Square and curly brackets on the Mac keyboard - macOS shortcuts

The Apple Mac and MacBook keyboard does not display special characters such as square brackets or curly braces. How you type in the individual brackets and other special characters under OS X or macOS without a long search, I've summarized that for you here. In addition to the keyboard shortcuts, new German: Shortcuts, I also have an alternative for all those who do not rely strictly on Apple hardware.

Find special characters on the Apple keyboard on Mac or MacBook? Not easy. Here you can get shortcuts for special characters under OS X and macOS. Keyboard image: Apple

Find special characters on the Apple keyboard on Mac or MacBook? Not easy. Here you can get shortcuts for special characters under OS X and macOS. Keyboard image: Apple

[Square] and {Curly} brackets on the Apple keyboard

If you want to quote correctly and need the square brackets or mathematical quantities and use curly or curly brackets for this, then you have to search on the Mac or MacBook. Because the Apple keyboard does not show these or other special characters, so you have to use keyboard shortcuts for which you need instructions from the Internet beforehand. Laborious. But thanks to this article, your search is now over:

  • Square brackets on [: Alt + 5
  • Square brackets to]: Alt + 6
  • Curved bracket on {: Alt + 8
  • Curved bracket close to}: Alt + 9

Further keyboard shortcuts for special characters on Mac and PC as a table

Under OS X or macOS you can also call, write and read all other special characters that you can also use under Windows, Ubuntu or other operating systems. However, the keyboard of / for Mac, iMac and MacBook gives little information about this. Therefore, here is an overview of the most common special characters that you can easily type on the keyboard, but need to know the correct combinations; everything in a clear table:

Sign Name / use MacOS shortcut Windows shortcut
[ Open square bracket Alt + 5 AltGr + 8
] Closed square bracket Alt + 6 AltGr + 9
{ Open curly bracket Alt + 8 AltGr + 7
} Closed curly bracket Alt + 9 AltGr + 0
\ Backslash or backslash Alt+Shift+7 Alt Gr + ß
§ Paragraph Shift + 3 Shift + 3
| Pipe or vertical line Alt + 7 Alt Gr +
" quotation marks Alt+Shift+W Shift + 2
" Execution mark Alt + 2 Shift +2 (at the end of a word or sentence)
- indent Alt + - Ctrl + - (on Num Pad)
Em dash ⌥ + Shift + - Alt Gr + - (on Num Pad)
± Plus minus Alt++ Alt + 0177
~ Tilde Alt + N (then Space) Alt Gr++
© Copyright Alt + G Shift + 8 + C + 9
so "(C)"
® Registered Sign Alt + R Alt Gr + R
Trademark Alt+Shift+D Shift + 8 + T + M + 9
so "(TM)"

Alternative: Use the Windows keyboard on the Mac

I personally use the Cherry KC 1000 USB keyboard; and that for over a year and for several thousand words every day. She has already been traveling with me and has so far done everything I asked her to do. The stable, pleasant and yet inexpensive plug and play USB keyboard has, in addition to its durability, all sorts of special characters - as it should be for a PC keyboard. The disadvantage for Apple users: you won't find either ⌘ or ⌥ on the keyboard. If you want to get it as a special character backup, you can also get it in white:

Search for special characters

Are you looking for symbols or signs that are not listed in the above mentioned Sönd € rz³ichent @ belle? Feel free to leave a comment and I'll see if a source has mercy on solving the riddle. In the meantime, I recommend you as a suitable starting point for your own research the-key combination.de. There are many shortcuts for OS X, macOS and Windows;)


The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de


  1. Renate Porges says:

    I would like to "sniff" in order to gain knowledge of working with Mac.

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Renate! Sure, you are welcome to sniff a little. : D If you want to be regularly informed about new articles, then you can subscribe to the newsletter or download the app from the app store (iPhone). And if you have specific questions, just write to me directly. I try to help with everything. : D

  2. Eberhard says:

    With the Mac dictation function, the line breaks and the paragraph ends are not real returns! They look like this, but you cannot find or exchange them with ^ p.
    Who can tell me which character combination I can use to find these strange returns and then exchange them with the standard returns?

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