Plus or minus Symbol

What is a plus or minus symbol?

The plus or minus symbol, also called plus or minus sign, is designed like ― ± and is a mathematical symbol with various meanings. For example, in math, the plus or minus symbol generally refers to a choice of exactly two possible values, one of which is received via addition and the other through subtraction. However, in experimental sciences, the plus or minus symbol commonly represents the error or confidence interval in a measurement, often the standardized deviation or even a standard error. The plus or minus symbol may also indicate an inclusive vast of values that reading might have.

In engineering, the plus or minus symbol refers to tolerance, which is the part of the range of values that are thought to be safe and acceptable. They comply with some standard, or even with a contract. In botany, the symbol is mainly used in morphological descriptions to convey the idea of "more or less." In contrast, in chemistry, the plus or minus symbol is used to indicate a racemic mixture. Surprisingly, in chess, the sign of plus or minus indicates a clear advantage for the white player. The complementary minus or plus symbol ― ∓ designates the same benefit for the black player.

How to use a plus or minus symbol

The plus or minus symbol icon as ± is commonly used to indicate when a number must be subtracted and added. It is sometimes used to express two quantities like a+b and a-b as "a±b"; it is also used to refer to a wide range of possibilities, like n ± 10%. However, no matter how a user intends to use the plus or minus symbol, it is better to know how to type the sign on the computer keyboard. The methods vary from the operating system to the operating system of an electronic device.

For instance, if you are using an Apple running macOS, type the sign on Mac keyboard by holding down the keys ― "Option" and "Shift" ― and click the key along with the equal plus signs located on the top row of keys. That shortcut places a plus or minus symbol in a text, web browser, message input, or other software.

However, if you are unsure of how to type the plus or minus symbol on your Mac, then search for the sign in the “Emoji & Symbols” menu bar on macOS. You should access this menu by clicking the "Edit" button menu in any Mac and then choose "Emoji & Symbols." Next, scroll down to find the plus or minus symbol you want. The plus or minus symbol is located in the Math Symbols section.

If it appears that you have the plus or minus symbol you want to use in one place on your PC, like in an existing document or even on an open web site, you might be able to copy the sign and then paste it wherever you want it to appear. Then, highlight the plus or minus symbol, right-click, and choose the "Copy" button in the pop-up menu. Once you put the cursor, right-click again, and then click "Paste." If you do not have the plus or minus symbol handy but still want to use this particular method, you can search for it online.

plus or minus symbol Alt Code

What are Alt Codes for plus or minus sign? Below you can see the Alt code keyboard shortcut that can be used to insert the plus or minus symbol.

  • Mac Option Key Shortcut ― Option + Shift + = ;
  • Windows Alt Code ― ALT 0177 or ALT 241
  • Windows Alt X Code ― 00B1 ALT X
  • HTML Entity ― ±
  • Named Character ― ±
  • Reference ― ±
  • HTML Entity, Numeric Character Reference (Decimal) ― &#177
  • HTML Entity, Numeric Character Reference (Hexadecimal) ― &#x00B1
  • Unicode Code Point ― U+00B1 ± plus or minus symbol (HTML - ± ±, ±, ±).

How to use and type Plus or minus symbol code?

  • If your keyboard contains separate NumPad, you should be sure that it is enabled. If it is not, press the Num Lock key to activate it then press hold down the Alt key on the left side. Type the number that represents that character or the symbol you want to insert and then release the insert key.
  • For example, for the greek letter omega Ω press and hold Alt and the type 0234 and then release.
  • There is another method that works only for word documents. In this method, you should type the characters first then press Alt and X. For example ( 0234 + Alt + X for greek letter omega ).
  • If you have a keyboard that doesn't have NumPad here is what will work for you. Find the Function key ( FN ) then presses and hold the function key while holding press and release Num LK key; then release FN key. This method will activate the numeric keypad in your laptop.
  • Then do the same steps as in the previous example.
  • Notice that in IBM code you don't use 0 (Alt + 255 ) before the code which is different from the windows generator that requires to add 0 (Alt + 0255 ) before the code.

Table of Symbols and Codes

Symbol Title / Description Unicode Code / HTML Code
± Plus Minus &U+00B1 &#x00B1

Something doesn't work?

  • The Num lock should always be enabled. If it is disabled when you are attempting an alt code, it may cause errors or unexpected results in some applications. For example, Alt+4 could be interpreted as Alt +, ← which causes the browser to go back if the Num lock is disabled.
  • If your laptop keyboard doesn't have a separate NumPad, you should hold FN button with Alt button while typing the code.
  • This method does not work for Linux system, but it is possible to use Unicode.

Other Therefore Symbols

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. If you continue browsing, we consider that you accept their use. Cookies