How to Insert the © Copyright Symbol in Text

There are a few different ways to insert the © Copyright symbol into text. Here’s a rundown for Windows, Mac, and HTML.

Copyright Symbol Header Image
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Filed Under: Home Office Hacks
Topics: Copyright

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As a photographer, the copyright symbol is one I use quite a lot. It’s not technically required for recent works–US copyright law now extends protection even if you don’t display the symbol or a copyright notice. As the US Copyright Office explains it:

Copyright notice provides information to the public regarding copyright ownership. Notice is optional for works created after March 1, 1989, but is generally required for works created before that date.

But it’s still a useful marker to show that you take your work’s copyright seriously.

So here are some ways to insert the copyright symbol into various types of text.

Copy & Paste

For a quick, one-off option, you can just copy and paste this symbol from here: ©

Or you can paste it from any other web page or text document that you see it.

Mac / macOS Keyboard Shortcut for Copyright Symbol

Copyright symbol keyboard shortcut on Mac: OPTION+G

On Mac, hold down the Option key and press G to get the copyright symbol.

There are other, more complicated methods that use the Character Viewer, 1 but I find that the keyboard is the quickest and is easy to remember. It also works on the iPad Pro if you’re using the external Magic Keyboard.

Windows Keyboard Shortcut for Copyright Symbol

Copyright symbol keyboard shortcut on Windows: ALT+0169

It’s not quite as easy on Windows, in part because there’s a much wider choice of keyboard layouts for Windows computers. It’s also harder to remember.

The easiest method is to use Alt codes. If your keyboard has one, hold down the ALT key while pressing the sequence 0169.

Put another way, the Alt code keyboard shortcut for the copyright symbol is ALT+0169.

But not all Windows keyboards have a row specifically for numbers–especially the small keyboards of some laptops. In that case, you can use the keyboard’s Num Lock feature (which uses those tiny numbers above some of the letters.

Press FN+NumLk to enable Num Lock. Then, hold down the ALT key and type 0169. There are some variations–on some keyboards, you might also have to hold down the Fn key with the Alt key, and on some, you might have a special NumLK key.

Again, there’s a more complicated method using the Windows Character Map. 2


There are a few different ways to encode the copyright symbol in HTML code.

I find the simplest to remember is ©.

But there are some other alternatives, and the © option might be simpler if you’re a Windows user already used to the ALT0169 shortcut:


Other Encodings for the Copyright Symbol

For the sake of thoroughness, there are other ways to encode the copyright symbol depending on the context. Here are some of the more common ones:

Data TypeCode
UTF-8 (hex)0xC2 0xA9 (c2a9)
UTF-8 (binary)11000010:10101001
UTF-16 (hex)0x00A9 (00a9)
UTF-16 (decimal)169
UTF-32 (hex)0x000000A9 (a9)
UTF-32 (decimal)169
C/C++/Java source code"\u00A9"
Python source codeu"\u00A9"
Font Awesome 4/5fa-copyright

Things Worth Knowing

Not every font includes a copyright symbol. This can be an issue if you’re using a lesser-known web font on your website, for example.

If the font you’re using doesn’t include a copyright symbol, there’s a workaround worth trying if you’re working in HTML. It’s technically a “Latin letter C inside a circle,” which has the same functional effect but is not semantically the copyright symbol code.

  1. For the Character Viewer Method, go to Finder > Edit > Emoji & Symbols (or press CTRL+CMD+Space, then to Letterlike Symbols, then right-click on the Copyright Symbol and choose Copy Character Info. As I said, it’s more complicated.[]
  2. For the Windows Character Map method, go to the Start menu, then do a search for “map.” Select the Character Map search result. Double click on the copyright symbol, which will place it in the Characters to copy the text box. Then hit Copy. You can then paste it wherever you need it.[]
David Coleman / Photographer
by David Coleman

I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »

2 thoughts on “How to Insert the © Copyright Symbol in Text”

    • A few different ways to tackle that come to mind depending on what you plan to do with the images. The most straightforward would probably be to add a traditional watermark to each image.

      There are a bunch of different ways to do that. If you’re using Lightroom, for example, you can apply it when you export images using the watermarking panel. Other image editing software will have something similar. Those methods hard code the watermark into the image itself. Wherever it’s shared, the watermark will be visible (unless someone clones it out, but that’s a separate issue).

      A variation on that approach, if you’re displaying the images on a website, is to have the website overlay the watermark rather than stamping it on the JPG image itself. There are many different ways that can be accomplished, and it really depends on your server setup. For example, there are WordPress plugins that can do it. Cloudflare has add-on apps that will do it. Or it can be done with a more custom solution on your server with some coding.

      If you want the copyright notice displayed in a caption on a web page rather than as a watermark, you can code that to be inserted automatically into the caption field or enter it manually.

      If you just want the copyright notice to be in the image metadata, you can batch edit the image metadata and add it to a bunch of images at once. Or have it automatically added when you ingest images into Lightroom or similar.


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