The Special Characters palette includes many mathematical symbols, but I cannot seem to find blackboard bold versions of N, R, and Z, which are commonly used to denote the set of (respectively) the natural numbers, real numbers, and integers.

Right now, when I use the Special Characters palette and configure the Unicode section, and then look for the mathematical symbols, I find blackboard versions of A, B, and others, but inexplicably, certain characters including the N, R, and Z are missing. Here is a screenshot to show what I mean:

enter image description here

Are the blackboard characters available somehow, and I am missing something really obvious?

2 Answers 2


N is at U+2115, R is at U+211D... just as described in the wikipedia article you linked to. Odd that they aren't in the normal ABC order. But, they are there.

screen shot of character viewer

  • You're right! The fact they're out of order really threw me, and the way the N, R, Z are buried in with other symbols makes them hard to notice even when looking at 2115 etc. Well, thanks for solving that.
    – mhucka
    Jan 27, 2014 at 2:55

They are available for use directly without any configuration and here they are (and they are in a different Unicode range and hence missing from the range you posted):

  • ℕ (hex 2115)
  • ℝ (hex 211D)
  • ℤ (hex 2124)

To type them, you might want to enable Unicode Hex Input and then hold the option key down while typing the 4 hex numbers above. Once you have them, you can add them to your favorites in the Special Characters palette (Control+Command+Space) or make keyboard spelling corrections (System Preferences, Keyboard, Text) to convert other abbreviations to these automatically.

  • Thank you for making this comment; I was unaware of the Unicode Hex Input keyboard option in the input sources. This was a useful tip.
    – mhucka
    Jan 27, 2014 at 3:04

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