I've now found out simple ways of printing sharp, flat and natural signs for this site! At least, it works on my PC Windows.

Sharp is ampersand sharp semicolon. Flat is ampersand flat semicolon. Natural is ampersand natural semicolon.

♯ ♭ ♮ gives ♯ ♭ ♮
So there! So far, so good. So...

What are the tricks for diminished and half-diminished, and possibly other signs, that can be accessed easily on an ordinary qwertyboard?

This question will help us through 2019 when writing questions and answers in both musical practice and theory. Happy New Year to all our readers and contributors!

  • Related: music.stackexchange.com/questions/58314/…
    – Richard
    Jan 1, 2019 at 18:07
  • 1
    That is great information. Thus it is possible to type a real sharp ♯ instead of a hashtag #. Well it doesn't work in the comments as we can see in this comment, but I tested it as an answer without clicking on "Post Your Answer", and there it works great, so thanks for the info. Jan 15, 2019 at 23:39
  • ...but what about double accidentals?
    – mathlander
    Oct 20 at 23:50
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    @mathlander - double flats use the same methodology, double sharps will not. They get an 'x' just like they would on the music. Not a problem!
    – Tim
    Oct 21 at 8:27

3 Answers 3


° is the named HTML entity for the (temperature or arc) degree symbol °, which according to Wikipedia doubles as symbol for diminished chords.

For half-diminished chords you could use <sup>&oslash;</sup> (example: Cø).

<sup>&#9651;</sup> (example: C) produces a symbol which can be used for a major seventh chord.

While &sharp;, &flat; and &natural; do work in post bodies, they don't work in comments and in question titles. But you can copy the Unicode characters from other posts and use them instead; all computer systems (including my old Moto E) render these correctly nowadays.


This has little to do with the workings of the site. Just launch Charmap in Windows, find the sign you want to display and enter it using &number;.

For example °, which could be used to indicate diminished, just use &0176;. The number is shown bottom right in the Charmap tool. Depending on the selected font more or less characters are available.

I came across a website with a large list of music-related characters: https://www.alt-codes.net/music_note_alt_codes.php

  • If MeanGreen is correct, then &sharp &flat won't work from this iMac -- and they don't. Sorry, Tim, but you'll need to get the site admin to install some markdown commands. Dec 31, 2018 at 15:51
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    This is ONLY for Windows -- not for MacOS and probably not for Linux Dec 31, 2018 at 15:52
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    @CarlWitthoft - &sharp; etc work because they're recognised as html in an SE Q/A field, though not in a comment field - so the input OS is unimportant. The rest of your point regarding alt codes is perfectly valid - they are Windows-only.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 7, 2019 at 16:50

For systems with a Compose key, you can use that.

The Compose key is, by default:

From there, you can type several symbols like so:

  • Compose # #
  • Compose # b
  • ° Compose o o

I find these rather intuitive.

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