Did you just move from Windows to macOS? Maybe you’ve been a Mac user for a while but recently switched to a new external keyboard with a slightly different layout. Whatever your reasons, here we’ll show you how to type euro and various currency symbols on your Mac.
Since it’s impossible to cover every special character in a single article, this tutorial will show you how to use the Character Viewer to access additional characters, including accents, mathematical symbols, pictographs, and even emojis.
Not all macOS keyboards have the same layout
Keyboard layouts can vary depending on your location. For example, UK and US keyboards have slightly different layouts.
Wherever possible, the major discrepancies between the different layouts will be pointed out, but if any major differences are missed, let us know in the comments!
You may also find that certain keyboard shortcuts work in some applications and not in others, particularly third-party applications. The keyboard shortcuts mentioned in this article should work across all of Apple’s own applications, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll function exactly the same across all third-party apps, including non-Apple web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox.
How to change your keyboard layout
Keyboard layouts can vary depending on location, but you can always switch to a different keyboard layout via your Mac’s System Preferences. For example, you may decide that it’d be much easier to access your favorite special character(s) if you switched to the UK keyboard layout.
To change your layout:
1. Select the “Apple” icon in your Mac’s menu bar.
2. Navigate to “System Preferences … -> Keyboard.”
3. Select the “Input Sources” tab.
4. Make sure the following checkbox is selected: “Show input icon in menu bar.”
5. To browse all of the available keyboard layouts, select the “+” icon.
6. In the subsequent pop-up, select the keyboard layout you want to use, then click “Add.”
7. Rinse and repeat to add multiple keyboard layouts to your list.
You can now switch between all of the available keyboard layouts by clicking the little flag icon in your Mac’s menu bar and then selecting a layout from the list.
Euro, GBP, dollar, cents and yen: typing special characters on macOS
There are several currency characters that are supported by the macOS keyboard that aren’t displayed on the physical hardware keys.
You can type all of the following currency symbols, using keyboard shortcuts:
To type the euro (€) symbol on a UK keyboard, use the Alt/Option + 2 shortcut.
To type the euro (€) symbol on a keyboard with a US layout, use Alt/Option + Shift + 2.
£: British pound sterling
Regardless of the your keyboard layout, you can type the GBP symbol using the Alt/Option + 3 keyboard shortcut.
$ and ¢: Dollars and cents
Type a dollar sign using the Shift + 4 keyboard shortcut. If you want to type the cent (¢) symbol, use Alt/Option + 4
¥: Japanese Yen and Chinese yuan/renminbi
Type the “¥” symbol, using the Option + Y keyboard shortcut.
Emojis, accents, and pictographs: accessing more special characters
Need to use a currency symbol that isn’t supported by a keyboard shortcut?
macOS has a built-in Character Viewer that allows you to access a range of additional characters, including arrows, bullets, stars and “letterlike symbols” such as Fahrenheit, Celsius, and the trademark sign.
To launch the Character Viewer window:
1. In your Mac’s menu bar, select “Edit -> Emoji & Symbols.” Alternatively, you can launch the Character Viewer using the Ctrl + Command + Space keyboard shortcut.
2. In the subsequent Character Viewer window, select “Currency Symbols.”
3. Find the symbol that you want to insert and give it a click; you should now see all of the available font variations for your chosen character.
4. Double-click the font variation that you want to use, and macOS will insert this character into your application or document.
Character Viewer: create a Favorites folder
Save yourself some time by adding your most frequently-used symbols to the Character Viewer’s “Favorites” folder.
To add a character to your “Favorites” folder, select the symbol in question and then click “Add to Favorites.”
To remove a character from your favorites folder:
1. If it isn’t already open, launch the Character Viewer window (“Edit -> Emoji & Symbols.”)
2. Select the “Favorites” folder.
3. Find the character that you want to remove and give it a click.
4. Select “Remove from Favorites.”
This symbol will now be removed from your “Favorites” folder.
Add Character Viewer to your menu bar
If you find yourself regularly launching the Character Viewer, then you may want to make it accessible from your Mac’s menu bar.
1. Navigate to “System Preferences … -> Keyboard.”
2. Make sure the Keyboard tab is selected.
3. Select the following checkbox: “Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar.” A new icon should now appear in your Mac’s menu bar.
4. To launch the Character Viewer window, simply click this icon and select “Show Emojis & Symbols.”
As you can see, it is easy to type euro, pound, yen and other currency signs in macOS if you know where to find them. You can also learn how to type special characters in Windows 10 and Linux. Do you have any keyboard shortcuts or other special character tips that we didn’t cover in this article? Let us know in the comments below!