Mac Keyboard Symbols Ever wondered what those Mac keyboard symbols mean and what they translate to? You see them on a lot of Mac keyboards and on plenty of keyboard shortcut lists, looking like strange glyphs (?), shapes (?), and bugs splattered on windshields (?). They can be fairly confusing, which is why we at always try to manually write out the key itself. Using the name of the key is becoming the norm on newer Apple keyboards, but many pre-2011 Macs have keyboard symbols on keys, and with really old Macs you get all symbols with no labels. Additionally, you�ll find the symbols in drop-down menus throughout OS X, so what the heck are they in plain english?

? is the Command (?) key

? is the Control key

? is the Option (alt) key

? is the Shift key

? is the Caps Lock key

fn is the Function key

Now you know, but if the symbols confuse you, don�t feel too bad about it. I�ve been using Macs since I was a little kid and the Option and Control key symbols have always perplexed me to the point where I�ll forget which each is, and that is precisely why Apple is gradually moving to the labeled keys rather than symbol keys. Simple is better. The above list is the standard keyboard symbols for most keyboard shortcuts, below is a more complete list of some of the symbols that appear elsewhere in menus and the keys they map to. Thanks to Lri for posting these secondary symbols in the comments. Full Keyboard Symbol List: ? is command ? is option ? is control ? is shift ? is caps lock ? is left arrow ? is right arrow ? is up arrow ? is down arrow ? is tab ? is backtab ? is return ? is enter ? is delete ? is forward delete ? is page up ? is page down ? is home ? is end ? is clear ? is space ? is escape ? is eject

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