Even if it isn’t Pi Day (March 31 or 3.14), there are still plenty of reasons why you would need to write about Pi. But while you can easily write the word “Pi” and everyone will know what you’re talking about, it’s way cooler to type the symbol π. It’s one of the most recognizable symbols in mathematics but it’s not found on any standard keyboard.
There’s an easy way to type it on your Mac:
- Press and hold the option key (next to Command).
- Type the letter “P”.
That’s it. No matter what app you’re in or the font you’re using, the Pi symbol will appear in the place of the letter “P.”
It’s a little trickier on the iPhone and iPad. First you’ll need to add a new keyboard:
- Head over to the Settings app.
- Tap General and Keyboard.
- Tap Keyboards, Add New Keyboard, and select Greek.
Then, when you want to type the Pi symbol, click the globe icon in the bottom left corner of the keyboard until you see the Greek keyboard. Tap the Pi symbol, which is the Greek letter “P” (top row, second from right). Then tap the Globe icon again to return to the English keyboard.
Here are a few other fun Pi facts to impress your friends:
- The Pi symbol is denoted by the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet representing the lowercase letter “P.”
- Welsh mathematician William Jones was the first person to use the symbol to express Pi.
- The longest extension of pi has been more than 62 trillion decimal places.
- In ancient Egypt, people believed the Giza pyramids were built on the principles of Pi.
- There’s an entire writing style called Pilish based on Pi’s mnemonic constraints.
If you are trying to find out how to type some other unusual characters take a look at: How to type Æ, €, #, @, © and more special characters on a Mac.