The section sign (§), also called a silcrow, is a typographic mark used to reference a particular section of a document. Its shape derives from a double ‘s’, which in Latin stands for signum sectionis. Modern keyboards only contain a limited number of symbols and the section symbol isn’t part of your keyboard.

If you want to type the section symbol, you need to 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 section symbol 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 section symbol, press 00A7 + Alt + X.

If your keyboard has a number keyboard, then you can type the section symbol 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 section symbol on your keyboard, type 0167 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 0167. Remember which number corresponds to regular keypads without a numeric keypad. So 0=M, 1=J, 6=O, 7=7.

3. Let go of all the keys and you should see the section symbol 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.

Character Map

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

2. In Search for, section and double-click 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.

Emoji

2. In the Search bar, search for section.

3. Right-click the section symbol and select Copy Character Info. This will add it to the keyboard.

4. Paste the section symbol within your text.