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How can I insert symbols like copyright or degree symbols?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

For many symbols or characters with diacritics (e.g. accents) you can press and hold a related key to insert variations.

  • º - For the degree symbol, press and hold the 0 button (on the mac you can press Option+0[zero, not letter o])

  • © - For the copyright symbol, on the mac the shortcut is Option+g. Unfortunately pressing and holding g on the iPhone/iPad doesn't provide an option for the copyright symbol.

As an alternative, you can use glyphboard, or copy and paste the symbols from a note, email that you create on your computer.

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+1 for Glyphboard – Jon Hadley Sep 9 '10 at 8:37
@g: Do you mean to type those keys on a connected keyboard? Pretty sure the iPad keyboard does not have the "Option" key? – Nippysaurus Sep 10 '10 at 2:59
I think glyphboard is not available outside the US. – Nippysaurus Sep 13 '10 at 1:21
Why would glyphboard not be available outside the US? It's a web app that works offline, not an app installed through the App Store. I'm in Sweden and it works just fine. – Scottie Sep 30 '10 at 13:40
There’s also (try it on your iPhone!), which was more useful back in the day when Emoji iOS keyboards weren’t unlockable for everyone. – Mathias Bynens Mar 29 '12 at 13:35

The above answers are all correct. However, in iOS 5 there’s a new way of quickly inputting special characters.

Simply go to Settings → General → Keyboard → Shortcuts, and tap the + button to add a new keyboard shortcut.

Basically, this is the same functionality that OS X’s System Preferences → Language & Text → Text → Symbol and text substitution offers.

So, get any symbol you want as described in the other answers, copy it, then add it as a new keyboard shortcut this way.

To give you some inspiration, here’s a screenshot of (part of) my text substitutions:

enter image description here

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That 'flip' shortcut is brilliant! :D – Dan J Mar 29 '12 at 20:20
  1. Go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> International Keyboards.
  2. Activate the Japanese keyboard (whether you speak Japanese or not).
  3. Open a text box in Messages, Mail, or Safari (or whatever).
  4. Hit the globe button until it switches to Japanese (Kana not Qwerty) keyboard.
  5. On the left hand side hit the second button from the bottom that says "ABC" until it switches to "*123".
  6. Your keyboard should now have symbols on it.
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there's also another hardware keyboard that you can use. you have to do the same at the above and go to international keyboads.

once you get the international keyboards list, look for the one called Emoji.

then, whenever you need any miscellaneous symbols, tap the the globe until you get this keyboad with smilies.

you can swipe it to chose from the icons available, and if you need the © or ® (registered symbol), go to the one that shows "!?#", and it's all the way in the back.

the other icons in the bottom are for other icons for example the flower shows things of nature, while the bell shows other miscellaneous stuff you can find anywhere.

And there you have it!

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These Emoji glyphs aren't typical characters, so they probably won't be visible off the iPhone or on Macs running OSes older than Lion. – CajunLuke Aug 22 '12 at 1:02

I have copied the text here and entered it into my keyboard shortcut as phrase and made the text to equal uhh - Ə ə æ

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For a Pi symbol on iOS go to Settings → Keyboard → Keyboards → Add, then add a Greek keyboard.

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install < pictokeyboard > from Cydia

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

A link and description might be nice. – CajunLuke Oct 16 '12 at 3:14

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