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

Control key ^

• The OPEN CENTRE ASTERISK is printed on Microsoft Keyboards.

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

• The CIRCUMFLEX ACCENT ^ (aka caret) is a classic notation to indicate ASCII control sequences in programing, and also used as a notation for pressing Control key for inputting control sequence. Mostly used in 1980s to 1990s. They are used mostly in documentation, in Unix/Linux, Emacs editor. Apple, currently also use this symbol to indicate Control key, in menu and in documentation.

apple keyboard french canadian layout 33409
Apple MacBook Pro laptop keyboard, French Canadian Layout. 〔image source https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/46162/where-are-and-in-a-french-keyboard

〔►see French Keyboard Layout

〔►see ASCII Character Symbols ␀ ␣ ¶

The caret character ^ is 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 keyboardimage 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 (suggestion) . This key is invented by Microsoft. It is meant to be a application specific key. 〔►see What's the Use of the 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 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 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 Unicode Office Things ✉ ✂ 📌 📁

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