Mac Keyboard Shortcuts for Teachers

PC users, my apologies up-front as this post is for all of my fellow Mac-Heads. Over my years of Apple ownership, I have slowly discovered a million amazing things these little puppies can do. Every time I find a new trick, I enjoy a little moment of jubilation and then immediately and involuntarily start calculating all the hours of my life I wasted before learning it. There are so many easy ways to make common symbols that have made my life as a teacher who makes her own materials so.much.easier. This is the post I wish I had found years ago. You may already know some (or all) of these, but hopefully it will help someone else out! SPOILER ALERT: Introduce yourself to the Option Key. She is your friend.
OPTION / (backslash). OMG. I’m starting with the one that excited and angered me the most when I found it. Excited: IT’S A DIVISION SYMBOL. HALLELUJAH. Angered: OMG, I HAVE WASTED SO MUCH TIME GOOGLING THESE LITTLE MONSTERS AND COPYING AND PASTING THEM. WHYYYYYYY?! 
Option 4 makes a cent symbol. It took me way, way, way, way, WAY too long to discover this.
Option = gives you a not equal sign.
Option 7 is the paragraph symbol.
Option 8 allows you to easily create bullets.
Option X creates the approximately equal to symbol.
There are a few different ways to make a degree symbol – and to be totally honest, I don’t know which one is “technically” the degree symbol. But Option 8, Option K, and Shift Option 8 will all give you a version of it. You can choose the one you like the best.

Option J makes the delta/difference symbol.

Option P is the Pi symbol. (Still searching for the shortcut for the key lime pie symbol – will update this post when I find it.)
Option V is the square root radical symbol, but quite honestly, I use it more as a checkmark. 😉
Option . (period) is greater than or equal to.
Option , (comma) is less than or equal to.
Option ; (semi-colon) is an ellipsis. 
Option W gives you the sum sign.
Option 5 takes you TO INFINITY AND BEYOND (couldn’t help myself).
Shift Option = produces the plus/minus symbol.
There are a million more, but those are the ones most relevant to teachers – especially if you are trying to create your own materials for class. Play around with the option key – there are lots of fun things you can do. There are also so many amazing shortcuts for things like taking screenshots, selecting text, duplicating pages/images, navigating both on your computer and in your browser, etc. But I’ll save those for another time. 😉 
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today! Happy Teaching!


  1. says

    OMG! I am so happy you shared these! I just forwarded to my EdTech to continue sharing with my school and district! This is going to save teachers so much time!! THANK you!

  2. Sandy says

    Thanks so much for sharing these shortcuts! How have I lived without some of these for so long!

  3. says

    My wants are simple. Having ÷ will have me smiling for days. Would have made life easier to have known it before now. I’m sharing this post with all my teaching friends. Thank you!


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