Typing special characters using the Alt key

Special characters, like the British pound symbol “£”, can be entered using a keyboard shortcut. An Alt code shortcut is usually represented by something like Alt 0163 or Alt+0163, but how to actually type this can be pretty confusing, so I’ll explain the process using the British pound symbol as an example.

For a standard keyboard with a numeric keypad, you can enter the pound sign by turning on Num Lock, holding the Alt key, then typing 0163 on the numeric keypad, then releasing the Alt key. The symbol will be entered when the Alt key is released.

For a laptop keyboard without a numeric keypad, certain letter keys also have a number printed on them. These keys act as a virtual numeric keypad. First turn on Num Lock (sometimes Nm Lck), then hold the Alt key and use the virtual numeric keypad to enter 0163, then release the Alt key. The corresponding letter keys are MJOL. Hit the Num Lk key again to turn off the virtual numeric keypad.