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Uncovering Mac’s Hidden Keyboard Symbols

At first glance, a Mac keyboard doesn’t really show any difference from other keyboards we use daily. Aside from a couple of Mac-only keys (e.g. Command, option keys) you wouldn’t really think there’s something more. Well, in this article, you’ll find out that beneath the regular exterior there are fun and interesting things you can do with a Mac keyboard. From the iconic apple symbol to really useful ones like the degree symbol and root symbols, we will uncover them all.

Let me show you how you can type these hidden symbols using you Mac keyboard by using shortcuts and how to discover additional Mac characters or symbols. So let’s begin as I know you’re excited to try these shortcuts for hidden symbols on your own.

Hidden Mac Symbols Used Commonly

Let’s look at the usual symbols we encounter everyday but are not readily available in your keyboard.

  1. The © Symbol

We usually click the symbol viewer then choose the copyright symbol to add it to what you’re typing. But what if there’s an easier way without you lifting your hands from your keyboard?

All you need to do is press Option + G and voila the © symbol will appear!

  1. The ®Symbol

Now for this symbol, it’s pretty simple just like the first one I showed you. Just press Option + R.

  1. The ° Symbol

Some people use the whole word “degrees” than typing in this symbol. Why? It’s because it takes more time and effort going through the “character and emoji” viewer on their Macs. So let’s make your life easier, I’ll give you two options, you can use whichever you prefer. First you can Option + Shift + 8 or you can try Option + 0 (Zero).

  1. The ™ Symbol

The trademark symbol, it is commonly used for branding work or included in any brand name that’s been trademarked. If you’re formally writing to or about a specific brand you would have to use this several times. I’m sure this shortcut would help, just press Option + 2 and you’ll get your ™ symbol.

How to Uncover Additional Mac Symbols

You might not agree that the 4 symbols I included above are the most commonly used. It really depends on your line of business or topic you are working on. We all use different symbols every day. So if the symbols you usually need is not included above then let me help you uncover more symbols. I know it’s not possible for me to discuss all available symbols but I’ll teach you how to uncover them. As they all say “Give man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”. So let’s start fishing!

First, let’s enable your Keyboard viewer on you Menu bar. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard tick the checkbox next to “Show viewers for keyboard,emojiand symbols menu bar.”

Now that’s done, the Keyboard viewer should be on your Menu bar. To check, click on your Menu bar you should see the “Show Keyboard Viewer” as one of the options.

To launch the virtual keyboard, click “Show Keyboard Viewer”.

You can then press the modifiers keys “Option, Shift or Command”, the screen will then show you a different keyboard with the symbols you can type using the modifier keys above. Then you can learn the shortcut for the symbols you need.

More Symbols and How to Find Them

You might not find all the symbols in the option I gave you above as there’s a lot of symbols that cannot be covered by the key on your keyboard and the shortcuts are limited by your device. But don’t worry there’s more I can show you.

You can access more symbols, special characters and even emojis in the “Character Viewer” on you Mac.

Start by clicking the Menu bar icon and select “Show Emoji & Symbols”, another way of launching this viewer is the keyboard shortcut of pressing Control + Command + Space. You may choose whichever works for you; both options will launch the viewer.

Once the Character viewer is launched you will see different categories. The symbols and emojis are organized that way to make it easier to find what you need. Example categories are Emoji, Arrows, Bullet/Stars, Currency Symbols, Math Symbols etc.

Once you click on a category the symbols, characters or emojis would appear on the right panel. You may then choose the one you need and double click it to insert the character to you document or where your cursor is.

Communication is Better with Mac Symbols

People argue everyday as to which is the best form of communication. Some would say words, others prefer actions, some might even say through music. The ways of communication are endless. But in our world where most people prefer electronic communication as it’s efficient, cheap and easy, it’s always best to know our way around it. Words are important but can only go so far.

Nowadays, a sentence like “I love you.” can be understood by sending a heart emoji. Not just emojis but symbols and characters are important for more formal electronic communication.

In letters, proposal, reports or articles, symbols and special characters are unavoidable. For professionals and students’ mathematical symbols are important. Have you ever tried asking a friend for a math assignment you missed through email? Now try typing that equation without the use of symbols. It’s pretty difficult, right?

Symbols and characters make communication better as most of these symbols are universal and understood around the world. It just shows that these symbols are effective and very relevant.

I hope that learning about these hidden Mac symbols today will help you express yourself better and make your life easier.

I would like to hear your stories or thoughts about this topic. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to let me know.

If the step by step instructions above, don’t work on your end let me know too so we can figure them out together.


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