So pressing alt+[any key] gives you a special character. I am wondering if there is a way to change what special character is outputted for every alt+[key] keystroke. For example, I would like to map alt+t to the theta symbol, map alt+d to the degree symbol, and map alt+s to the square root symbol.

1 Answer 1


The simplest way to do what you need is probably to just set up text replacements in: System Preferences > Keyboard > Text > Replace With

If you really want to change key mappings, you can use Ukelele, or possibly Karabiner.

  • The 1st method will force you to put a space before the strings to be replaced, and this is not always convenient.
    – dan
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 14:48
  • @daniel Azuelos, Using the first method, I did not have to, nor was I forced to "put a space before the strings to be replaced". What version of OS X/macOS are you running? The first method is certainly easier then using Ukelele, however if one wants a permanent method (until the layout is changed again) that just types the designated character presenting no other choice, then Ukelele is the way to go. Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 16:00
  • The text replacement is not universal. only works with apps made by Apple (ex: Safari). It won't work for MS Word.
    – btrballin
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 19:35
  • @btrballin Word has its own text replacement settings Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 20:08
  • Thanks. Ukelele is great and now I am able to use a custom keyboard that prints different special characters for certain alt+key keystrokes
    – btrballin
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 22:57

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