skip to content

Office of Marketing and University Communication

How to type the degree symbol, °

Whenever possible, the "360° of Learning" tagline should use the degree symbol and not the word "degrees" written out. Unfortunately, there's no ° key on a standard keyboard and it can be cumbersome to try to insert the special character. Despair not, below is a handy chart.

  • PC users: hold down the ALT key and type 0176 on the numeric pad.
  • Mac users: hold down the shift and option keys and type an eight
  • If all else fails, copy and paste this character: °
Platform keyboard shortcut
Microsoft PC alt + 0176
Apple Mac shift + option + 8
HTML ° or &#176

Degree symbol look-alikes

The degree symbol can be easily confused superscript "o" or "0" or with the masculine ordinal symbol used in some romantic languages. The degree symbol is perfectly round without variation in thickness of stroke.

Platform Symbol  
Degree Symbol 360° correct
Superscript o 360o wrong
Superscript 0 3600 wrong
Masculine ordinal symbol 360º wrong

Why does it matter?

Sure it looks nearly the same to the sighted user. Asside from ruffling the keen sensibilities of your typophile friends, there's meaning behind the character that is significant to search engines or screen reading devices. For example, 360 with an ordinal means "three hundred and sixthith" in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, which is a problem for translation. A superscript zero means 360 to the zero power, which is just 360. We're not sure what a superscript o means, but be careful with the superscript anyway, because the formatting can be lost and then you end up with 360o or 3600. So, yes. It matters.