In 1656 John Wallis modified a Roman variation for "1000" to create what is now called the infinity symbol. Resembling a sideways "8," this symbol was originally a placeholder for any small numerical quantity; in modern mathematics, it is used to represent infinitesimal quantities. If you need to insert an infinity symbol with a computer for a mathematical equations, you can create this special character using a special codes or programs.

- Skill level:
- Easy

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## Instructions

- 1
Turn on your keyboard's "NumLock." If the "NumLock" light is already illuminated, leave it alone.

- 2
Open the program with which you want to insert the infinity symbol.

- 3
Click on the place in the spreadsheet or word-processing document where you want to insert the symbol.

- 4
Press and hold the "Alt" key on your keyboard, then type the sequence "236" on your 10-key keypad. The infinity symbol appears on screen, and you can release the "Alt" key.

## PC With 10-Key Keypad

- 1
Click on the Windows Start menu and type "Character Map" into the blank field at the bottom of the Start menu. Click to open the Character Map.

- 2
Type "221E" in the "Go to Unicode" box. This code automatically takes you to the infinity symbol on the map of special characters.

- 3
Click "Select" and "Copy" to copy the symbol to your Clipboard.

- 4
Click on the place where you want to insert the symbol, and press "Ctrl" and "V" to paste the infinity symbol into the document.

## PC Without 10-Key Keypad

- 1
Turn on your keyboard's "NumLock." If the "NumLock" is already turned on, leave it alone.

- 2
Open the program with which you want to insert the infinity symbol.

- 3
Click on the place in the worksheet or document where you want to insert the symbol.

- 4
Press and hold the "Option" key, then press "5" on your keyboard. Release both keys, and the infinity symbol appears.

## Any Mac Computer

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#### References

- "Conversation with the Wordman: And Other Words on Words"; Paul J. J. Payack; 2004
- Useful Shortcuts: Alt Codes for Maths / Mathematics
- Penn State University: Accent Codes for the Macintosh
- Microsoft: Using Special Characters (Character Map)
- "Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual"; David Pogue; 2009