Looking to insert [ and ] to make changes to quoted text or give a range of numbers? Find out here **how to type square brackets on a Mac**, even if you do not spot them initially on your keyboard.

## First, Where to Put Your Bakery

One of the first big, factory-like bakeries (with large machinery and division of labor) in the city of Vienna was constructed near the end of the 18th century on top of a hill south of the city’s center.

The location was no accident.

For every morning, dozens upon dozens of heavy horse-drawn carts left the bakery stacked with bread and pastries. They had an easy (and achieved a fast) time going down the hill.

If you are now wondering whether the mills where on a mountain just south of the hill with flour going downhill at night: no, the horses drawing the flour carts were at a disadvantage.

Either way, typing square brackets is all downhill-easy on a Mac:

## How to Type Square Brackets ( [ ] ) on a Mac

Using Windows? How to Type Square Brackets ( [ ] ) on Windows

Time needed: 1 minute

To insert square brackets on a Mac fast using the keyboard:

**Position the text cursor where you want to insert the brackets.****Where**: Use brackets to mark your insertions, elisions, or changes inside quoted text.**Press, not too surprisingly,**`[`and`]`respectively.**Non-US keyboards**: On Non-U.S. keyboard layouts, brackets are not quite so easy to find; see below for spotting and inserting them.

In Microsoft Word for Mac (and LaTeX), you can also use square brackets to create matrices and in other equations.

### Find the Square Bracket Key Combination for Your Keyboard Layout

To discover which key combinations let you insert the square brackets with your Mac’s keyboard:

- Open Keyboard Viewer.
- Look for square brackets in the top left corner of keys; you can then reach them pressing
`Shift`and these characters. - Press the
`Option`key. - Look for brackets on keys or, again, in the top left corner; if they are in the corner,
`Option``Shift`and these keys are your ticket.

#### Examples of Square Brackets on International Keyboards

Here are a few examples for how diverse the placement of brackets can be on the keyboard:

- On a
**Spanish**keyboard, press`Shift``{`for`[`

and`Shift``}`for`]`

. - On a
**French**keyboard, press`Option``Shift``(`for`[`

and`Option``Shift``)`for`]`

. - Using a
**Japanese**kana layout (not Romaji, which works like the U.S. keyboard for square brackets), press`Command``゛`for`[`

and`Command``む`for`]`

. - On a
**German**keyboard, press`Option`5 for`[`

and`Option``6`for`]`

. - Using a
**Russian**Cyrillic keyboard layout, press`Shift``]`for`[`

and, well,`]`for`]`

.

Different type of squaring: How to Type “Squared” ( ² ) on a Mac

### Insert Square Brackets Using Mac Character Viewer

You can also insert square brackets without so much as typing them, of course.

To input brackets with the Mac Character Viewer:

- Put the text insertion cursor where you want to insert the opening or closing square bracket.
- Select
*Edit | Emoji & Symbols*from the menu.**macOS keyboard shortcut**: You can press`Command``Control``Space`,`Fn``E`or`🌐︎`to open the emoji panel. - Search for
`bracket`

.**Category**: In full Character Viewer, you can also open the*Parentheses*category, of course. - Double-click the
*LEFT SQUARE BRACKET*and*RIGHT SQUERE BRACKET*characters respectively to insert them.**Emoji panel**: Searching for`bracket`

also works in the macOS emoji panel.

## How to Type Square Brackets ( [ ] ) on a Mac: FAQ

### Where should I use brackets?

#### Quoted Text and Phonetics

Use square brackets whenever you change something inside quoted text.**Examples**: When you remove a portion, for example, insert *[…]* in its stead; if your quote begins with “She said” and you want to explain who she is, replace “She” with *[Mrs. Seacole] said*.

Phonetic transcriptions are also usually between square brackets.**Example**: bracket *[brăk′ĭt]*.

#### Mathematics

Square brackets also find many a use in mathematics, of course. A few prominent occasions include:

**Closed interval**: Use square brackets to indicate a closed (inclusive) interval.**Example**:`[1, 5]`

means all numbers ≥ 0 and ≤ 5.**Vector product**: Square brackets can stand for the triple product.**Example**:`[a⃗, b⃗, c⃗]`

is equivalent to (a⃗ ⨯ b⃗) · c⃗.**Matrices**: Square brackets that extend beyond the line of text are used for matrices.

### Does using Unicode work for typing brackets on a Mac?

Yes, you can add brackets anywhere in macOS using Unicode:

- Enable and turn on Unicode Hex Input on your Mac.
- Press and hold
`Option`. - Type
`0``0``5``B`for [;

type`0``0``5``D`for ]. - Let go of the
`Option`key.

### Can I copy and paste brackets?

Yes, sure. If there is no way locating brackets on your keyboard, you can easily copy them

left bracket `[` | |

right bracket `]` |

*(How to type square brackets on a Mac tested with macOS Sonoma 14.3, Ventura 13.1 and Monterey 12.4; first published January 2022, last updated March 2024)*