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The Math Symbols on Your PC Keyboard

Clustered around the numeric keypad, like yuppies lurking near Starbucks, are various math-symbol keys. You find these math keys come in handy, especially if you’re dabbling with a spreadsheet or other math-related software program.

Take a look at your keyboard’s numeric keypad right now, just to reassure yourself. Confused by what you see? Well, this is a computer, and although it uses some traditional math symbols, it also throws in a couple special oddball symbols for mathematical operations:

  • + is for addition.

  • – is for subtraction.

  • * is for multiplication.

  • / is for division.

The only really strange symbol here is the asterisk, for multiplication. Don’t use the little x! It’s not the same thing. And don’t waste your time hunting for the ÷ symbol. It’s not there — it’s / or nothing for division.

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