I need the key 1/2 (one-half) but I can't find it on my mac keyboard.

My keyboard is a Danish Mac keyboard.

  • You need the key "1/2", as in one half?
    – Kitsune
    Jul 28, 2009 at 19:30
  • It isn't on my Mac keyboard either, and I'm from the US. Why would you expect such a key?
    – David Thornley
    Jul 28, 2009 at 20:05
  • @David, probably because many PC keyboards have it
    – Jonik
    Jul 28, 2009 at 20:06

6 Answers 6


Quick reference: copy it from here:


and paste where needed =)

Other than that; here's how you can produce the symbol:

2016 update

I'm currently on Yosemite (10.10) and nowadays (I assume this works the same on El Capitan) you can hit Ctrl-Cmd-Space (^⌘Space) to launch the very useful Emoji & Symbols utility. For example, type "half" into the search at the top to find ½. It also lets you easily use the emojis you're used to on iPhone that are missing from desktop version of Facebook. 😁

Original, 2009 answer

  1. Select "Show Character Palette" from the Input menu (the flag at top-right corner in the menu bar).
  2. Find category "Symbols" ➔ "Numbers and Number Symbols"
  3. Scroll down and you'll find ½ along with stuff like ⅗ and whatnot.
  • Use of the Character Palette is explained (with greater verbosity) in the KB article which Daniel posted earlier: support.apple.com/kb/HT1518. Still, I wanted to add the full answer here on SU, instead of just a link.
    – Jonik
    Jul 28, 2009 at 20:28
  • @Jonik You beat me to it >.< Jul 29, 2009 at 6:27
  • When this question was closed on SO, but not yet migrated to SU, I wrote the answer ready... to be the first to post after migration (and hoping it would eventually be migrated) :)
    – Jonik
    Jul 29, 2009 at 8:22
  • The ⅗ looks like 3/6 on my screen (it is supposed to be 3/5)
    – kinokijuf
    Feb 25, 2012 at 12:41

For ½ ⅓ ⅔ etc on Lion 10.7.x on most applications click Edit-Special Characters... And look at Digits - All. (If digits all is not listed click the Gear-Customize List and check off Digits - All.

  • 1
    You can also search in that palette (upper right corner). Typing "half" works for this symbol.
    – pluckyglen
    Jun 2, 2012 at 0:15

If you need to type the symbol, here is some documentation on how to do it.

OS X Lion

Enter special characters or symbols from the Character Viewer

  1. Open a document, and place the insertion point where you want the special character or symbol to appear.

  2. Choose Edit > Special Characters to open the Character Viewer, or choose Show Character Viewer from the Input menu in the menu bar (looks like a flag or character). If you don’t see Show Character Viewer in the Input menu, follow the steps in this topic to show the Character Viewer in the menu bar.

  3. Select a category from the list on the left, and then select the character you want to use. Use the Recently Used or Favorites sections in the Character Viewer to quickly enter frequently used characters or symbols.

Mac OS X v10.6

To show the Character Viewer:

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Language & Text, and then click Input Sources.

  • Select the Keyboard & Character Viewer checkbox.

To use the Character Viewer:

  • Open a document, and place the insertion point where you want the special character or symbol to appear.

  • Choose Edit > Special Characters to open the Character Viewer, or choose Show Character Viewer from the Input menu in the menu bar (looks like a flag or character).

  • Choose the type of characters you want to see from the View pop-up menu.

  • If you don’t see the View pop-up menu, click the button in the upper-right corner of the Character Viewer to show the top portion of the window.

  • Click By Category, and then select a category on the left.

  • Double-click the symbol you want to use on the right.



Another option is to use the Keyboard. Viewer that's under the Internstional menu where you've found the Character Palette.

The bonus with this is the on screen keyboard will show you what keys will be output, even when holding modifier keys.

You can use this with combinations of holding option or option-ctrl or option-shift or option-ctrl-shift and find the actual key combination for the one half symbol.

I tend not to trust my use of other characters to permanently leave finding the character using the Character Palette.

  • @McDonald's Like a reference to the list of extended characters for Danish on the mac? I feel that's a bit beyond my reach as I don't have any bootable OS X volume/machine in the house anymore nor any VM setup as such. As for the international menu with the keyboard viewer, that's available via the System Preferences (via the Apple menu) in the International section. Either turn on the international menu item or I think there's a way to enable it as part of the language chooser when using command-space or command-option-space to toggle languages.
    – Cory T
    Jul 15, 2017 at 20:36
  • @McDonald's no biggie I was just wondering how far down the rabbit hole I was expected to lead OP :) I've switched away from OS X for quite a while so working from memory made it a touch harder ;)
    – Cory T
    Jul 16, 2017 at 1:41

On Mac, it's ⌥⇧1 (Option + Shift + 1) to type the fraction slash, this allows you to type any custom fraction eg. 3⁄5.

  • That seems to only create stuff like this: 1⁄2, I think the original poster wants the 1/2 to be in one character like this: ½ Aug 27, 2020 at 13:53
  • While this is not exactly what OP asked for, but it is helpful information indeed as it gives you better looking fractions for any numerator and denominator. Thumbs up!
    – Anshul
    Jun 25, 2021 at 10:38

I used this as a work around. I highlighted the 1/2 and held down "Command" as I pressed on the "-" symbol. It reduced the size which helped.

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