Updated: 05/01/2023 by Computer Hope
Equal sign

Equal is a value or data that's the same or equivalent to another value and is represented by the = symbol. The equal sign symbol shares the same key as the + key on a keyboard and is next to the backspace key.

Where is the equals sign on the keyboard?

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

Equals sign key


Apple computer keyboards with a numeric keypad also have an equal sign above the number eight.

How to create the = symbol

Creating the = symbol on a U.S. keyboard

To create an equal sign using a U.S. keyboard, press the equals key (same key as the plus ( + )), which is left of the backspace, or delete key.


Doing the Alt code Alt+61 can also create an equal sign.

Creating the = symbol on a smartphone or tablet

To create an equal sign on a smartphone or tablet, open the keyboard, go into numbers (123) or symbols (sym), and press your finger on the = symbol.

What is the equals sign used for on a computer?

With computers, the equals sign is commonly used in programming and mathematics to show a total value or assign a value. The following sections contain examples of how the equals sign is used.

Equals in a math formula

In a math formula, the equals sign shows the result of the formula. For example, in the formula below, you can see that 2 - 1 equals 1.

2 - 1 = 1

Equals in an Excel formula

All formulas begin with the equal sign in Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs. In the formula below, all cells between A1 and A10 are added together, and the result is displayed in the formula cell.


Equals in computer programming

The equals sign is used in many programming languages to assign a variable a value, as shown in the example below.

my $myvariable = "Computer Hope";

In the above example, the variable "$myvariable" value is assigned "Computer Hope" using the equal sign.

An equal value in computer programming

In programming languages, the equal symbol is also an operator in a conditional statement. For example, eq or == (double equal sign) can check if a value equals another value. In the example below, if the variable "$myval" equals 10, then it prints "The value equals 10," otherwise it prints "Value is not equal to 10" to the screen.

if ($myval == 10) {
print "The value equals 10";
} else { print "Value is not equal to 10";

Equal in keyboard shortcuts

The equal key is also used in keyboard shortcuts. For example, highlighting text and pressing Ctrl+Shift+= in Microsoft Word sets the selected text as superscript.

What is the other symbol on the equal key?

On U.S. keyboards, the equal key is shared with the plus key, which may be next to or above the equal symbol.

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