Plus or minus symbol ± How to type on keyboard, Word, Excel

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Plus or minus symbol

What is plus or minus symbol ±?

Mathematical language is made up of the letters and numbers that are part If your keyboard has a numeric keypad, then you can type the plus or minus symbol using an Alt code of our normal language, the one we use to communicate in our day-to-day lives, but it is also made up of a significant number of mathematical signs characteristic of this science. The objective of these signs, which must be as simple as possible, is to convert mathematical language into a universal language, which is not subject to any language and which can be understood by anyone on the planet, regardless of the language they speak or the place. Where you reside.

Plus or minus symbol


How to type Plus or minus symbol on Windows Keyboard

If your keyboard has a numeric keypad, then you can type the plus or minus symbol using an Alt code – this consists of you pressing a few numbers while holding the Alt key. The numeric keypad is to the right of your keyboard – most keyboards on the desk have a numeric keypad. If you are using a laptop, you will merely see the figures on the upper row of the keyboard and not on the right like numpad. To type the plus or minus symbol alt code on the keyboard, type 0177, for plus or minus symbol.

±=Alt+0177, for plus or minus symbol

Plus or minus Symbol on Mac

±=Option + Shift + =, for plus or minus symbol

Apple Mac Os or Mac book owners can use the Option + Shift + =, for plus or minus symbol Keyboard shortcuts.

Plus or minus symbol in Microsoft Word

00b1 = alt+x


00B1= alt+x, for plus or minus sign.

To insert plus or minus symbol, in Microsoft word use 00b1 = Alt +x ,for ±. Anywhere in the document, enter 2213 for plus or minus symbol and then select characters and press Alt and X hotkeys. The numbers are converted to a character. The keyboard layout must be English.  2213 Alt + X = .

How to type a plus or minus symbol in excel

  • Open an Excel file you need.
  • Go to taskbar explore and type ‘character map’.
  • Click on it to open. Select the plus or minus  symbol.
  • Click on ‘Copy’.
  • Right-click after the data you have to and click on ‘Paste’.


  • You can in addition use your keyboard to put a plus or minus symbol.
  • Press Alt along with type 2213, for plus or minus symbol on your number keyboard.
  • Now release the Alt key your symbol appears automatically.
  • Please, make sure the Num Lock is on before entering the number combo.

Plus or minus symbol in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook

Either with Alt+0177

Plus or minus symbol in Word


  1. Go to Insert
  2. Then Symbols
  3. Then More Symbols tab appears
  4. Just type 2213 in character code box

The plus or minus symbol on Latex

Here is the latex code for plus or minus symbol.

\pm,   for this plus is on top.

\mp,   for this minus is on the top.

Plus or minus symbol google docs



Plus or minus sign are used in mathematically operation.

It is also used in physics. in physics +sign indicates the increment and –sign indicates the decrements.

For more Symbols visit – here

History of plus or minus sign

Mathematical signs, like any other elements of our culture, have their own history, which is in fact ours, that of humanity. In this article from the Scientific Culture Notebook we are going to focus on the origin of some basic mathematical signs, which are part of our normal language, the signs for the four elementary arithmetic operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and the equal sign .

The signs + (addition) and – (subtraction). The first time the + (plus) and – (minus) signs appear in a printed book, known today, is in the work Mercantile Arithmetic , or Behende und hubsche Rechenung au allen Kau manscha. However, Widman does not use the + and – signs as symbols of the arithmetic operations addition and subtraction, but, within the commercial practices analyzed in the text , to express excess and defect of the merchandise, for example, in the weight of the barrels. In the following image we see “4 + 5”.

The arithmetic book of the Dutch mathematician Van der Hoeke (16th century) is often cited as the first printed publication in which the + and – signs appear as algebraic operations, since its publication is usually dated to 1514, however, this is 1937 (the 1514 date is an error related to the 1944 edition). As Florian Cajori mentions, the first printed publication with the algebraic meaning of these signs is the algebra and arithmetic book Any new Kunstlich Beuch (1518), by the German mathematician Henricus Grammateus (approx. 1492-1525).

However, this is not the first appearance of the + and – signs, as they can be found in some German manuscripts, written in Latin and German, from the last twenty years of the 15th century. In the Dresden Library there is a volume of manuscripts (MS C80) in which the signs + and – appear, perhaps for the first time. Manuscripts to which both Widman and Grammateus had access.

Latin manuscripts

The shape of the plus sign as a cross + is due to the fact that originally in the Latin manuscripts the Latin conjunction “et” was used, that is, the conjunction “and”, to express the addition, in the same way that we continue to say today on day “2 and 2 are 4”. The + sign is an abbreviation of “et”, in fact, some scholars have listed more than a hundred different abbreviations of the word “et” in Latin texts, and one of them would be the cross + (let’s think about the writing of the t) . In one of those early manuscripts, from 1417, a + cross appears, but with the vertical segment tilted back.

The first time the + sign appears in a manuscript could be the work Algorisms proportional by the mathematician Nicolás de Oresme (1323-1382), written between the years 1356 and 1361. However, it is also possible that this + sign was written by a later copyist and was not in the original work.

The origin of the sign – is more uncertain, and there are different theories that try to explain it. One of them is that it could come from the use of the horizontal bar that merchants used to indicate the separation of the tare, long called “minus”, from the total weight of merchandise, that is, the weight of the product container. . Also, it could be a contraction of the abbreviation  of the word “minus”. According to another theory, it could be derived from the sign used by the Greek mathematician Diaphanous of Alexandria (3rd century) for the minus, which was originally an  inverted psi with the upper part cut off, something like a wedge like this , but with a vertical line in the middle of the two sides, which would have derived to a kind of capital t , that when he lost his foot he stayed in the sign -. It could also come from a hieratic Egyptian symbol.

Before the 15th century, the words more and less were used in Italy, as elsewhere, in the writing language (in Latin, “plus” for more and “minus” for less), from which the letters “p”and“m” (or you are with a check mark  or a segment above it  ) to designate addition and subtraction. These abbreviations  appear for the first time in the work “Summa de arithmetical, geometric, proportion et proportionality” (1494), by the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli (1447-1517), and they continued to be used in the 15th and 16th centuries. The German signs + and – began to be used in Italy as early as the 17th century.

The Whetstone of Witte

The first use of the + and – signs in Great Britain was in 1557 in the book The Whetstone of Witte , in which the = symbol for equality first appeared. In Spain and France both the German symbols + and – were used, as well as the Italian symbols “p” and “m”.

The cross + for the sum symbol also had different shapes. Of course, the main shape has been the Greek cross, which is the one we continue to use today. The Latin cross was also used, although more frequently used horizontally (with the elongated part to the right or to the left). Although less, the cross that in Scandinavia is called St. George’s or the variation of this which is the Maltese cross were also used.

Despite the simplicity of the sign – for subtraction, a certain group of mathematicians replaced it with the more complex sign ÷, which was used for about four hundred years, even with some variations, such as having only the top dot. Two bars in a row “- -” or three bars “- – -” was also used as a minus sign.

Of course, before these signs others were used to express addition and subtraction. For example, the Babylonians had an ideogram in the cuneiform script for addition (“tab”, which was an isosceles wedge-triangle- point down) and another for subtraction (“lal”, a wedge with the point pointing downwards). The right). Or in the Egyptian Ahmes papyrus two legs are used walking forward for the more, and walking backwards for the less.

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