How to Make a Square Root Symbol With Alt Codes

By Samantha Anderson

One time-saving feature that you can access with computer keyboard shortcuts is inserting symbols into documents. "Alt" key shortcuts gives you access to rarely-used symbols that you won't find on your computer keyboard layout. Both Windows and Mac operating systems offer a shortcut for typing the square root symbol.

Step 1

Use the computer's separate number keypad -- usually on the right side of the keyboard -- to enter the shortcut key. On most computers, the number keys on the top row of the main Qwerty keypad won't produce the desired symbol. Press the "Num Lock" key to turn on the number lock feature.

Step 2

Hold down the "Alt" key and, at the same time, type in the number "251" on the number keypad. This will produce the square root symbol shown as "√."

Step 3

Hold down the "Alt" key and type "V" on a Mac computer keyboard to produce a square root symbol.

Tips & Warnings

  • A symbol created with shortcut keys will work in most word processing programs but you might not be able to use this technique on websites, forums or with messaging software. In this situation, try copying and pasting the symbol from a document or online resource.