How to Make an Apostrophe in a Keyboard

Computer keyboards can make two types of apostrophe marks, referred to by typographers as dumb apostrophes and smart apostrophes. Dumb apostrophes are a straight mark, the kind used to denote a foot measurement and the kind most often used when typing on a keyboard. Smart apostrophes have a clockwise curve at the bottom. Smart apostrophes are more difficult to type but generally look nicer than dumb apostrophes.

Users can create two types of apostrophes with their keyboards.

Step 1

Press the button to the left of the Enter or Return button on your PC or Mac keyboard.

Step 2

Hold "Alt" on a PC keyboard and type "0146" with the number pad to create a smart apostrophe. You need to activate "Num Lock" to create this apostrophe.

Step 3

Press "Option," "Shift" and the right bracket button simultaneously to create a smart apostrophe on a Mac. The right bracket button is above the Return button and looks like "]".


The font you are using has a part in determining what your apostrophe looks like. You may find that, because of the font you are using, the smart apostrophe looks similar to a dumb apostrophe.