How to type special characters and symbols on your iPhone or iPad

What you see when you first glance at the iPhone or iPad keyboard are the regular letters, numbers, and symbols you're most likely to use in everyday communication. There's a whole lot more, however, lurking just beneath the surface, including accented (diacritic) characters, ligatures, extended punctuation, and special symbols.

Accents include acute, grave, circumflex, caron/wedge, double acute, and double grave, dots and rings include umlaut and over ring, strokes include macrons, overlays include crossbars and slashes, curves include breve and tilde, and subscript curls include cedilla. Letters include eszett, Special symbols include degree, en dash, em dash, bullet, Euros, Pounds, Yen, and Won. Punctuation includes ellipses, carets, and more.

How to insert special characters and symbols on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Tap the letter, number, or symbol that contains the alternative you want to access
  2. Wait for the popup selector to appear
  3. Slide up and onto the special character or symbol you want to insert
  4. Let go

List of special characters and symbols available on iOS

Here's a list of all the currently supported special characters and symbols on the iOS English language keyboard.

  • e: è é ê ë ē ė ę
  • y: ÿ
  • u: û ü ù ú ū
  • i: î ï í ī į ì
  • o: ô ö ò ó œ ø ō õ
  • a: à á â ä æ ã å ā
  • s: ß ś š
  • l: ł
  • z: ž ź ż
  • c: ç ć č
  • n: ñ ń
  • 0: °
  • -: – — •
  • /: \
  • $: € £ ¥ ₩ ₽
  • &: §
  • ": " " „ » «
  • .:
  • ?: ¿
  • !: ¡
  • ': ' ' `
  • %:

Sadly, there's no  Apple symbol included in the extended characters. If it's something you want easy access to, here's how to make an  Apple symbol shortcut on iPhone or iPad.

Note: Some apps include additional inserts. For example, if you touch and hold in Safari, you'll get options for .com, .org, and regional domains.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

  • Thanks Rene. $ also has ¢ symbol...surprised how often I use cents sign
  • On my iPhone 6s, running iOS 9.3.2, there is no cent sign hidden in the $ key - there are ₽₩¥£€$ characters.
  • I discovered the eszet (ß) by sheer guesswork one day as I was writing something in German to one of my German friends. I didn't know how to put in an ß so I thought "I wonder if I can just press and hold the 's' key and it'll come up," and there it was. Good stuff to know.
  • The one that annoys me is the %. I use it enough in my work that know that I use 3 clicks to get it. I should check out the alternate keyboards to see if any of them have a layout that works better for my use case.
  • There's no "" symbol on the keyboard (unless I missed it somewhere). This is an unbelievable oversight.
  • I've considered filing a radar!
  • You should. I still haven't figured that one out! And the SS "the German symbol for a double s" does not show up on my US keyboard when I hold down the "S" key. Sent from the iMore App
  • Actually the ß is under the lower case s. If you have the upper case S chosen, it will not show. Since the ß (or sharp s) is never found at a beginning of a word, it is considered lower case.
  • There are also some third party keyboards that add many more special characters. I happen to be the developer of one of them - Special Characters Keyboard.
  • Jim I looked up your app. Thinking of adding, your keyboard, just wondering.... Is it ble to be added, or is it copy and paste
  • Where is the forward slash symbol on my iphone ?
  • press the 123 key on the bottom left of your keyboard and it should be second from the left on the middle row