Typing Math and Science Symbols

With text replacement in iOS and macOS, you can make shortcuts that replace certain characters with symbols. This lets you type math and science symbols, subscripts, and superscripts.

Text Shortcuts on iOS

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General > Keyboard > Text Replacement.
  3. Tap "+" in the top right corner.
  4. In the Phrase row, type or paste a symbol, such as "²".
  5. In the Shortcut row, type or paste a shortcut, such as "^2".
  6. Tap "Save" in the top right corner.

Text Shortcuts on macOS

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click Keyboard > Text.
  3. Click "+" near the bottom left corner.
  4. In the Replace column, type a shortcut, such as "^2".
  5. In the With column, type or paste a symbol, such as "²".

Helpful Tips

  • If your devices are synced through iCloud, the shortcuts you make on one device will be available on all of your devices.
  • On a Mac, you can export text replacement shortcuts:
    1. In System Preference's "Replace / With" box, shift-click the shortcuts you want to export, or use the command+a keyboard shortcut to select all shortcuts.
    2. Click-and-drag the selected shortcuts to your desktop.
    3. This makes a file named "Text Substitutions.plist" that contains your shortcuts.
  • On a Mac, you can import text replacement shortcuts:
    1. Click-and-drag a ".plist" file into System Preference's "Replace / With" box.
Have more questions? Submit a request