Creating a geographic, scientific or financial paper may involve typing special characters or symbols that may be difficult to find because they are typically not printed on the keys. This is true both on keyboards for Windows computers and those for Mac keyboards produced by Apple. The degree symbol is used to represent gradation, temperatures, photographic film speeds, alcoholic proof and in medical shorthand. The degree symbol is not readily apparent on the Mac keyboard, but there is a combination of keys that will give you one.
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Open a word processing program, desktop publishing program, browser, e-mail client or other program into which you can type text. Some browsers do not accept special characters in their search boxes.
Type the text you want to precede the degree symbol.
Press the "Shift" key, the "Option" key and the number "8" key simultaneously to create the "°" symbol.
Continue to type the text that follows the degree symbol as normal. Once you release the keys, they return to their standard key functions.
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