15 Common Symbols You Can Insert With the Alt Key

Ben Stegner 11-11-2015

There are many symbols that can’t be typed on a standard keyboard, but what you might not know is that thousands of symbols can be typed with just the Alt key and the Number Pad.


Next time you need to insert uncommon symbols 6 Ways to Type Chinese Symbols and Other Foreign Characters in Windows Looking to insert foreign symbols or type with a Chinese character keyboard in Windows 10? Here's how to enter foreign characters. Read More  (e.g. copyright, trademark, or square root), try this. Make sure Num Lock is turned on, hold down the Alt key, type one of the following number combinations, then let go of Alt. For international keyboards, you must use the Left Alt key.

Note that if you’re on a laptop without a number pad, you can still do this using the Function key on your computer. Check out the SuperUser guide on how to achieve this using AutoHotKey or other workarounds if you need to.

Currency examples:

  • Alt + 0128 = €
  • Alt + 0162 = ¢
  • Alt + 0163 = £

Punctuation examples:

  • Alt + 0161 = ¡
  • Alt + 0191 = ¿
  • Alt + 0223 = ß

Mathematic examples:

  • Alt + 0176 = °
  • Alt + 0177 = ±
  • Alt + 0181 = µ
  • Alt + 0189 = ½
  • Alt + 0247 = ÷

Other examples:

  • Alt + 0134 = †
  • Alt + 0153 = ™
  • Alt + 0169 = ©
  • Alt + 0174 = ®

There are plenty of other characters you can enter, including Greek letters and accented letters for languages other than English. Check out this full list for more.

Now you can not only type dashes outside of Word How To Type Em And En Dashes Outside Your Word Processor Stop avoiding dashes in your writing just because you don't know how to type them outside of word processors. Learn the proper keyboard shortcuts and you can type these essential parts of the English language... Read More , but many other characters, too! We’ve also shown you how to do this on a Chromebook How to Write Foreign Character Accents Using Your Chromebook If you regularly communicate in a language that uses accents, such as French or Spanish, you will need to know how to type them using your Chromebook. Here's how. Read More .

What uncommon characters will you use this method for? Leave your thoughts below!

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  1. M.Kenia
    December 30, 2015 at 3:24 am

    An example of my funny symbols input:

    ALT+0233 is supposed to write an accented e, right? This is what I get: ?

    alt+0216 = Ø I get: ?

    ALT+248 = °C For me: ?

    Is not annoying?

    Help, please!

  2. M.Kenia
    December 30, 2015 at 3:14 am

    My computer doesn't recognize the keyboard shortcuts. Every time I click one, I just receive a happy face, or a diamond. Does someone know how to fix this problem? I'll really appreciate any help, because I am a Spanish translator, and there is no way to write some symbols.

  3. Squalle
    December 6, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    My nickname originally had an é at the end, Squallé. But I got tired of typing it that way, so now it's just Squalle.

    • Squalle
      December 6, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Oh, that's ALT+0233

      • Ben Stegner
        December 6, 2015 at 5:25 pm

        That's pretty funny! It would be annoying to have to type that out every time you want to put your nickname. Thanks for weighing in!

        • Squalle
          December 6, 2015 at 7:46 pm

          Well, in addition to that, I don't think it's pronounced the correct way with the é. Squalle is pronounced Skwah-lee. So it should be Squall?. é, like resumé is an A sound. So it just made sense to drop it.

          Do I overthink this? lmao

      • Anonymous
        January 1, 2016 at 10:57 am

        I use é quite a lot too, and have made an AHK script for it. Now Alt+E does the job.

  4. Jasmcd
    November 12, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Reality is I often use alt+0216 for Ø Diameter. Though the degree symbol is also handy Alain ;)

  5. Alain
    November 12, 2015 at 5:17 am

    I'm always using the temp sign as in 37°C ( ALT+248)

    • Ben Stegner
      November 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      Good one! The degree symbol certainly isn't common enough to be on the keyboard, so this is a perfect example of a great ALT shortcut.

      • Anonymous
        January 1, 2016 at 10:58 am

        In your article above it says the degree symbol is Alt+0176.

  6. MaryonJeane
    November 11, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I've found by far the best way to have symbols to hand is to use a text expander (I use Breevy) and simply cut-and-paste the symbols you want to put them into the program, and then give it a name that's easy for you to remember. I just suffix everything with 'sig' (short for sign - it's easier, in ergonomic terms, to type on a conventional qwerty keyboard than 'sym'. So a quarter sign is qrsig and a diamond sign (for a bullet) is diasig, and so on. It's a no-stress, home-key and easily-remembered way of putting any symbol you want straight into whatever it is that you're typing or keying in.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 12, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      That's a fantastic idea! I use AutoHotKey for automating my email address and things like that, and symbols are a perfect extension. Thanks of sharing your method; it's awesome!

  7. Heynetboy
    November 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    If you are using a Windows based computer, run "Character Map". It shows all the available symbols and corresponding Keystrokes in the lower right hand corner of the window.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 12, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      A great supplement to using ALT keys. Thanks for the tip!

    • Anonymous
      November 17, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      Character Map also lets you copy those symbols to the Clipboard for easy pasting.