Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You think you know how to type prime symbol (′)

Not everyone can correctly type the prime symbol when they use 5′ or 3′  DNA.

(Actually I noticed that not everyone know it's a prime symbol; many people just type single quotation ( ' ) or escape ( ` ) key for that, which are NOT correct). 

First of all, I want to claim that there is no keyboard shortcut (at least I cannot find one in Mac) for prime symbol. Option+Shift+e will give you acute accent ( ´ ), not prime ( ′ ). Did you see the difference?

OK. Here is how to:

1. Turn on your "Unicode Hex Input" (It's hidden in the "Input Sources", see screenshot below)
2. Switch to the "Unicode Hex Input" when you need to type prime symbol (by clicking the Input method in the menu bar)
3. Once you are in the "Unicode Hex Input" condition, type Option+2032 for prime symbol. For double prime, it's Option+2033

But the easiest way is to copy from this page :)

p.s. Other symbols in the Character Viewer: 


  1. Anonymous1:50 PM

    Thanks for the Pro Tip but couldn't get unicode to work on macbook. I found it much easier to use cntrl-cmd-spacebar (character menu) and drag prime symbol from punctation menu. ′ ″

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