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How to type british pound symbol on mac

how to type british pound symbol on mac

Have you ever found yourself needing to type the British Pound symbol (£) on your Mac, but just couldn’t figure out how to do it? As a user who frequently deals with various international currencies, I’ve encountered this myself. The British Pound (GBP) is one of the world’s most recognized currencies, and knowing how to type its symbol is essential for financial documents, emails, and reports. In this article, I’ll share the methods I use to include this symbol in my documents when working on a Mac.


Common Scenarios:

Creating Financial Documents 📊

  • When drafting financial reports or invoices that include transactions in GBP.
  • Working on budgets or pricing tables for UK-based projects or clients.
  • Entering currency-specific data in accounting software that defaults to the dollar symbol ($).

Corresponding with Clients 📧

  • Writing proposals or quotes for services where pricing must be presented in pounds sterling.
  • Preparing contracts and agreements with UK businesses or partnerships.
  • Communicating price adjustments or costs in emails to British counterparts.

Educational Assignments and Research 🔍

  • University students and researchers working on economics or finance papers.
  • Including the Pound Sterling in sociology studies involving the UK economy.
  • Referencing UK-specific case studies or financial models.

Step-by-Step Guide. How To Type British Pound Symbol On Mac:

Method 1: Keyboard Shortcut ✨

  • Hold down the Option key and then press the 3 key. The British Pound symbol (£) should appear where your cursor is located.
  • To use this symbol in uppercase letters, also hold the Shift key.

Note: The keyboard shortcut may vary slightly depending on your keyboard’s layout, so if the symbol doesn’t show up, double-check the keyboard settings or preferences.

Conclusion: This method is the quickest way to type the British Pound symbol and can be easily remembered for frequent use.

Method 2: Character Viewer 👁

  • Click on the Apple menu, then select System Preferences, click on Keyboard, and ensure that the ‘Show Keyboard and Emoji Viewers in menu bar’ option is checked.
  • Click on the Input menu on the right side of the menu bar and choose ‘Show Emoji & Symbols’ or ‘Show Character Viewer’.
  • Search for ‘Pound’ and double click the Pound Sterling symbol (£) to insert it into your document.

Note: You can also drag the symbol into your document.

Conclusion: The Character Viewer is a very useful tool that offers access to various symbols and special characters not readily available on the keyboard.

Method 3: Text Replacement 🔄

  • Open System Preferences and click on Keyboard.
  • Go to the Text tab and click the ‘+’ button to add a new text replacement.
  • In the ‘Replace’ column, type a unique abbreviation you’ll remember (for example, ‘GBPsymbol’).
  • In the ‘With’ column, paste the Pound Sterling symbol (£) that you previously copied.

Note: You can now enter your abbreviation (‘GBPsymbol’) in any text field, and it will automatically be replaced with the Pound Sterling symbol (£).

Conclusion: Text replacement can save you a lot of time if typing the Pound Sterling symbol is a regular part of your work on Mac.

Method 4: Copy and Paste 👀

  • Find the Pound Sterling symbol (£) on a webpage or in a document.
  • Copy (Command + C) the symbol.
  • Paste (Command + V) it to the desired location in your document or text field.

Note: This method is best for one-time use and is not as efficient for frequent use.

Conclusion: While copying and pasting isn’t the most elegant solution, it works well when you’re in a hurry or if the other methods are not convenient.

Method 5: Using the Touch Bar 💡

  • If you’re using a Mac with a Touch Bar, tap the emoji button (smiley face) on the Touch Bar.
  • Swipe through the list of available emojis and symbols until you find the Pound Sterling symbol (£).
  • Tap it to insert the symbol into your text.

Note: This method is only available for MacBook Pro models with the Touch Bar.

Conclusion: The Touch Bar can be a very intuitive and fast way to insert the Pound Sterling symbol into your work.


Precautions and Tips:

Keyboard Layouts and Shortcuts 🎹

  • Be aware that the location of the Pound Sterling symbol (£) may differ on international keyboard layouts, so the Option + 3 shortcut may not apply universally.
  • Check your Mac’s Keyboard preferences to see if there are other designated shortcuts for special characters, which could be helpful for other currencies as well.

Mac Keyboard Customization

The world of keyboard shortcuts and symbols on Mac can be quite extensive, offering numerous possibilities to enhance your productivity. For instance, using system preferences, you can customize your keyboard to better suit your typing needs—whether that’s for programming, designing, or writing. Beyond the functionalities discussed, Mac users can also venture into creating custom keyboard layouts using third-party applications like Ukelele or via the input sources settings. This is particularly useful for those who use multiple languages or specialized symbols regularly.

Moreover, refining your text replacements not only streamlines the process of typing repetitive symbols like the Pound Sterling (£), but it can also be utilized for entire snippets of text, phrases, or frequent responses. You can implement text replacements across various Mac applications, including Mail, Messages, and Pages, which can substantially increase efficiency.

To ensure the optimal use of these features, keeping your operating system updated is key. macOS updates occasionally introduce new shortcuts, emojis, and symbols, so occupationally checking for the latest software through the App Store ensures you have the most recent tools at your disposal. You might also want to explore the Accessibility options available, as they tend to include features to make typing and navigating your Mac easier for those with specific needs.


Typing the British Pound symbol (£) on a Mac can be accomplished through a variety of methods, depending on what is most convenient for your needs. It’s all about finding the right shortcut or tool that fits into how you use your computer. Remember that practice makes perfect, and once you choose your preferred method, incorporating the Pound Sterling (£) into your work will become second nature. Whether you’re managing finances, corresponding with clients, or working on academic papers, knowing these tips will make your experience with the Mac more seamless and professional.


To type the British Pound symbol on a Mac, simply press Option + 3 on your keyboard.

Yes, you can also insert the Pound symbol by using the Character Viewer on Mac. Go to ‘Edit’ > ‘Emoji & Symbols’ in any input field.

Mac does not utilize ASCII codes. Use the Option + 3 shortcut or the Character Viewer for special symbols like the Pound symbol.

If the Option key is not functioning, check your keyboard settings or preferences to resolve the issue, then try Option + 3 again.

Yes, customize shortcuts by going to ‘System Preferences’ > ‘Keyboard’ > ‘Text’, and set a new replacement for typing the Pound symbol.

For non-UK keyboards, you might need to locate the symbol in the Character Viewer or use the ‘Input menu’ to switch to a British layout.

Yes, on Mac running Windows via Boot Camp, press Alt + 0163 on the numeric keypad for the Pound symbol.

The Unicode for the Pound symbol is U+00A3. In HTML, use the entity £ to represent it in your code.

Yes, text expansion apps or custom keyboard layout apps can help you insert the Pound symbol more conveniently on a Mac.

Check out Apple’s official support page at Apple Support for detailed guides on typing special characters.