Keyboard Shortcuts For Roman Numerals

How to Type Keyboard Shortcuts For Roman Numerals In Windows And Mac

Keyboard Shortcuts For Roman Numerals

Roman numerals – symbols like XIII, IV, MDCXII, etc. – have been around for a long time, and it doesn’t seem like they’re going anywhere anytime soon. But why?

Roman numerals have a special place in professional and academic areas.

Whether it’s to number the pages on their college paper, or to mark the pages on a proposal to a specific board, the writer must use Roman numerals every so often.

And sometimes, writers will have to utilize Roman numerals whenever they compose something on a computer – Windows or Mac.

Therefore, it’s important for people to know how to type Roman numerals on a computer.

Though, typing Roman numerals depends on the following factors:

  • Whether you’re using Microsoft Word, or other similar programs
  • How well you know said programs you’re using, AND
  • The type of computer you have

In fact, typing Roman numerals on Mac is different from how you would do it on a Windows computer.

So, how exactly do you type Roman numerals?

The good news is, you don’t need to be a brainy mastermind to type Roman numerals on a computer.

In reality, typing Roman numerals is pretty easy! It’s clear that you may need to type Roman numerals every so often, depending on what you’re doing on a computer, or what applications you’re using.

While there’s no separated unit for them on the standard computer keyboard, there are still several ways to quickly type Roman numerals on there – with keyboard shortcuts.

Today, we’ll explore some of the best keyboard shortcuts you can use to type Roman numerals on a computer, taking into account both Windows and Mac:

Typing Roman Numerals On A Keyboard In Any Application

Whether you use a Windows computer or a Mac, you’ll see that on the keyboards, there are no keys for Roman numerals.

Plus, only a small handful of application developers provide in their products more or less convenient ways to key in Roman numerals; and most programs don’t have special functionality designed for working with the non-positional number system, meaning that users need a certain level of ingenuity to enter Roman numerals if there’s a need for it.

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However, that doesn’t mean that users can’t utilize Roman numerals on a computer.

Thanks to the usage of keyboard shortcuts, things like Roman numerals can be implemented with ease on a computer.

Here are some convenient ways to implement Roman numerals whenever you type:

Replacing Roman Numerals With English Letters

First, when you look at a computer – regardless if it’s a Windows or Mace – you’ll see that by default, English is one of the available languages.

UK British English Windows keyboard layout
UK (British) English Keyboard layout

You can quickly switch the keyboard language by:

  • Pressing Alt + Shift or Windows + Space (in case you’re using Windows 10), OR
  • Pressing Option + Control + Space bar to select the next input source in the Input menu, or Control-Space bar to select the previous input source (on Mac)

Also, keep in mind that the English alphabet alone is able to completely eliminate the need for a separate numeric keypad that would be used for Roman numerals, since they can be typed using capital English letters.

The following letters of English alphabet can replace Roman numerals:

  • 1 – I;
  • 5 – V;
  • 10 – X;
  • 50 – L;
  • 100 – C;
  • 500 – D;
  • 1000 – M.

Just collect the biggest Roman numbers that are suitable in a given situation, until you reach the desired number.

ASCII Coding

ASCII is an American encoding table that lists the most popular printable and non-printable characters as digital combinations. And, these codes are used to type in Roman numerals.

The following key combinations are identical to the Roman numerals:

  • ALT+73 – I;
  • ALT+86 – V;
  • ALT+88 – X;
  • ALT+76 – L;
  • ALT+67 – C;
  • ALT+68 – D;
  • ALT+77 – M.

Both Windows and Mac support ASCII codes that are used to enter different symbols.

Just keep in mind that keyboards vary across makes, not brands.

That means that while desktop keyboards (regardless if it’s Windows or Mac) have number keys on the right side of the keyboard, those on laptops have numbers listed horizontally on top (sandwiched between the F command buttons and the first row of letters).

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To use the symbols on a standard keyboard and enter Roman numerals, consider the following options:

  • For Windows, you can press Fn+F8, F7, or “Insert” to enable/disable numlock. For bigger laptops or desktops, the numeric keypad (for the NUM Lock key) is located on the right side of the keyboard.
  • For Mac, use the NUM block (located on the right side of the keyboard). Activate the additional digital block by pressing NUM Lock. Then, hold down the left ALT on the keyboard and enter some Roman numerals combos on the right digital block. Afterwards, release ALT, so that the character is displayed in the input field. Then press ALT again, and enter the next character.

While ASCII coding isn’t the most easy way of entering Roman numerals, it can still be used in some situations (like for enabling or disabling the English keyboard layout, for example).


Unicode is a universal standard for the encoding and representing text on computers. Plus, it has every Roman numeral in existence in its Number Forms Block.

However, only certain programs and areas of a computer are can convert Unicode into the text encoded within it (i.e. word processors like Microsoft Word, spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel, or when programming and writing code).

Here are 3 steps on typing Roman numerals on a computer in Unicode:

  • Type the Unicode character corresponding to the Roman numeral you want to type, excluding the U+ in front (i.e. 2167 is the Unicode character for the Roman numeral VIII):
  • U+2160 ROMAN NUMERAL ONE (U+2160) Ⅰ arial_unicode_ms
  • U+2161 ROMAN NUMERAL TWO (U+2161) Ⅱ arial_unicode_ms
  • U+2162 ROMAN NUMERAL THREE (U+2162) Ⅲ arial_unicode_ms
  • U+2163 ROMAN NUMERAL FOUR (U+2163) Ⅳ arial_unicode_ms
  • U+2164 ROMAN NUMERAL FIVE (U+2164) Ⅴ arial_unicode_ms
  • Press and hold the Alt key.
  • Holding the Alt key, press X. Then, the typed-in Unicode character is converted into its corresponding Roman numeral.
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Typing Roman Numerals In Microsoft Word

With Microsoft Word – which is already built into most Windows computers, and can be implemented on Mac computers – the application takes into the account that users who work with texts may need to enter Roman numerals.

So, compared to the English keyboard layout or ASCII codes (which aren’t particularly convenient for most users), Word introduces a special command that automatically translates Arabic numerals to the Roman ones.

How to Type Keyboard Shortcuts For Roman Numerals In Windows And Mac 1
English keyboard layout

To type Roman numerals quickly in Word, you must do the following:

  • When working on a document, select the place where you need to insert a Roman numeral.
  • Press Ctrl + F9 keys on the keyboard to call up the field for entering the code. The called field will be marked gray in the doc; and it will have curly braces on both sides.
  • Enter the following in the braces: = Arabic numeral\*ROMAN (e.g. {999\*ROMAN})
  • Press F9 to apply the entered command. The Arabic number is automatically translated by Word into the Roman variation. (In the example, you’ll get CMXCIX.)
Arabic Windows keyboard layout
Arabic keyboard layout


As you read through these tips in this article, you’ll realize that whether you use a Windows or Mac, they’re no stranger to Roman numerals; and Roman numerals are certainly no stranger to writers.

So, when typing Roman numerals using these shortcuts, you’ll be on your way to writing and typing more professionally.

Angela Douglas is a young entrepreneur from Connecticut who has found success in business coaching and startup consultations at Gum Essays. In her spare time, she likes traveling and writing.

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