If you’re a mathematician, there will come a point where you need to type the plus-minus sign (±)**. **In mathematics, it generally indicates a choice of exactly two possible values, one of which is the negation of the other.

Modern keyboards and US keyboards don’t have the plus-minus sign so to type the plus-minus sign on your keyboard, you can use different codes or the character map on your Windows or Mac PC.

### Microsoft Programs

If you’re on Microsoft programs such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, you can type the plus-minus sign using an **Alt** + **X** code. This can be used if you have a keyboard that doesn’t have a number keyboard and you’re on a Microsoft program like Word. To type the plus-minus sign, press **00B1** + **Alt** + **X**.

If your keyboard has a number keyboard, then you can type the plus-minus sign using an Alt code – this consists of you pressing a few numbers whilst holding the Alt key. The numerical keyboard is on the right-hand side of your keyboard – most desktop keyboards have a numerical keyboard. If you’re using a laptop, you’ll only see the numbers in the top row of your keyboard and not on the right. To type the plus-minus sign on your keyboard, type **241 **whilst holding **Alt**.

If you have a laptop or keyboard without a numeric keypad, then you’ll need to use keyboard 7, 8, 0, U, I, O, J, K, L, and M. These keys are alternatives to 0-9 when Num Lock is activated. M=0, J=1, K=2, L=3, U=4, I=5, O=6, 7=7, 8=8, 9=9. If you haven’t got a numeric keypad:

1. Hold **Fn **+** NumLk** to enable Num Lock.

2. Hold the **Alt key** and type **241**. Remember which number corresponds to regular keypads without a numeric keypad. So 2=K 4=U, 1=M.

3. Let go of all the keys and you should see the plus minus sign in your text.

### Windows Character Map

If you’re confused by the Alt code, then you can just use the Map installed on your computer.

1. Open the Start menu and open the **Character Map**.

2. In **Search for**, plus minus and double-click the plus minus sign on it to make it appear in Characters to copy.

3. Select **Copy** to copy the symbol and then you can paste it within your text.

### Mac

1. Go to the **Finder** > **Emoji & Symbols**.

2. In the Search bar, search for plus-minus.

3. Right-click the plus-minus sign and select **Copy Character Info**. This will add it to the keyboard.

4. Paste the plus-minus sign within your text.