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How to get hashtag on Mac keyboard

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5 min read

You can’t really use the internet nowadays without encountering the hashtag symbol that looks like this — #. Popularized on a global scale by Twitter as a way to define common tweet themes and later adopted by Instagram and other apps to categorize all kinds of information, the hashtag symbol has become universal and ubiquitous. 

You might also know the hash symbol by its other names, such as a number sign, pound sign, hex, octothorpe, sharp, and even square. It can be used in various ways as well. The hashtag can be a substitute for a number, such as #2 (number two); it can help input information and navigate extensions on the phone; it can be interpreted as a unit of weight; and it has many more other niche uses, especially in computing and mathematics. 

So we know that the hash symbol is quite indispensable. The question you might have is “Where is the hashtag on a Mac keyboard?” Good question! If you can’t find the hashtag key on your Mac, this article is for you.

Where is the hashtag on Mac? 

Generally, keyboards don’t have a dedicated hashtag symbol key — you have to use a modifier like Shift or Option to type it out. That’s why you don’t often see the hash symbol on the keyboard, although some keyboards do have the pound sign engraved above the number 3. 

However, simply hitting 3 won’t produce a hash symbol. So how to do hashtag on MacBook? If you have a UK-based keyboard layout, to type a hashtag symbol, use Option + 3. For the US-based layout, it’s Shift + 3 instead. 

If you find that hitting Option + 3 on your Mac types a £ (pound) instead of #, it might mean that your keyboard settings are US-based. To reset them back to the UK: 

  1. Go to System Preferences ➙ Keyboard 
  2. Switch to Input Sources
  3. Click the plus icon (+), then English ➙ British
  4. Click Add
  5. Make sure that the British keyboard input comes first

keyboard settings

In case that typing a hashtag symbol the conventional way doesn’t work for you, you can, of course, copy it online or from social media. But a better way to do it is create a custom shortcut: 

  1. Go to System Preferences ➙ Keyboard once again 
  2. This time, switch to Text 
  3. Click the plus icon (+)
  4. In the Replace column, type in your preferred shortcut
  5. In the With column, copy paste the hash symbol (#)

create a custom shortcut for hash

Now, every time you type out your shortcut in any app, it will be transformed into a hashtag. Unlike regular keyboard shortcuts as well, you don’t have to hold down all the keys at once — just type them sequentially. Another suggestion is to create a custom macro with an app like Keysmith.

Keysmith is a brilliant utility that lets you set shortcuts not just for static actions but also complex macros. For example, every time you use your shortcut, you can make Keysmith copy text from Google Docs to Slack and send a message. Keysmith works natively on Mac, with dark mode support and integrated Spotlight search. You can also set all the macros to be app-specific or universal. 


If you want to create a simple macro for typing a pound sign: 

  1. Launch Keysmith
  2. Click New Macro
  3. Name your macro
  4. Set the shortcut underneath
  5. Specify whether you want your macro to work in a specific app or anywhere
  6. Click Record
  7. Type Shift + 3 (US-based keyboards) or Option + 3 (UK-based keyboards)

macro for typing a pound sign

How to type the hashtag symbol on social media

Now that you know the answer to “how do you type a hash or hashtag symbol on a Mac,” you might wonder what’s a good way to use it on social media. 

On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, typing # followed by a word or a phrase (no spaces) lets you categorize your thoughts or join in on the trend. For example, if you end your message with #apple, anyone who is looking at all #apple hashtags will see your message along with the rest. Similarly, you can see what kind of hashtags are trending at the moment and use them to make your message more visible. 

But since there are so many social media channels today, how do you manage them all effectively? You use a social media aggregator like IM+.

IM+ combines the best social media platforms into a single intuitive interface that is very easy to manage. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, Instagram, Twitter — you can get them all in one app. No more switching and continuous monitoring required. You can color-code various services to keep your organized and tag apps as personal or work, so that you never get the notification when you don’t want to. 

IM+ app to post into all your social networks


If you’re big on Instagram specifically, there’s nothing better than Grids. 

Grids recreates a full Instagram experience right on your Mac, with an interface that works for any screen. You can post photos, videos, Stories, send direct messages, use multiple accounts, and much more. Finally you can experience Mac-native behavior from the most important social network around. 

GRIDS Experience Instagram in beautiful way on desktop


How to type other special characters on Mac

You can imagine that the pound sign (#) is only one of hundreds of special characters that go beyond your keyboard and are available on your Mac. 

So how do you type more complex characters like Æ, @, or ©, or even something like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯? There are many tricks to do it, and to find everything out in detail, read our article on How to type special keyboard symbols on Mac

As you can see, whether it’s typing hashtag on Mac keyboard or something else, there are various ways to go about it, and you can choose whether you want to use the regular shortcut, set up your own, or create a macro with Keysmith. Moreover, when you get to social media management, apps like IM+ and Grids will save you a ton of time. 

Best of all, Keysmith, IM+, and Grids are all available for you absolutely free for seven days through the trial of Setapp, a platform with more than 230 top-level Mac and iOS apps for any use case, from downloading videos online (Folx) to running effective meetings (iMeetingX). Try every Setapp app today at no cost and instantly improve your productivity. 

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