Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

Caret may refer to any of the following:

1. A caret is another name for a cursor.


2. Alternatively referred to as the circumflex, the caret is the symbol ( ^ ) above the 6 key on a standard United States qwerty keyboard. In mathematics, the caret represents an exponent, such as a square, cube, or another exponential power. For example, 6^3, which may also be represented as 63 or 6 * 6 * 6.

Where is the caret key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the caret key highlighted in blue.

Caret key

How to create the ^ symbol

Creating the ^ symbol on a U.S. keyboard

To create the caret symbol using a U.S. keyboard hold down the Shift key and press the six number key at the top of the keyboard.

Creating the ^ symbol on a smartphone or tablet

To create a caret on a smartphone or tablet open the keyboard and go into the numbers (123) and then (#+=) or symbols (sym) section and then press your finger on the ^ symbol.

What a caret is used for on a computer?

Using a caret for shorthand for Ctrl

Computer documentation may list commands such as ^X, ^C, ^Z, etc. as a notation or short way of saying Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-Z, etc. In other words, press and hold the Control or Ctrl key and then press the letter following the caret to do the keyboard shortcut.

Using a caret in programming and regular expressions

Carets can be used in computer programming languages for various reasons. For example, in Perl, a user may use the below regular expression to replace the first character in the variable "myvariable" with an uppercase character. Many programs that support regular expressions (regex) will use ^ to match the first character in a line or string.

$myvariable =~ s/^(\w)/\U$1/g;

In C-style programming languages, the caret is used for a bitwise XOR.

Using a caret in chat

In chat, someone may type a series of carets, e.g., (^^ or ^^^^^^^), which is an indication to read the above line or what someone said above is true.

Cursor, Keyboard terms