How to Type a British Pound Sign

By Carol Finch

If you want to type a British pound sign, look beyond your U.S. keyboard. It doesn't have a dedicated key that can do this for you, so you must find other ways to type the symbol. Windows 8 has various solutions you can use: You can insert the sign by typing shortcut codes into your document, or use the Character Map app to locate, copy and paste a pound sign.

Get the Right Pound Sign

Pound signs may cause confusion between Americans and Brits. Ask someone from the U.K. to type a pound sign, and he'll type the country's currency symbol, or "£." Ask someone from the U.S. to do the same, and she may use the "#" symbol. In the U.S., the "#" sometimes denotes weight in pounds; Brits don't use this sign and won't know what it means. If you need to type the currency symbol, use a "£."

Use a Numeric Keypad Shortcut Code

Open the document into which you'll type the sign. Hold down the "Alt" key on your keyboard and type "156" (without the quotation marks) on your numeric keypad. Release the Alt key to insert the pound sign. You can also substitute the numbers "156" with "0163." Keep in mind, these shortcuts work only on a keypad -- you can't use the numbers at the top of the keyboard (so this method won't work on a typical laptop with no keypad). They also work only if your keypad is on. To activate it, press the "Num Lock" key.

Use a Code Without a Keypad

If you're using a keyboard without a keypad, check if it has a Function ("Fn") key and blue numbers on some letters. If you can see both, press and hold down the "Fn" and "Alt" keys simultaneously, and type in "156" or "0163" (without the quotation marks). Use the letters with numbers on them; the numbers at the top of the keyboard don't work with shortcut codes. Release the Alt and Function keys to insert the sign. If this doesn't work, try typing "a3" (without the quotation marks) and press the "Alt" and "X" keys.

Copy and Paste From Character Map

From your Start screen, type "character map" to open Search, then select it from the search results. Choose a font if you want to format the sign now -- you can also do this later. Search through the characters until you find the British pound sign, select it, then press "Select." When the sign appears in the Characters to copy field, select "Copy." You can now paste the sign into a document.