On a Mac, symbols are often used for keys rather than names. In Adobe Indesign for Mac, the keyboard shortcuts for inserting various break characters are described using what looks like an up arrow / caret / chevron pointing into a flat horizontal line:

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It's the symbol on the right I'm asking about.

After much searching, I found it on the far bottom right of the full-size Apple keyboard. It's the... enter-like key (?) in the bottom right of the numeric keypad.

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So two related questions:

  • What's it called?
  • Is it possible to trigger this key (for use in keyboard shortcuts) when using a keyboard without a numeric keypad (like a wireless keyboard or laptop keyboard)? If so, how?
  • 1
    For the remapping check this: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/38011/…
    – jackJoe
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 10:56
  • 4
    I've never understood why Apple keyboards print the cloverleaf icon on the command key, but don't print the equivalent icons for option and control on their respective keys.
    – daGUY
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 14:48
  • @daGUY on my Apple keyboard, the option key has the option symbol, but the label alt and not option... Seems somewhat random, maybe it depends on what mood the particular product designer was in that morning? Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 15:06
  • 1
    @user568458 The main label is ⌥ on ISO keyboards and option on ANSI keyboards. "alt" is more like an alternative name for the key (on other platforms).
    – Lri
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 16:01
  • 1
    It's a UK layout keyboard. Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 12:48

3 Answers 3


It is called Projective, with Unicode U+2305, and it represents Enter which is different to Carriage Return, represented with a ↩.

Although most of the time they work in the same way, there is a difference between Enter and Carriage Return. While Enter, in most cases, will make a GUI object operate at its default function, the Carriage Return is meant to reset the user's position to the beginning of the line of a text.

Just doing fn+Return should trigger it.

On the short keyboards you'll either find the name or the icon.

enter image description here enter image description here

  • Actually I think the symbol looks more like the "Projective" unicode symbol ⌅ ( or U+2305) than ⌤ (), but I'm more interested in the name of the Mac keyboard key and how to access it when it doesn't have a physical key than the name of the symbol used to name it. Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 10:49
  • 4
    Okay, so it is the Enter key as opposed to the Return key and can be accessed with Fn + return? Seems to answer the question. Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 10:51
  • 2
    +1; note that full-size Mac keyboards do have an actual Enter key - as part of the numerical keypad (pressing it has the same effect as fn+Return).
    – mklement0
    Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 21:53
  • 3
    In my testing (OS X 10.9), when adding an NSMenuItem with a keyEquivalent, the "⌅" "projective" symbol will not appear in the menu while the "⌤" will. Therefore I think ⌤ is the correct symbol for Enter. An Apple designer may have simply printed the "better looking" symbol on the keyboard.
    – pkamb
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 4:36
  • 2
    Note too that the "na1" original Unicode name of ⌤ is "ENTER KEY". Not so for ⌅.
    – pkamb
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 4:56

On my Mac, there is a Help menu. Strange but true! In Finder Help, searching "symbol" I found "Symbols used in shortcuts". Your symbol is in there.

enter image description here

When used in this way, I would just call this symbol by the name "enter".

  • 5
    As of OS X 10.9: The topic is now titled "What are those symbols shown in menus?" and the line for Enter has been removed.
    – mklement0
    Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 21:32
  • I wonder why they removed it? Because the "standard" keyboard is now the laptop keyboard, and has no separate Enter key?
    – GEdgar
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 12:50
  • Good question; your guess sounds very plausible. I tried on the public Yosemite (10.10) beta, but it doesn't contain any help yet. I personally don't have any apps that use Enter-based shortcuts; the OP mentions that Adobe InDesign contains them - I wonder if the current version of that application now represents them with fn + Return.
    – mklement0
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 13:40
  • The "Symbols used in shortcuts" support topic (still containing "⌤") is available online here: support.apple.com/kb/PH10564
    – pkamb
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 4:13
  • 1
    @mklement0 InDesign uses Enter for a column break (or page break together with Shift), while Return is "only" a Paragraph break. Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 6:23

This is the ⌤ 'Enter Key' character, which is distinct from the similar ⌅ 'Projective' character.


Old name: 'ENTER KEY'

Wikipedia says:

The "Enter" key is commonly labelled with its name in plain text on generic PC keyboards, or with the symbol ⌤ (U+2324 up arrowhead between two horizontal bars) on many Apple Mac keyboards.

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