Unicode: Keyboard Symbols ⌘ ↵ ⇥ ⌫ ↓ ☾ ⎋

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
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Here's a list of symbols to indicate special keys.

Microsoft keyboard control windows alt keys
Control key symbol on Microsoft Keyboards

Control key

Control key

Windows Logo Key

Microsoft Windows logo key (suggestion).

Note: the Apple Command key and Windows Logo key both send the same USB scancode. On Linux, this key is called Super.

Alt key

Alt key . This is standard Unicode symbol for the Alt key, but is rarely used as a label on keyboard nor in documentation.

Shift key

Shift key

Command key

Command key , used in Apple Keyboards.

Apple iMac Keyboard A1242
Apple's keyboard as of 2008. amazon 1500×680 image source

Opt key

Apple's Opt key (note: Alt on PC keyboard and ⌥ Opt on Apple Keyboards send the same USB scancode.)

Meta Key, Hyper Key, Super Key

Meta key (the black diamond is used on Sun Microsystems Type 6 Keyboard and in Solaris documentation it's called Meta. The Meta key is a key on Lisp Machine Keyboards and heavily used by emacs. 〔➤see Emacs: How to Define Keys〕)

sun keyboard left
The Meta key with diamond ◆ symbol on Sun Microsystems Type 6 Keyboard

Hyper key (suggestions) . Hyper is key on Lisp Machine Keyboards.

Caps lock

Capslock A⃣

Most keyboard uses A inside a round square. Some uses a dotted white fat arrow.

Following are Input symbols from Unicode. 🔠 🔡 🔢 🔣 🔤

Return/Enter key

Return/Enter key . This is the return key above the right shift key. 〔➤see Keyboard Enter/Return Key Symbol — a Survey

Enter This is the enter key on number pad. This symbol is used by Apple. 〔➤see Apple Computer Keyboards Gallery

a unicode symbol named ENTER SYMBOL.

Note: There are 2 return/enter keys on standard PC keyboard: one on main section, one on number pad. The keyboard hardware send different key signals. On PC/Windows keyboards, they are both label “enter”. Apple keyboards label the main one “return”, and “enter” for the one on number pad.

Microsoft digital media keyboard 3000 enter key

Menu/App key

Menu/App key (suggestion) . This key is invented by Microsoft. It is meant to be a application specific key. 〔➤see What's the Use of the Menu / App Key?

Compose key

Compose key . This key is rare. It's on Sun Microsystems Type 6 Keyboard, but it doesn't use any symbol.

〔➤see Keyboard: What's the Difference Between Alt Graph Key, Compose Key, Dead Key?

sun keyboard ret
Compose key on Sun Microsystems Type 6 Keyboard

Tab key

Tab key

Note: Most PC Keyboards use a elongated for tab. European version of Apple Keyboards uses .

The tab character is sometimes indicated by . Here's the left one for completeness .

Escape key

Escape key

Most keyboards use “Esc” as label.

Matias Mini Tactile Pro Keyboard uses . 〔➤see Matias Mini Tactile Pro Keyboard

Apple's documentation also uses

Backspace, Delete

Backspace/Delete key

The backspace key is the key on the top right of a PC keyboard. For example, look at this IBM Model M keyboard at IBM Model M keyboard, Unicomp.

Microsoft keyboard lable this key as “Backspace” together with a long left arrow “⟵” printed beneath it. 〔➤see Microsoft Keyboards

On Apple Keyboards, this key is labeled “delete”

Don't confuse this key with the Delete key in the home/end/insert key cluster.

Delete key

The delete keys is in the cluster of {home, end, page up, page down, insert}


Insert symbol

This is Unicode U+2380: INSERTION SYMBOL. This symbol is used by copy editors, to indicate insertion.

I haven't seen keyboard using this symbol.

Clear Key


The clear key is the key on the number pad on Apple Keyboards.

It is labeled as “clear”.

I haven't seen the Unicode symbols used on keyboard.

Home/End Keys


Apple keyboard uses , and also in documentation and GUI menu.

Page Up/Down

Page Up/Down key

Arrow Keys

Arrow keys

〔➤see Complete List of Unicode Arrows

Pause/Break Key

pause key

break key

These are standard symbols for pause/break used in electronic circuits.

In the beginning, keyboard's pause/break key(s) have similar meaning to the electronic pause/break, but not today.

〔➤see What Does SysRq/ScrLk, Pause/Break Keys do?

I haven't see keyboard using these symbols.

Print Screen Key

This is Unicode char U+2399, named PRINT SCREEN SYMBOL.

I haven't seen keyboard actuallying using this symbol as key label.

Help Key

Help key suggested symbols.

Help key is in Apple Keyboards ⌨ and Sun Microsystems Type 6 Keyboard

They usually just print “help”.

Sleep Key

sleep key

Launch Keys and Extra Keys


print , mail , home ,

Cut Undo, redo

Reload, refresh . The symbol ⟳ is used by Chromebook for browser refresh.

Chromebook keyboard

search, find, magnify. 🔍 🔎. The manifying glass 🔍 is used on Google Chromebook for web search function, as replacement for the Caps Lock key.

brightness. 🔅 🔆

Multimedia Keys

mute 🔇 no sound 🔈 sound down 🔉 sound up 🔊

🕨 🕩 🕪

stop play/pause , prev song , next song , fast backward , fast forward , fast upward , fast downward

〔➤see Unicode: Computer User Interface Icons ⌖ ⌚ ⌛ ✍ 🔋 🔒

Keyboard Photos

Sample Use of Keyboard Symbols

Apple keyboard shortcut symbols
Key symbols used in Mac OS X menu, as of 2009.
Apple Mac OS X safari menu 2009
keyboard shortcut Notation used in Mac OS X, from Safari, .

Computer Interfac Icons

Unicode: Computer User Interface Icons ⌖ ⌚ ⌛ ✍ 🔋 🔒

Character Representation

Unicode: ASCII Character Symbols ␀ ␤ ␠ ␣ ¶ ↩ �