The Mathematical Symbol "Degree Sign (°)"

The "Degree Sign" Symbol (°): More Than Just Temperature

Mathematical symbols are often infused with layers of meaning, each tailored to a specific context. Among these, the ° or degree sign, is universally recognized yet multifaceted in its application. This article intends to explore the versatility and importance of this symbol across various disciplines.

Shedding Light on the ° Symbol

The ° symbol primarily denotes units of measurement. While most commonly associated with temperature (degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit), it also finds significant usage in geometric contexts, particularly in measuring angles.

Example 1: Temperature

If the weather forecast indicates that the temperature is 25°C, it means the temperature is 25 degrees Celsius.

Example 2: Angles

In geometry, if an angle measures 90°, it is a right angle. This means the two arms of the angle are perpendicular to each other.

Beyond these primary contexts, the degree symbol is also utilized in various other disciplines. For instance, in the field of chemistry, it sometimes indicates the 'degree of unsaturation' of a compound. Additionally, in the world of physics, it can denote phase angles in complex numbers or angular frequency.

In summary, the ° symbol, while compact, encapsulates a range of meanings depending on the context. Its ubiquity across scientific and mathematical fields testifies to its fundamental importance.

Mathematical symbol 'Degree Sign'

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Codes for the ° Symbol

The Symbol°
Alt CodeAlt 176
HTML Code°
HTML Entity°
CSS Code\00B0
Hex Code°

How To Insert the ° Symbol

(Method 1) Copy and paste the symbol.

The easiest way to get the ° symbol is to copy and paste it into your document.

Bear in mind that this is a UTF-8 encoded character. It must be encoded as UTF-8 at all stages (copying, replacing, editing, pasting), otherwise it will render as random characters or the dreaded �.

(Method 2) Use the "Alt Code."

If you have a keyboard with a numeric pad, you can use this method. Simply hold down the Alt key and type 176. When you lift the Alt key, the symbol appears. ("Num Lock" must be on.)

(Method 3) Use the HTML Decimal Code (for webpages).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#176;</b>My symbol: °

(Method 4) Use the HTML Entity Code (for webpages).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &deg;</b>My symbol: °

(Method 5) Use the CSS Code (for webpages).

CSS and HTML TextOutput
span:after {
content: "\00B0";}
<span>My symbol:</span>
My symbol: °

(Method 6) Use the HTML Hex Code (for webpages and HTML canvas).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#x00B0;</b>My symbol: °
On the assumption that you already have your canvas and the context set up, use the Hex code in the format 0x00B0 to place the ° symbol on your canvas. For example:
JavaScript Text
const x = "0x"+"E9"
ctx.fillText(String.fromCodePoint(x), 5, 5);


(Method 7) Use the Unicode (for various, e.g. Microsoft Office, JavaScript, Perl).

The Unicode for ° is U+00B0. The important part is the hexadecimal number after the U+, which is used in various formats. For example, in Microsoft Office applications (e.g. Word, PowerPoint), do the following:
[Hold down Alt]
[Press x]
(The 00B0 turns into °. Note that you can omit any leading zeros.)
In JavaScript, the syntax is \uXXXX. So, our example would be \u00B0. (Note that the format is 4 hexadecimal characters.)
JavaScript TextOutput
let str = "\u00B0"
document.write("My symbol: " + str)
My symbol: °