. Some combinations require you to press Shift as well, which can be a little tricky. The Shift key is generally one line above the Option key.

Alternatively, you can simply hold down a specific key on your keyboard until an alternate character (like a letter with a tilde) appears to choose from. This way, you can skip the following steps.

Apple MacBook 13 inch touchpadBill Roberson / Digital Trends

Step 1: Start the word processing program of your choice and look for one of the option keys on your keyboard.

Step 2: Find the symbol you want to enter in the lists below.

Step 3: Click on the exact location of your document where you want the icon to appear and just enter the appropriate keyboard shortcut.

IP

symbol

Option + 2
Option + g ©
Option + r ®

mathematics

symbol

Option + p π
Option +,
Option +.
Option + / ÷
Option + v
Option + x
Option + j
Option + =
Option + w
Option + Shift + r
Option + Shift + = ±

Accented letters

symbol

Option + `+ vowel (a e i o u) àèìòù
Option + N + N or A or O. ñãõ
Option + Shift + A. A
Option + Shift + M. A
Option + Shift + ` Æ
Option + Shift + C. Ç
Option + Shift + S. I
Option + Shift + D. I
Option + Shift + F. I
Option + Shift + H. Ö
Option + Shift + J. Ö
Option + Shift + L. Ö
Option + shift +; Ú
Option + Shift + / ¿

currency

symbol

Option + 3 £
Option + 4 ¢
Option + y ¥
Option + Shift + 2

Enter symbols using the Character palette in macOS

If the keyboard shortcuts are too difficult on MacOS, you can also use the Character Viewer to manually insert a special character or symbol. Since you are running the latest versions of macOS, the process is very simple and only takes a few simple steps.

Step 1: Click where you want a special character or other symbol to appear.

Step 2: Hold Ctrl> Command> Spacebar to trigger the Character Viewer pop-up.

Step 3: Use the search field at the top of the window or press the icon next to the search field to see more characters

So you have a detailed guide on how to find and insert special characters and symbols using your keyboard. Now, you no longer have to visit a website or reference file to copy and paste characters and symbols into your important documents and messages.

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