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How to type a degree symbol on mac

how to type a degree symbol on mac

Typing a degree symbol ( Unicode: U+00B0) on a Mac can seem tricky at first, but it’s actually quite simple once you know the shortcuts. Whether you’re noting temperatures, angles, or geographic coordinates, inserting a degree symbol adds precision to your writing. As an avid Mac user, I’ve explored various methods to effortlessly include the correct notation in documents and messages. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the different ways to type a degree symbol on your Mac, making your digital communication more accurate and professional.


Common Scenarios:

Conveying Temperature Readings

  • Writing articles or reports that include temperature references.
  • Creating presentations that involve climate data.
  • Communicating temperature-related instructions in recipes or manuals.

Describing Angles and Geometry

  • Completing math or engineering homework that involves angles.
  • Preparing technical drawings or blueprints.
  • Developing educational materials for geometry classes.

Marking Geographic Coordinates

  • Exchanging geographic data in travel blogs or articles.
  • Mapping out routes or locations in travel plans.
  • Teaching or studying geography that requires precise coordinates.

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

Method 1: Keyboard Shortcut

  • Place your cursor where you want the degree symbol to appear.
  • Press and hold the Option key on your keyboard.
  • While holding the Option key, press the Shift key and the number 8 simultaneously.
  • Release all keys, and the degree symbol should now be displayed in your document or text field.

Note: This shortcut works in most Mac applications, including word processors, browsers, and messaging apps.

Conclusion: The keyboard shortcut is a quick and convenient way to type a degree symbol on your Mac, ideal for frequent use.

Method 2: Using the Emoji & Symbols Viewer

  • Click on the Edit menu in the top menu bar of your application.
  • Select the Emoji & Symbols option or press Control-Command-Space to open the Character Viewer.
  • In the Character Viewer, type ‘degree’ in the search bar, and locate the degree symbol from the search results.
  • Double-click the degree symbol to insert it into your text.

Note: The Character Viewer also offers access to a wide range of other special characters and symbols.

Conclusion: The Emoji & Symbols Viewer is a comprehensive tool for inserting special characters and is especially useful when searching for less common symbols.

Method 3: Using the Mac Touch Bar

  • When using an application where you can type text, look for the option to view special characters on the Touch Bar.
  • Tap the special character button to bring up the symbols menu.
  • Swipe left or right to locate the degree symbol and tap it to insert it into your text.

Note: This method is only available on MacBooks that come equipped with a Touch Bar.

Conclusion: Using the Mac Touch Bar can offer a user-friendly interface to quickly access and type the degree symbol, along with other frequently used symbols.

Method 4: Using Text Replacement

  • Navigate to System Preferences > Keyboard > Text.
  • Click the ‘+’ button to add a new text replacement.
  • In the Replace column, type a text shortcut (e.g., ‘deg’ or ‘degSym’).
  • In the With column, insert the degree symbol by using one of the methods mentioned earlier.
  • When you type your chosen shortcut in any text field, your Mac will replace it with the degree symbol automatically.

Note: This could be a convenient way to insert a degree symbol if you need to type it frequently and prefer to create custom shortcuts.

Conclusion: Text replacement is an efficient way to automate the insertion of special characters, like the degree symbol, especially in long documents or frequent communications.

Method 5: Copy and Paste

  • Find a source that has the degree symbol (e.g., a web page or another document).
  • Highlight the degree symbol with your cursor.
  • Copy the symbol by pressing Command-C or right-clicking and selecting Copy.
  • Place your cursor where you want the degree symbol in your document and paste it by pressing Command-V or right-clicking and selecting Paste.

Note: This method works well for one-time use or if you do not remember the keyboard shortcut.

Conclusion: Copying and pasting is a straightforward approach that doesn’t require memorizing shortcuts and can be done quickly with familiar commands.


Precautions and Tips:

Keyboard Mastery

  • Memorize the keyboard shortcut Option-Shift-8 for quick access to the degree symbol.
  • Utilize the Character Viewer for symbols that are not available via keyboard shortcuts.
  • For those with disabilities, explore accessibility features that facilitate the typing of special characters.

Enhancing Your Mac Experience

Being proficient with your Mac involves knowing how to navigate its various features to improve your workflow. Whether you’re crafting a formal document, composing an email, or preparing a presentation, understanding how to utilize the rich set of tools available can significantly enhance your productivity. Among these tools, mastering keyboard shortcuts for symbols like the degree symbol not only saves time but also lends professionalism to your work.

Beyond typing special characters, delving deeper into Mac’s capabilities can uncover other productivity hacks. For instance, automating repetitive tasks with Automator, organizing your workspace with Mission Control, or using Spotlight for advanced search functionality are just a few examples of how you can make the most out of your MacOS experience. MacOS also continually receives updates that refine these features, making it crucial to stay informed about the latest capabilities of your system.

For more tips on getting the most from your Mac, including the latest updates and features, visit the official Apple support page at https://support.apple.com.


In conclusion, with the ability to type a degree symbol on a Mac through multiple methods, you can effortlessly incorporate this essential character into your documents and communications. Whether you prefer keyboard shortcuts, the ease of the Emoji & Symbols Viewer, or the dynamic use of the Touch Bar on compatible MacBooks, each approach offers a seamless way to express temperature, angles, and coordinates. By streamlining these processes and expanding your understanding of Mac’s functionalities, you continue to grow as an efficient and skilled Mac user, ready to tackle any task with finesse. If you ever need a refresher or are seeking more advanced tips, remember that Apple’s support page is a rich resource for Mac users.


To insert a degree symbol on a Mac, press Shift + Option + 8 simultaneously. This shortcut will directly input the symbol into your text.

Open the Character Viewer by pressing Control + Command + Space. Search for degree and double-click the degree symbol to insert it into your document.

Yes, if you customize the Touch Bar to include the Character Viewer, you can then select the degree symbol from there to include it in your text.

In Word for Mac, you can type Option + Shift + 8 or use the Insert menu > Symbol, then choose the degree symbol from the list provided.

In Excel for Mac, just like in other applications, press Option + Shift + 8 to insert a degree symbol.

While using Pages or other Apple products, press Option + Shift + 8 to quickly add a degree symbol to your document.

Yes, the Unicode for degree symbol is U+00B0. However, on a Mac, you would generally use Option + Shift + 8, not the Unicode.

Absolutely, you can copy a degree symbol from a web page and paste it directly into your document on a Mac.

If your Mac keyboard lacks an Option key, it’s possible it’s labeled as alt. Otherwise, you can use the Character Viewer or copy and paste the symbol.

For more comprehensive guides on using special characters on a Mac, visit Apple’s official support page at www.apple.com/support/.