What are the Keyboard Symbol Names?

A computer has more keyboard symbols than just letters and numbers. This guide shows the names and location of each special keyboard symbol beyond the letters (A-Z) and numbers (0-9).

Windows Keyboard Symbols

Here are the Windows keyboard symbols in the U.S. Windows adds a Windows Key (Win Key) and a Menu key on the bottom row. See the names for all the Windows symbols below.

Windows keyboard symbols
Windows Keyboard Symbols

Mac Keyboard Symbols

Here are the Mac keyboard symbols in the U.S. The Mac keyboard adds the Command ⌘ key and the Control and Option keys on the bottom row. The names of all the Mac symbols are below.

Mac keyboard symbols
Mac Keyboard Symbols

Here is the list of common keyboard symbols and their names. First, let’s look at the symbols on the top row where the number keys are located.

Keyboard Symbols on the Top Row

`grave accent, back tick, back quote
!exclamation mark, exclamation point
@at, at sign, at symbol
#pound, hash, number
$dollar sign, generic currency
%percent sign
&and, ampersand
(open parenthesis, left parenthesis
)close parenthesis, right parenthesis
( )parentheses, round brackets
hyphen, minus sign, dash
=equal sign
+plus sign

Symbols on the Right Side

There are also special characters on the right of the keyboard. These include punctuation and other symbols.

[ ]brackets, square brackets
[open bracket
]close bracket
{ }braces, curly brackets
{open brace
}close brace
\backslash, backward slash
|vertical pipe, pipe
apostrophe, prime, single quote
quotation mark, double quotes
.period, decimal, dot
/slash, forward slash
<>angle brackets
<less than
>greater than
?question mark

Additional Symbols

There are additional symbols on international keyboards. Some of the following characters are accessed by either keyboard keys, shortcuts, or inserting symbols.

£pound sign, pound sterling
¢cent sign, cents
euro sign
¥yen sign
®registered trademark
not equal sign, inequality
approximately symbol

Modifier Keys for Mac and Windows

There are several modifier keys for both Mac and Windows. These keys perform special functions such as copy, paste, save, and print.

The command key or ⌘ symbol on the Mac was first introduced in 1980. It allows many shortcuts on the Mac. The control key or Ctrl has a similar function in Windows.

Special Key NameMacWindows
Alt or OptionAlt
Caps LockCaps LockCaps Lock
Delete or BackspaceDeleteBackspace
Escape or CancelEscEsc
Enter or ReturnEnter

Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel

Once you know the symbols, you can use these for keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts can save lots of time over using a mouse. One of the best examples is using Excel. The following Excel keyboard shortcuts relate to opening, saving, and printing files.

Excel ActionMacWindows
New workbook⌘ NCtrl N
Open workbook⌘ OCtrl O
Save workbook⌘ SCtrl S
Save as⌘ ⇧ SF12
Print⌘ PCtrl P
Close workbook⌘ WCtrl F4
Quit Excel⌘ QAlt F4

For more keyboard shortcuts in Excel, see Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows and Mac.

Jeff Mankin

Jeff Mankin teaches financial literacy. His website is FinallyLearn.com.

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