How to type Degree Temperature Symbol in Mac OS X

Dec 12, 2009 - 23 Comments

Type degree symbol in Mac OS X

You can insert the degree temperature symbol into any Mac OS X app by hitting the following key command:

  • Option+Shift+8 produced one like this: Temperature Symbol: 85°
  • Option+K types a symbol like this: Degree Symbol: 24˚

These keystrokes are universal and supported by everywhere you can type in OS X, it doesn’t matter what app you’re in on the Mac.

You may notice the symbols are slightly different, but I couldn’t tell you why or what for (perhaps one for celsius, fahrenheit, and kelvin?) so just use which ever one you want. If it’s 35˚ outside, now you can tell someone!

This is simple stuff though right? Well, I just got an email from a relative who was clearly very frustrated that they couldn’t figure out how to type the degree temperature symbol in Mac OS X. I laughed about it for a second but then realized I’ve been asked this question a few times before especially from recent switchers, so clearly some of the simple things just need a simple explanation. Happy temperature telling!

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Posted by: David Mendez in How to, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

23 Comments

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  1. Fábio says:

    You can use Option + 0 too.

    • Jesse says:

      not the same thing. go ahead and type it into your browsers address bar for comparison;

      option+(zero)
      option+K
      option+shift+8

  2. option + 0 is the EASIEST. please update.

  3. Max says:

    The correct degree sign is Option+Shift+8.
    Option+K makes a diacritic “ring above” character, and Option-0 makes a “masculine ordinal indicator”.
    Although there are similarities between these symbols, there are differences as well. And of course they all have different meanings ;)

  4. thg says:

    These are really not the same.

    Option + Shift + 8 is Degree
    Option + k is (spacing) Ring Above diacritic
    Option + 0 is the the Masculine Ordinal Indicator (has a line under it in some fonts)

  5. Sepp says:

    Isn’t there a list of most special characters for each keyboard layout somewhere at apple.com?

    • megaRa24 says:

      YEAH, good point, I want a list as well…
      but as no-one posted it after 18 months there probably is no list like that… 8(

  6. Cintra says:

    On a Norwegian keyboard the following apply:
    2° = option shift q
    5˚ = option shift å
    0º = option shift k

    mvh

  7. erik says:

    I prefer option+0 (zero) = º like in 5ºC

  8. ChillyWilly says:

    º˚øØ°• lots of weird symbols, lol, i dont know what any of these are! temperatures? are they farhenheit vs celcius vs kelvin temperature? why so many symbols?

    the funny thing is on a PC in windows i dont have ANY idea how to make ANY symbols! so much easier on a mac, everything is.

    • James says:

      On a PC, ‘charmap’ is a utility that shows the mappings for an given font, the reference being arial for double-byte fonts.

      hold alt + 0176 on the keypad and you get character 176, which is a degree symbol.

      Mac OSX has a character pallette – cmd+opt+T, but it’s light on the keystroke details you need for a given character. You can copy characters, though.

  9. Mike says:

    Title’s wrong again. Should be: “How to type Degree Temperature Symbol on a US qwerty keyboard”

  10. Tony says:

    And there’s always Edit->Special Characters (⌥⌘T) and Search for degree:

    °

  11. Pascal (Former  IS&T France) says:

    One could also use system preferences/international/input menu/”show input menu” checked.
    after that, you will see a new icon on the menu bar (top right side of the screen), which allows you to type many special characters depending on your country, keyboard etc
    regards
    Pascal

  12. michael says:

    it might be slightly off-topic, but is there a shortcut for the “square” symbol too? til now I had a workaround to the job for me (quicksilver, copy-paste the character).. if you need m², cm², x² … a lot a “native” osx key-combo would be fine (for 3 as well?).

    thanks in advance.

    michael

  13. [...] looking for solutions on how to type the degree symbol (like in 0°) on OSX, but could only find solutions for English keyboard layout (or solutions suggesting copying an image…). After some trial and [...]

  14. Karin says:

    Very helpful. Not all sites that try to solve this problem actually provide the correct solution for Mac OS X. Thanks!

  15. Characters in Unicode do have a meaning and whilst they may render similarly on your screen another person may perceive them differently.

    Look at

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Special-Characters-Mac.png

    which makes it clear that °ª are made to be seen as a pair. They are used in Spanish where instead of 3rd (“third”) one says 3ª (“tercera”) and instead of 1st one says 1° (“primero”).

    You can also tell if you’ve used the correct degree symbol because HTML will render it as °.

  16. Egil says:

    On danish keyboards its:
    shift+option+w = ˚
    shift+option+’ = º

  17. Ron Fontes says:

    “Simple?” Not if you don’t spend all your time futzing around with the computer. It doesn’t come with a manual and the “Help” feature is really not very helpful; that is, it doesn’t always have all the answers.

  18. Seth Nickeson says:

    For some reason, Apple has changed Edit>Special Characters… to the awkward and hard-to-remember Ctrl-Cmd-Space (⌃⌘Space)

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