How to Insert Symbols and Special Characters in Gmail

How to Add Symbols and Special Characters in Gmail

Want your emails to make you look smart (but not trying too hard)? Find out here how to insert symbols and special characters from Unicode in Gmail for anything from degrees over mathematical and currency symbols to foreign scripts’ characters.

First, Mr. Bowerman Says “You know” to the Waffle Iron

“You know,” he said, “I think that might work.”

Nike Cofounder Bill Bowerman had just watched his wife Barbara use an Art Deco waffle iron. He was looking for anything that “might work” as a sole surface and pattern on urethane tracks, a recent addition to the track and field world in 1971. A waffle’s pattern looked promising.

Soon after the breakfast epiphany, the first experiments and later a seminal running shoe design were baked.

Now, are you looking for a pattern and symbol for your email in Gmail? These might work:

How to Insert Symbols and Special Characters in Gmail

In a Desktop Browser

Time needed: 2 minutes.

To add special characters not found on the keyboard and symbols in Gmail using a desktop browser:

  1. Position the text cursor where you want to insert the symbol or special character in Gmail.

    Where: You can enter special characters in email subjects and messages, but also in your Name, for instance, or a recipient’s.

  2. Bring up your operating system’s special characters dialog.

    Windows 10: Use the Windows emoji keyboard or input Unicode characters.
    Mac: Enter Unicode characters on a Mac.
    For emoji: In a desktop browser, you can insert emojis right in Gmail.

  3. Insert the character or characters right into Gmail.

Alternative: You can, of course, always copy and paste any character from Unicode search on the web.
Font support: Note that not all fonts support all characters.

Enter Special Characters in Gmail on an iPhone

To enter special characters using the Gmail app on an iPhone (or Gmail in a mobile iOS browser):

  1. Put the text cursor where you want to enter the special character.
  2. Tap 123 on the iPhone keyboard for numbers and the first set of special characters.

Enter Special Characters in Gmail on Android

To insert special characters in an email with the Gmail app for Android:

  1. Position the text cursor where you want to insert the special character in your email.
  2. Tap ?123 for punctuation marks and a few characters more.
  3. Tap =\< for brackets, currency symbols and more characters.

How to Insert Symbols and Special Characters in Gmail: FAQ

Can I insert symbols and Unicode characters not found on my mobile keyboard?

Typically yes, but not without additional steps.

To enter any Unicode symbol in Gmail using a mobile phone:

  1. Find the special character you want to enter using a Unicode search engine.
  2. Highlight and copy the character on the site.
  3. Paste it into the Gmail app, email client or Gmail on the web.

(How to insert symbols and special characters in Gmail updated October 2022)

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