Unicode Keyboard Symbols ⌘ ⏎ ⌫

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Here's a list of Unicode symbols to represent computer keyboard keys.

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

Control key

• OPEN CENTRE ASTERISK is printed on Microsoft Keyboards.

• HELM SYMBOL is printed on French Canadian MacBook laptop for the Ctrl key, and sometimes used to indicate Control key in Linux documentation.

• CIRCUMFLEX ACCENT ^ (aka caret) is the classic notation to indicate ASCII control sequences in programing, and also used as a notation for pressing Control key for inputting control sequence. The symbol is mostly used in 1970s to 1990s. in documentation or by user in writing to indicate control key combination.

[see ASCII Character Symbols ␀ ␣ ¶]

• UP ARROWHEAD , the actual character used by Apple website as of 2017-07, in menu, in documentation.

apple keyboard french canadian layout 33409
Apple MacBook Pro laptop keyboard, French Canadian Layout. Note the HELM SYMBOL ⎈ used for control key. 〔image source https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/46162/where-are-and-in-a-french-keyboard

[see French Keyboard Layout]

The caret character ^ and UP ARROWHEAD ⌃ are not good to represent the Control key, because it confuses with the printable caret character on the keyboard, shifted digit 6 key.

Windows Logo Key

Microsoft Windows logo key (suggestion).

Note: The Windows Logo key and the Apple Command key ⌘ command both send the same USB scancode. On Linux, by convention, this key is called Super. (not to be confused with a real Super key on Lisp Machine keyboards. see Space-cadet, Lisp Machine Keyboards )

Command key

Command key , used in Apple Keyboards.

Apple iMac Keyboard A1242 big
Apple's keyboard as of 2008. Apple keyboard [image source ]

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.

Option key

Apple's Option key

Note: Alt on PC keyboard and ⌥ option on Apple Keyboards send the same USB scancode.

Meta Key, Super Key

Meta key

the BLACK DIAMOND ◆ is used on Sun Microsystems Type 6 Keyboard. Solaris documentation calls it the Meta key. The Meta key is a key on Lisp Machine Keyboards and heavily used by emacs. [see List of Emacs Default Keybinding]

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

Hyper Key

lisp machine keyboard 2 left
Symbolics's Lisp Machine keyboard PN 365407 Rev C. (Photo by Joey Devilla. Used with permission.)

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

Shift key

Shift key

Caps lock

Capslock 🄰 🅰

Most keyboards use A inside a round corners square. Some uses a dotted white fat arrow.

Following are Input symbols from Unicode. 🔠 🔡

Number lock

I haven't seen any symbol used as label for Number Lock key.

But you might use the following:

🔢 🔤

Return/Enter key

Return/Enter key .

This is the return key above the right shift key.

[see Keyboard Enter/Return Key Symbol]

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

Enter . This is 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 labeled “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 (suggestions) 𝌆 This key is invented by Microsoft. It is meant to be a application specific key. [see Microsoft Keyboard Menu 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: 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 use ⇥.

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.

Most keyboards label it “Insert” or “Ins”.

IBM Model M type 3192-G keyboard uses this symbol, but with the hat ^ at top.

[see IBM Model M type 3193 Keyboard]

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

Apple pro keyboard german layout 92684
“Apple pro keyboard (German) (A1048)” image source

Page Up/Down key

Arrow Keys

Arrow keys

[see 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 Print Screen, SysRq/ScrLk, Pause/Break Keys]

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 this symbol used on keyboard.

Help Key

Help key suggested symbols.

🛈 💁

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

This key is typically labled just “help”.

Sleep Key

[see Astrology Symbols ☿ ♆ ♋ 🌛]



mail key


[see Office Tools Emoji 📌 📁 🖍 📦]

browser home page key

home 🏠 🏡



Undo, Redo

Undo, redo

[see Unicode Arrows → ⇒ ⇄ ↻]

Reload/Refresh Key


The symbol ⟳ is used by Chromebook for browser refresh.

Microsoft Edge browser uses ↻ for reload.

Chromebook pixel keyboard 2015 a202d288
Chromebook Pixel keyboard, featuring keys 🔍 and Chromebook Pixel

Search Key, Magnify Key

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

Screen Brightness 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 ⌖ ⌚ ⌛ ✍ 🔋 🔒]

Number Lock, Number Pad Keys

[see Unicode Circled Numbers ① ② ③]

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

ASCII Character Symbols ␀ ␣ ¶

Unicode Search

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