How to Insert a Mac Degree Symbol in Mac OS X

Something that we get asked, on a frequent basis, is how to insert a degree symbol in Mac OS X. There are at least four ways to insert a degree symbol into text, for example 45˚ or 100°C. So here is a quick guide to inserting a Mac Degree Symbol.

The quickest way is to use a Degree Symbol Keyboard Short-cut. Move the cursor to the location at which you want to insert a degree symbol. Then, use one of the following keyboard short-cuts:

  • Option-K: inserts a small angular degree symbol (135˚)
  • Shift-Option-8: inserts larger temperature degree symbol (72°C)

For a slightly slower way, use the Special Characters menu (also called the Emoji & Symbols menu in OS X Yosemite and later) which gives hundreds of useful symbols, characters, and emoji from which to choose. To access it, place the cursor where you’d like to insert the degree symbol and then either:

  • Use the keyboard shortcut Control-Command-Space
  • In the Menu Bar use Edit, Special Characters (or Edit, Emoji & Symbols)

Remember the small Mac degree symbol is correctly used for angles, like 360˚, while the larger degree symbol should be used for temperature, 37°C or 98.6°F. So there you have it; how to insert a degree symbol in Mac OS X.