How to type all the special symbols using the keyboard

If you want to be able to type all the symbols with the keyboard, I can teach you some tricks! For example, you can make “braces” directly with the keyboard, without having to use the character map, or type the code Alt + 123.

Characters for each key

So how do you do “braces“? The keys, even if not displayed on the keyboard, can generate up to 4 different symbols.

  • We press the key to generate the character in “bottom left” (the lower case letter or number)
  • While pressing “Shift” (or “Shift” or a drawing of an “up arrow“) the character in “top left“.
  • To generate the symbols in “bottom right” (for example the “@” symbol) use the “Alt Gr“(not to be confused with the “Alt” key),
  • While “Alt Gr” + “SHIFT” the symbol in “top right“.

Here is a summary:

caratteri tastiera

Here you can see a keyboard with layout of the keys in Italian. By layout we mean the arrangement of the keys and what characters are available. For example on the Norwegian keyboard/layout we will not have the accented letters ò, à, ù, è, ì, but instead we will have the letters ø, æ and å. It is therefore very important to have the right keyboard layout.

So, for example, to get the | symbol (the vertical bar in the center, called “pipe” in English), you will have to hold down the SHIFT key and the \ key at the same time (key to the left of the number “1”) for less than a second, and then release both.
To gain experience you can also try to hold down the “SHIFT” key and then press all the keys of the upper row, that of the numbers from 1 to 0: you will get many useful symbols! The same goes for ALL the keys on the keyboard, you can press them without problems, so you can discover all the symbols that can be obtained with the help of the “SHIFT” key.

Other useful examples: (they can change based on your layout, but you can get an idea)

  • To do the “per 100” “%”: press the “SHIFT” key (SHIFT) and simultaneously hold down the “5” key.
  • To make the exclamation point “!”: press the “SHIFT” key (UPPER CASE) and then press the “1” key.
  • To make the symbol of raising to a power, or in English called “caret” “^”: just press the “SHIFT” key (UPPER CASE) and at the same time hold down the “ì” key (located at the top right, near the back-space used to “delete” the character on the left)

If instead you have a laptop, this article could be useful: how to use the special keys in the laptop keyboard.

It is also useful to check if you know how to write a text correctly, the formatting rules, and more, as I explained in a special article: Tips on how to write texts correctly with the computer.

You can also learn how to insert special characters to beautify and make more professional your documents using the “character map”


as I explained in the article How to use the character map to insert each symbol or character

If you already know the “character map”, you can still deepen its use with another article: Enter special characters – Character Map.

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