ALT key shortcuts and symbols

“Taking shortcuts doesn’t mean shortcutting the end result,” TV chef Sandra Lee tells us. And she certainly knows a thing or two about success. After all, as American mathematician, computer scientist and philosopher Rudy Rucker reiterates, “Traditional science is all about finding shortcuts.”

Knowing the correct shortcuts will make work easier and, in many cases, more fun. In this case, we’re talking computer keyboard ALT key and CTRL key shortcuts. 

ALT key shortcuts on your PC keyboard

Alt Codes Symbol Description
Alt 0224 à a grave
Alt 0225 á a acute
Alt 0226 â a circumflex
Alt 0227 ã a tilde
Alt 0228 ä a umlaut
Alt 0231 ç c cedilla
Alt 0232 è e grave
Alt 0233 é e acute
Alt 0234 ê e circumflex
Alt 0235 ë e umlaut
Alt 0236 ì i grave
Alt 0237 í i acute
Alt 0238 î i circumflex
Alt 0239 ï i umlaut
Alt 164 ñ n tilde
Alt 0242 ò o grave
Alt 0243 ó o acute
Alt 0244 ô o circumflex
Alt 0245 õ o tilde
Alt 0246 ö o umlaut
Alt 0154 š s caron
Alt 0249 ù u grave
Alt 0250 ú u acute
Alt 0251 û u circumflex
Alt 0252 ü u umlaut
Alt 0253 ý y acute
Alt 0255 ÿ y umlaut
Alt 0158 ž z caron

ALT key accents in UPPER CASE

Alt Codes Symbol Description
Alt 0192 À A grave
Alt 0193 Á A acute
Alt 0194 Â A circumflex
Alt 0195 Ã A tilde
Alt 0196 Ä A umlaut
Alt 0199 Ç C cedilla
Alt 0200 È E grave
Alt 0201 É E acute
Alt 0202 Ê E circumflex
Alt 0203 Ë E umlaut
Alt 0204 Ì I grave
Alt 0205 Í I acute
Alt 0206 Î I circumflex
Alt 0207 Ï I umlaut
Alt 165 Ñ N tilde
Alt 0210 Ò O grave
Alt 0211 Ó O acute
Alt 0212 Ô O circumflex
Alt 0213 Õ O tilde
Alt 0214 Ö O umlaut
Alt 0138 Š S caron
Alt 0218 Ú U acute
Alt 0219 Û U circumflex
Alt 0220 Ü U umlaut
Alt 0217 Ù U grave
Alt 0221 Ý Y acute
Alt 0159 Ÿ Y umlaut
Alt 0142 Ž Z caron

How to make symbols with ALT keys on your keyboard

Alt 1 smiley face
Alt 2 black smiley face
Alt 3 Heart
Alt 4 Diamond
Alt 5 Club
Alt 6 spade
Alt 11 m­ale sign
Alt 12 female sign
Alt 13 e­ighth note
Alt 14 beamed eighth note
Alt 15 ¤ sun
Alt 18 u­p/down arrow
Alt 24 up arrow
Alt 25 down arrow
Alt 26 right arrow
Alt 27 l­eft arrow
Alt 29 lef­t right arrow
Alt 251  √ check mark / square root
Alt 252  ⁿ power n
Alt 8236 , infinity
Alt 8721 Nary summation (auto sum)
Alt 0153 trademark symbol
Alt 0161 ¡ upside down exclamation poin
Alt 0162 ¢ cent sign
Alt 0169 © copyright
Alt 0174 ® registered ­ trademark symbol
Alt 0176 ° degree symbol
Alt 0177 ± plus-or-minus
Alt 0178 ² squared
Alt 0179 ³ cubed
Alt 0182 paragr­aph mark
Alt 0190 ¾ fraction, three-fourths
Alt 0191 ¿ upside down question mark
Alt 0215 × multiplication sign

PC keyboard ALT keyOn most PC keyboards the ALT key is to the right of the Windows key – and the Ctrl key is to the left of the Windows key.

Control key shortcuts

All of the above is a lot to remember so perhaps you should bookmark it by pressing the Control key plus D. That is, ctrl + D.

Which brings us to Control key shortcuts for use in web browsers. (Some keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word have different results than that for browsers.)

Here are the most commonly used Ctrl key shortcuts (remember to holds down the ctrl key plus the corresponding letter key at the same time) –

Ctrl A – Select all

Ctrl B – Bold

Ctrl C – Copy the highlighted text or selected item

Ctrl D – Bookmark the web page / Font window in word processors

Ctrl F – Find / Search

Ctrl I – Italic

Ctrl J – Justify

Ctrl N – New window

Ctrl O – Open

Ctrl P – Print

Ctrl Q – Quit application

Ctrl R – Refresh page

Ctrl S – Save

Ctrl T – Open new tab

Ctrl U – Underline

Ctrl V – Paste the text or object that’s in the clipboard

Ctrl X – Cut

Ctrl Y – Redo the undo

Ctrl Z – Undo

Other Control key shortcuts

Ctrl + Esc – Open Start menu

Ctrl + Insert – Copy highlighted text or selected item

Ctrl + Tab – Switch between tabs in a program

Ctrl + Backspace – to delete a full word at a time instead of a single character

Ctrl + Home – Move to the beginning of the document

Ctrl + End – Move to the end of the document

Other keyboard shortcuts

Shift + Insert – Paste the text or object that’s in the clipboard.

Windows Key + Tab – Switch through open programs in a full screenshot of the Window

All the shortcuts

There are many more shortcuts for the different operating systems. Microsoft lists the keyboard shortcuts for Windows, Google lists the keyboard shortcuts for the Chrome OS, shortcutworld shows the Linux keyboard shortcuts, at Apple you’ll find the keyboard shortcuts for Mac and PC World shares the shortcuts for Android.

Please note the different uses for ALT and ALT GR (Alt Graph) key for Microsoft Office: “The ALT GR key is on the right side of the keyboard on some non-U.S. keyboard layouts. ALT GR is equivalent to the CTRL+ALT key combination, and you can use it with other keys to enter additional characters.” All explained on this AltGr page.

The shortcut quotes

The full quote by Sandra Lee is, “Give yourself permission to get the most out of your life. If you’re spending all your time scrubbing corners with a toothbrush, you’re kind of missing the point. Taking shortcuts doesn’t mean shortcutting the end result.”

To which perhaps you can echo Eliezer S. Yudkowsky, author of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, “I’m lazy! I hate work! Hate hard work in all its forms! Clever shortcuts, that’s all I’m about!”

09/05/2013. Category: technology. Tags: .

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