How do you type the degree symbol on a Mac?

Hi everyone, I need to insert a degree symbol for a project on my Mac, but I can’t figure out how to do it. I tried looking through special characters and using keyboard shortcuts, but nothing has worked so far. Can someone guide me through the steps to type the degree symbol? Thanks in advance!

Sure thing! Typing the degree symbol on a Mac can be a little tricky if you’re not familiar with the shortcuts and methods available, but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here’s a detailed guide to help you get that little ° symbol into your documents, whether you’re using Pages, Microsoft Word, an email, or pretty much any text field. Let’s jump in!

Method 1: Keyboard Shortcut

Quick Shortcut

The fastest way to type the degree symbol on a Mac is through a keyboard shortcut. Here’s how:

  1. Open the document: Place the cursor where you want the degree symbol to appear.

  2. Press the keys: Hold down the Shift and Option (Alt) keys, then press the 8 key.

    Shortcut: Shift + Option + 8

This shortcut inserts the degree symbol ° wherever your cursor is positioned. Simple as that!

Method 2: Emoji & Symbols Menu

If you have trouble remembering keyboard shortcuts, the Mac’s built-in Emoji & Symbols menu is another way to get it done.

  1. Open the document: Again, place the cursor where you want the degree symbol to appear.
  2. Open the menu: Press Control + Command + Space to open the Emoji & Symbols menu.
  3. Search for the symbol: In the search bar within the Emoji & Symbols window, type “degree”.
  4. Insert the symbol: Click on the degree symbol to insert it where your cursor is.

Method 3: Using Character Viewer

The Character Viewer provides a slightly different approach, useful if you want access to a variety of symbols and characters.

  1. Open the document: Place your cursor where you want the degree symbol.
  2. Open Character Viewer: Go to the top menu bar on your Mac, click on Edit, and then select Emoji & Symbols. Alternatively, you can also click Control + Command + Space like in Method 2.
  3. Locate the symbol: In the Character Viewer, use the search bar and type “degree”.
  4. Insert the symbol: Double-click the degree symbol to insert it at the cursor’s location in your document.

Method 4: Using Keyboard Preferences

For those who often use special characters, it might be worth setting up a custom keyboard shortcut or using the Keyboard Viewer to access symbols more easily.

  1. Open System Preferences: Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen and choose System Preferences.
  2. Go to Keyboard: Select the Keyboard pane.
  3. Show Keyboard and Emoji Viewers in menu bar: Ensure that the box is checked, adding a little icon to your menu bar.
  4. Use the Viewers: Click the new keyboard icon in your menu bar and choose Show Keyboard Viewer or Show Emoji & Symbols.
  5. Insert the symbol: Use the on-screen keyboard or Character Viewer to find and insert your degree symbol.

Method 5: Copy and Paste

If all else fails, there’s the tried-and-true method of copy and paste.

  1. Find the symbol online: Simply search for “degree symbol” in your web browser. Websites like Wikipedia often use this symbol.
  2. Copy the symbol: Highlight the degree symbol ° and press Command + C to copy it.
  3. Paste the symbol: Place your cursor where you want the degree symbol and press Command + V to paste it.

Method 6: Using AutoCorrect in Word

If you’re using Microsoft Word and frequently need the degree symbol, you can set up an AutoCorrect shortcut to insert it automatically.

  1. Open Word: Go to the document you’re working on.
  2. Access AutoCorrect options: Click on Word in the menu bar, then select Preferences.
  3. Go to AutoCorrect: In the Preferences window, click on AutoCorrect.
  4. Set up your shortcut: Under Replace, type something like deg. In the With field, insert the degree symbol by using any method mentioned above.
  5. Add the entry: Click Add to save the AutoCorrect entry. Now, whenever you type deg in Word, it will automatically change to a degree symbol.

Some Extra Material Tips

Temperature and Angles

If you’re using the degree symbol for temperatures (e.g., 32°F or 100°C), Unicode provides the degree symbol °, which you can use in HTML with ° or °.

For mathematical purposes, especially in angles (e.g., 90°), the same symbol is used. Consistency in how you introduce this symbol, no matter the context, will save you time.

Keyboard Layout

Keep in mind that keyboard shortcuts can be influenced by keyboard layout settings. The default for most Mac users in the U.S. will be the Shift + Option + 8 as mentioned, but alternative keyboards (like German or French) may have different shortcuts.


There you have it, multiple ways to type the degree symbol on a Mac! Whether you prefer quick keyboard shortcuts, delving into the Emoji & Symbols menu, using the Character Viewer, setting up custom keystrokes, or the straightforward copy-paste, you’ll be covered and back to your project in no time. It’s all about finding the method that works best for you and your workflow. Good luck with your project!

If you have any more questions or need further clarifications, feel free to ask. Happy typing!