Type special characters "greater than" and "less than" on the Mac keyboard

The comparison operators less than or equal to and greater than or equal to are to be entered with the ALT key, the SHIFT key and the square brackets on the Mac keyboard.

I don't know how many times I've managed to just write "greater than 19" (i.e. "> 19") when I wanted to write "greater than or equal to 20" ("≥ 20"). Even I don't know some special characters and these comparison operators have been a mystery to me on the Mac keyboard so far.

But forced by various test reports with tables and lots of numbers, there was no way out today: I had to find out how to enter the two characters on the Mac. And what can I say - it's actually really easy. : D

The comparison operators less than or equal to and greater than or equal to are to be entered with the ALT key, the SHIFT key and the square brackets on the Mac keyboard.
The comparison operators less than or equal to and greater than or equal to are to be entered with the ALT key, the SHIFT key and the square brackets on the Mac keyboard.

This is how you get the comparison operators

With the keys "alt" and "square brackets" (see keyboard screenshot above) you get the "≤" less than equal sign and with "alt", "shift" and "square brackets" you get the "≥" greater than -Equal sign.

Here again in symbols:

  • ⌥ + <gives ≤
  • ⌥ + ⇧ + <gives ≥

Of course, the whole thing works not only in certain apps but in all programs: Pages, Number, Apple Mail, Microsoft Word, Open Office, Libre Office, etc.

Steal special characters by copy & paste

And here is another tip that also works for all other special characters: You can simply copy them from a website and then paste them into the text program (or wherever you need it). You can “mopse” any special character by copy and paste if it is in the UTF-8 character set. But this is the case with almost all websites (that I know of). So feel free to take the two special characters with you for free: ≤ ≥ ;-)

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4 comments on “Enter special characters “greater than” and “less than” on the Mac keyboard”

  1. Unfortunately, I only get a quotation mark when I try it on my wireless Logitech K400r keyboard (Alt + Less than). Do you know why?

    1. Jen Kleinholz

      Hello Dominik! Unfortunately no clue. It works on my Logitech Craft. So it can't really be because of the Logitech keyboard. Have you possibly not set a German keyboard layout?

  2. Does anyone know how I enter the greater than or less than sign as a key combination with an Apple keyboard on a Windows computer?
    Thanks once.

    1. Hello Petra! I don't have Windows to test right now, but: "For the math sign greater than or equal to, press the "ALT" key while typing the numbers "8805" on the numeric keypad. You can then insert the less than or equal sign with the combination “ALT” + “8804”… at least that’s what another website says.

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