Greater than

Updated: 05/16/2020 by Computer Hope
Greater than

Alternatively called an angle bracket, the greater than symbol (>) is found on all computer keyboards. Usually, it's on the same key as the period on U.S. keyboards. The greater than symbol resembles an arrow pointing to the right and is commonly used in math and computer programming.

Tip

The wide edge of the greater than symbol always faces the larger number. For example, in "5 > 1," the large opening of the symbol is facing the 5, which is the bigger number.

Where is the greater than on the keyboard?

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

Greater than key

How to create a greater than

Creating the > symbol on a U.S. keyboard

On English PC and Mac keyboards, the greater than symbol is on the same key as the period. Pressing and holding down the Shift key, and then pressing the greater than key creates the greater than symbol.

Creating the > symbol on a smartphone or tablet

To create a greater than symbol on a smartphone or tablet, open the keyboard, go into the numbers (123), then (#+=) or symbols (sym) section, and tap the > symbol.

What is a greater than used for on a computer?

Command prompt

With computers, the greater than symbol is often seen on the command-line prompt. Below are two examples of command-line prompts using the greater than symbols.

MS-DOS prompt:
C:\Windows>
Linux and Unix prompt:
hope>
Tip

A Linux shell often uses a dollar sign ( $ ) instead of a greater than.

Mathematics

Below is an example of how the greater than symbol could be used in math. In the example below, the statement is showing that 10 is greater than 2.

10 > 2

Negative and positive numbers on a scale.

When working with negative numbers, the negative number closest to zero is greater than the other negative number. For example, in the example below, the -3 is greater than -7 because it's closer to zero.

-3 > -7

If you're working with a negative number and a positive number, the positive number is always greater than the negative number.

1 > -100

Command line append symbol

Below, the greater than symbol is used as an append symbol to append text to a file in the Windows command line.

echo this is an example > test.txt

Programming

Below is an example of how the greater than symbol could be used in computer programming. In this example, the if statement is executed if the variable $myvalue is greater than 100. If the variable is less than 100, this section of code is skipped.

if ($myvalue > 100) {
 print "More than 100.\n";
}
Tip

In the example above, if you wanted to start matching at "100" and not "101" (because 100 is not greater than 100), you'd type ">=" which indicates greater than or equal to the value.

Markup language

With a markup language, like HTML, the greater than symbol is used to close a tag. For example, in the following code, the greater than symbol is used to end the opening and closing paragraph tag.

<p>Example of a paragraph.</p>

What is the other symbol on the greater than key?

On U.S. keyboards, the greater than key is shared with the period key, which may be shown next to or below the greater than symbol.

How do I type a greater than in HTML?

Because the greater than symbol is used to end HTML tags, it cannot be used in text without causing errors. To create a greater than symbol in HTML, use either the encoded entity number &#62; or entity name &gt; in your code. For example, using the code below display "100 > 10" in the text on the web page.

100 &gt; 10

Greater than or equal to, GT, Keyboard terms, Less than, Redirect