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How to make degree symbol on mac

how to make degree symbol on mac

As someone who often delves into research and writing on a Mac, the need to type special characters like the degree symbol (°) can crop up more often than expected. Whether you’re annotating temperature measurements, mathematical degrees, or geographical coordinates, knowing how to quickly make a degree symbol on a Mac can save you time and frustration. In this article, I’ll walk you through various methods I’ve personally used with success. Each process is surprisingly simple once you know the steps, and I can attest to their effectiveness. From keyboard shortcuts to character viewers, let’s make sure you have all the tools you need at your fingertips.


Common Scenarios:

Typing Scientific Papers or Weather Reports 🌡

  • When writing scientific documents, the degree symbol is essential for expressing temperature measurements correctly – both in Celsius and Fahrenheit.
  • Those preparing weather reports or forecasts must frequently use the degree symbol when presenting temperature data.

Creating Mathematical Documents or Presentations 📐

  • The degree symbol is frequently used in mathematical contexts, especially when dealing with angles in geometry or trigonometry.
  • Presentations involving mathematical content may require consistent use of the degree symbol for clarity and professionalism.

Writing Content Involving Geography or Travel ✈

  • In articles or publications involving geography, the degree symbol is necessary when referring to the coordinates of locations.
  • Travel blogs and guides often include the degree symbol when talking about the weather conditions of various destinations.

Step-by-Step Guide. How To Make Degree Symbol On Mac:

Method 1: Using a Keyboard Shortcut 🖥

  • Hold down the Option key and press the Shift key followed by the numerical 8 key on your Mac’s keyboard.
  • Release all keys and the degree symbol will appear in your text.

Note: This method is quick and convenient for those who prefer keyboard shortcuts and can easily incorporate it into their typing flow.

Conclusion: Keyboard shortcuts are efficient for frequent typers and those familiar with shortcut keys on Mac.

Method 2: Using the Character Viewer 🧐

  • Click on the Input menu in the top-right corner of your Mac’s menu bar and select Show Emoji & Symbols, or press Control-Command-Spacebar.
  • Use the search bar in the Character Viewer to look for ‘degree.’
  • Double-click on the degree symbol to insert it into your text.

Note: For ease of access, you can enable the Character Viewer by going to System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources and checking ‘Show Input menu in menu bar’.

Conclusion: The Character Viewer provides a visual method for those who prefer browsing through symbols.

Method 3: Using the Emoji & Symbol Picker 👆

  • Right-click (or Control-click) in the text field where you want to insert the degree symbol.
  • Select ‘Emoji & Symbols’ from the context menu.
  • Find and click on the degree symbol to insert it.

Note: This alternate route is particularly helpful when the Emoji & Symbol picker is not enabled in the menu bar.

Conclusion: For users who rely on contextual menus or work within apps, this approach minimizes disruption to their workflow.

Method 4: Using the ASCII Code 🔢

  • Place the cursor where you want the degree symbol to appear.
  • While holding the Option key, type 0176 on your Mac’s numeric keypad.
  • Release all keys and the degree symbol will be inserted.

Note: Remember that this method requires a numeric keypad, which may not be available on all Mac models.

Conclusion: The ASCII code method is reliable for users with extended keyboards and remembers numerical codes.

Method 5: Copy and Paste from the Web ✂

  • Open a web browser and search for the degree symbol using a search engine.
  • Find a website where the degree symbol is displayed and select it.
  • Copy the symbol (Command-C) and paste (Command-V) it into your document.

Note: This method is handy when other methods are not available or when your Mac’s keyboard is not responding correctly.

Conclusion: Copy and paste is a universal method that works in almost all situations, but requires access to the internet.


Precautions and Tips:

Mastering Mac Keyboard Shortcuts 🔍

  • Learning additional keyboard shortcuts for other special characters on your Mac can greatly enhance your typing efficiency.
  • Make use of the Mac’s keyboard viewer to explore other hidden characters by going to System Preferences > Keyboard and checking ‘Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar’.

Customizing Text Substitution for Efficiency ⚙

  • Configure a text substitution in System Preferences > Keyboard > Text to replace a specific sequence of characters with the degree symbol.
  • This can be particularly helpful if you type the symbol frequently and prefer a personalized abbreviation instead of the standard methods.

Enhancing Your Mac Typing Skills

For those looking to expand their typing prowess beyond the degree symbol, delving into Mac’s text editing capabilities can open up new ways of working efficiently. For example, familiarizing yourself with Mac’s various keyboard layouts can facilitate typing in different languages.

Popular apps such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Pages also have their own symbol insertion tools that can streamline the process further. Exploring these apps and their respective support pages can provide tailored guidance suited for your document editing platform.

Moreover, by harnessing the power of automation tools like Apple’s Automator or utilizing shortcuts in TextExpander, you can automate the insertion of the degree symbol and save ample time during lengthy typing sessions.

Always remember to consider the context of your content. In mathematical or scientific scenarios, precision is paramount, and ensuring the correct use of symbols like the degree symbol maintains the accuracy of your information.

Lastly, Mac users should regularly update their operating systems to benefit from the latest keyboard functionalities and accessibility features that often accompany new releases. Keeping an eye on Apple’s update notes can inform you of any enhancements to character insertion or keyboard shortcuts.


In conclusion, whether you’re a student, scientist, educator, or simply someone who loves to type efficiently, knowing how to make a degree symbol on your Mac is an invaluable skill. From keyboard shortcuts to the Character Viewer, each method caters to different preferences and situations. With practice and familiarity, inserting this small yet significant symbol can become second nature. Remember to explore Mac’s extensive features to further enhance your typing experience.

For more information on Mac’s typing capabilities or troubleshooting, you can visit Apple’s official support page at support.apple.com.


To insert a degree symbol, press Option + Shift + 8 keys simultaneously on your Mac keyboard.

Yes, within Microsoft Word on a Mac, you can also use Option + Shift + 8 to add a degree symbol.

Absolutely, while using TextEdit, press the Option + Shift + 8 keys to add a degree symbol.

Whether in Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, you can type a degree symbol by hitting Option + Shift + 8.

Yes, you can use the Emoji & Symbols viewer (Edit > Emoji & Symbols) or press Control + Command + Space to find and insert the degree symbol.

Select Emoji & Symbols from the Edit menu or use the Character Viewer with Control + Command + Space to access special characters.

If your Mac has a Touch Bar, you can customize it to include the degree symbol for easy access.

Yes, you can insert a degree symbol in Pages on a Mac by pressing Option + Shift + 8 or using the Emoji & Symbols menu.

In applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, press Option + Shift + 8 to add a degree symbol.

If the typical shortcut isn’t working, check your keyboard settings or reset them. You might also visit Apple Support for guidance.