If you have ever had to write about mathematics or complete some maths homework on your computer, you may well have noticed that there is no divide (÷) symbol on a standard keyboard.

While there are alternatives to typing the ÷ symbol - which we will cover later - it is still perfectly possible to easily insert the elusive division symbol into your work.

So how do you type the divide symbol using a keyboard shortcut? Is it the same for Macs and PCs? And what are some of the alternative ways you can express division?

We are going to explore all this and more as we jump into: how to type the divide symbol on a keyboard.

A standard keyboard has symbols for addition and subtraction but not multiplication or division. The reason for this is that you can use the letter "x" or "*" button for multiplication and the / symbol for division.

Whether or not you should use the / symbol for divide depends on what your document is for. In some contexts, it would be acceptable, while in others, it may come across as unprofessional, informal, or lazy.

So let's jump in and find out how to type the divide symbol on a Windows PC.

To type the divide symbol on a Windows PC keyboard, begin by opening your text document. This may be Word, Notepad, Google Docs, or any other writing platform.

You will need to use the keypad area of your keyboard, so hit the Num Lock key to turn it on. If you don't have a keypad area, then we will explore alternatives later.

Now press and hold the Alt key and type 0247 in the numbered part of the keypad. Then release the Alt key, and you should see the ÷ symbol appear. You should get the same result if you press the Alt key and type 246 on the numeric keypad.

If that doesn't work, try one of our other methods below.

Open up your text document.

Then press and hold ⌥ Option and press the forward dash key /.

Release the ⌥ Option button, and you should see the division symbol ÷ appear.

Again, if that doesn't work, use one of our other methods below.

If you have tried either of the above methods and they didn't work for you, then you may need to find an alternative method of generating the divide symbol.

Copy and paste

The simplest method of inserting the divide symbol into your work is to copy and paste it online. You can easily find the divide symbol online by searching for it on Google. Then you can copy the symbol and paste it - with formatting - into your document.

Here is a symbol you can copy and paste for future reference:


Use the insert symbol dialogue box (Word)

If you are writing on a Microsoft Word document, you can insert the ÷ symbol by using the symbol dialogue box. Then, once you have inserted the symbol in Word once, you can copy and paste it for future use in the same document.

Go to the Insert tab at the top of the document toolbar. Click on the "Symbol" option and head to "More Symbols."

You should now see a dialogue box open that displays a whole range of different symbols.

You can either manually scroll through the dialogue box until you find the mathematic symbols area and the divide sign within it or look at the bottom right area of the Symbol dialogue box and select Unicode (hex) in the form: drop-down. Then in the top right corner of the dialogue box, select Latin-1 Supplement in the Subset: drop-down.

The ÷ symbol is part of the Latin-1 Supplement group of symbols. So simply select the symbol and click Insert or double-click it to automatically insert it into your document.

Once you have inserted the symbol, the dialogue box will then close.

There are also shorthand alternatives that allow you to write the ÷ symbol a lot quicker than any of the methods we have outlined above.

People often use the forward dash symbol / to represent the divide symbol. Or you write the symbol out by simply writing "divided by."

You should make a judgment on whether using an alternative symbol would be appropriate for your work, depending on what the document is for.

There is no division sign key on a standard keyboard. However, it is simple to insert one using a keyboard shortcut on both PCs and Macs. Additionally, there are a number of alternative ways of finding the symbol - such as in the Word Symbol box or copying and pasting the ÷ online - and of depicting division without the need for the ÷ symbol.