Whether you’re part of the big screen brigade or prefer to use a smartphone, if you’re looking for a way to add the British unit of currency (£) to your documents, emails, or messages, look no further. In this useful guide, we'll walk you through the simple steps to quickly insert the pound symbol on your relevant device: Mac, PC, or smartphone.
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Where did the British Pound sign come from?
The British Pound Sterling, symbol £, boasts a rich history dating back over 1,200 years. It began as a weight of silver in Anglo-Saxon England and became the official currency in 1694 under William III.
With the growth of the British Empire, it gained global prominence. Despite challenges such as wartime disruptions and the 1967 devaluation, it remained strong. The pound left the gold standard in 1971. Through shifts like Brexit, it endures as a significant global currency, shaped by the UK's economic journey and historical impact on finance and trade.
According to the Bank of England, the symbol originates from the letter L, which is the first letter of the Latin word for 'libra', meaning a pound of money. Although the exact time when the horizontal line was added is uncertain, it can be traced back to a 1660 cheque in the Bank of England's collection.
Typically, the British pound sign is placed before the number. So, if you want to write ten pounds, it would be represented as £10. Fun fact: in 1970 a new £20 banknote featuring William Shakespeare was issued by the Bank of England sparking the tradition of including characters that have shaped the country on coins and notes.
Simple ways to insert £ into a document
Now that we're familiar with the British pound sign, let's delve into how to type it on both Mac and PC keyboards, as well as a smartphone.
For Mac users
If you're using a Mac, the quickest way is to use a keyboard shortcut. Simply hold down
the Shift key (Option key on US keyboards) and simultaneously press the number 3.
For Windows users
On a Windows PC or laptop, you can use the same shortcut. Hold down the Shift key and press the number 3, which is usually located on the top row of your keyboard. However, if you're using a full keyboard with a number pad, it may be positioned to the side.
To make things even easier, some keyboards have the £ symbol printed above the number 3 key, providing a visual reminder. Just keep in mind that American keyboards may not include the British pound sign.
If you prefer a simpler method, you can always copy and paste the pound symbol from here: £
For smartphone users
Now, let's move on to inserting the British pound sign on your mobile device, whether it's an iOS or Android.
Using your smartphone or tablet, simply switch to the numbers and symbols keyboard on your device, and you'll find the £ symbol as one of the character options. In case you can't locate it, try long-pressing the dollar sign ($) to access more currency symbols.
Keyboard-free? No problem
What if you don't have access to a keyboard? Don't worry! There's a way to insert the British pound sign in popular word processors without typing.
If you're using applications like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, follow these steps:
1. In Microsoft Word, go to the "Insert" tab at the top and select "Symbol." In Google Docs, choose "Special Characters" from the drop-down menu.
2. Look for the pound symbol (£) in the list of characters. In Google Docs, you may need to select "Symbol" first and then navigate to the "Currency" category.
3. Click on the pound symbol to insert it into your document.
That's all there is to it! Now you know how to effortlessly type the British pound sign (£) on your Mac, PC, or mobile device. Feel free to use these methods whenever you need to add this symbol to your content.
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