Where to Find the Hash Key ( # ) on a Mac Keyboard

Find the Hash Key ( # ) on a Mac Keyboard

One a quest to enter the number sign using macOS? Find out here where to find the hash key ( # ) on any Mac keyboard, and how to insert alternative number symbols (like the hash key emoji).

First, Your Hand Is a Sieve

Your hand is a squeezer, and it is a sieve.

With half a lemon or lime in one hand and the other forming a cup underneath, the mesh made of fingers will catch all the seeds—handily.

So, if life gives you hands, you can make lemonade—or the sign that looks like a sieve’s mesh, of course:

Where to Find the Hash Key ( # ) on a Mac Keyboard

Time needed: 1 minute

To insert the hash sign (pound or number key) ‘#’ using the keyboard on a Mac:

  1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the character ‘#’ (for a hashtag, for instance).

    Hashtag emoji: Using the emoji panel or Character Viewer, you can also insert the hashtag emoji and variants of the number sign; see below.
    Before numbers: Typically, the number sign is followed directly by the number (or, of course, the tag if you use it to introduce a tag like in Apple Reminders).
    Example: #42 reads as “number forty-two”.
    Sharp: You can use the number sign to stand in for the symbol for a sharp musical note; see below for the symbol itself, though.

  2. Press Shift 3.

    Keyboard layouts: This is the key combination using the U.S.-English keyboard layout; see below for finding the hash sign on other keyboards.
    The hash key (number sign) on a US-English Mac keyboard

The hash symbol is also useful for linking to a specific section on a page on the web, of course.

Find the Hash Key (#) on Your Keyboard Layout

To find out where the pound sign is on your current Mac keyboard:

  1. Open the macOS keyboard Viewer.
  2. Hold the Shift key.
  3. Look for the key labelled #.
    No ‘#’: If you do not see the pound key, try holding down Option instead, Option Shift, or no modifier key at all.

Examples

Here are a few examples of inserting the pound sign with different keyboard layouts:

Keyboard LayoutHash Sign #
FrenchShift @
German#
ItalianOption à
KanaOption Shift 
SpanishShift 3

Using Mac Character Viewer (Includes Hashtag Emoji)

Using Character Viewer, you can insert not only the pound sign but also its Unicode variants as well as the hashtag emoji:

  1. Position the text cursor where you want to insert the hash sign or hashtag emoji.
  2. Select Edit | Emoji & Symbols from the menu.
    Mac keyboard shortcut: You can press 🌐︎ or Fn E to open the emoji panel or Character Viewer.
  3. Enter number sign in the search field.
  4. Double-click # (number sign), (small number sign) or (broad number sign) to insert it.
    Hashtag emoji: Double-click #️⃣ for the emoji version of the #⃣︎ character.
    Similar-looking characters: You can also insert music sharp sign (♯), the classic telephone keypad’s square key (viewdata square, ⌗) as well as the mathematical equal and parallel sign (⋕), e.g., for use with vectors).
    Insert the hash sign # on a Mac

Where to Find the Hash Key ( # ) on a Mac Keyboard: FAQ

Can I also copy and paste the pound characters?

Yes.

You can copy the various hash signs from the table below for pasting anywhere:

number sign #
small number sign
full-width number sign
number sign emoji #️⃣
number sign emoji (text version) #⃣︎
sharp sign
phone square key
equal and parallel sign

Can I use the hash sign in HTML?

Yes.

In HTML, you can insert the various number signs using entities or, of course, entering them directly (in UTF-8-encoded pages):

  • # for a needlessly verbose and redundant # (number sign)
  • ﹟ for ﹟ (small number sign)
  • # for # (full-with number sign)
  • #⃣️ for #⃣️ (number sign emoji) and
  • #⃣︎ for #⃣︎ (number sign emoji text version).

(Where to find the hash key (#) on a Mac keyboard tested with macOS Sonoma 14.2; first published February 2024)

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