Retro computing with a touch of modern and the home for all things, retroCombs (aka Steven Combs).

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12 July 2014

HOWTO: Use Keystrokes to create typographic symbols on a Mac

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.

I can NEVER remember the Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts that create the typographic symbols I need. Can you remember the keystroke to create a © symbol? Probably not, in which case you use the on screen keyboard method which, while useful, can really mess with your workflow.

To help me out, I created the quick reference below. It includes the typographic symbols I use most. While the chart includes some symbols readers may never use, such as the Ø symbol, I bet a few readers will find one or two.

I only include symbols I use frequently. The list is formatted as a quick reference clip-out. Simply print out this post, cut along the exterior lines and place somewhere next to your computer keyboard or monitor.

OS X Typographic Symbol Keyboard Reference

Key: ⌥ = option ⇧ = shift

Symbol Keystroke
⌥ ⇧ k
® ⌥ r
© ⌥ g
⌥ 2
¢ ⌥ 4
⌥ +
± ⌥ ⇧ +
ø ⌥ o
Ø ⌥ ⇧ 0
º ⌥ 0
π ⌥ p
⌥ [
⌥ ⇧ [
⌥ ]
⌥ ⇧ ]
(en-dash) ⌥ -
(em-dash) ⌥ ⇧ -

Did I miss a commonly used symbol that I should include? Leave me a comment and let me know. It is an easy task to include it and together we can make a better reference.