Euro sign

The euro sign () is the currency sign used for the euro, the official currency of the European Union (EU) and some non-EU countries (Kosovo and Montenegro). The design was presented to the public by the European Commission on 12 December 1996. It consists of a stylized letter E (or epsilon), crossed by two lines instead of one. The character is encoded in Unicode at U+20AC EURO SIGN (HTML € · €). In English, the sign precedes the value (for instance, €10, not 10 €, unlike most other European languages). In some style guides, the euro sign is not spaced (10€).

Euro logo plus character
The euro sign; logotype and handwritten
Euro sign
The euro sign
Euro sign


Euro Construction
Official graphic construction of the euro logo
The euro design featured in the Windows font Comic Sans originally had a cartoon eye inside a serif. This was removed to make the symbol fit character-width restrictions because of its use with numerals.[1] It was jokingly commented to be the result of potential legal action by the EU.[2]
Euro symbol - Minimalism art with counterfeit money - Tableau Argent sale composé de fausses pièces de monnaie
Euro sign - minimalism art

The euro currency sign was designed to be similar in structure to the old sign for the European Currency Unit (Encoded as U+20A0 ). There were originally 32 proposals; these were reduced to ten candidates. These ten were put to a public survey. After the survey had narrowed the original ten proposals down to two, it was up to the European Commission to choose the final design. The other designs that were considered are not available for the public to view, nor is any information regarding the designers available for public query. The European Commission considers the process of designing to have been internal and keeps these records secret. The eventual winner was a design created by a team of four experts whose identities have not been revealed. It is assumed that the Belgian graphic designer Alain Billiet was the winner and thus the designer of the euro sign.[3]

Inspiration for the € symbol itself came from the Greek epsilon (ϵ) – a reference to the cradle of European civilization – and the first letter of the word Europe, crossed by two parallel lines to ‘certify’ the stability of the euro.

The official story of the design history of the euro sign is disputed by Arthur Eisenmenger, a former chief graphic designer for the European Economic Community, who claims he had the idea prior to the European Commission.[5]

The European Commission specified a euro logo with exact proportions and colours (PMS Yellow foreground, PMS Reflex Blue background[4]), for use in public-relations material related to the euro introduction. While the Commission intended the logo to be a prescribed glyph shape, type designers made it clear that they intended to design their own variants instead.[6]

Use on computers

Generating the euro sign using a computer depends on the operating system and national conventions. Some mobile phone companies issued an interim software update for their special SMS character set, replacing the less-frequent Japanese yen sign with the euro sign. Later mobile phones have both currency signs.

The euro is represented in the Unicode character set with the character name EURO SIGN and the code position U+20AC (decimal 8364) as well as in updated versions of the traditional Latin character set encodings.[7][8] In HTML, the € entity can also be used.

The euro sign in a selection of fonts

An implicit character encoding, along with the fact that the code position of the euro sign is different in common encoding schemes, led to many problems displaying the euro sign in computer applications. While displaying the euro sign is no problem as long as only one system is used (provided an up-to-date font with the proper glyph is available), mixed setups often produced errors. One example is a content management system where articles are stored in a database using a different character set than the editor's computer. Another is legacy software which could only handle older encodings such as ISO 8859-1 that contained no euro sign at all. In such situations, character set conversions had to be made, often introducing conversion errors such as a question mark (?) being displayed instead of a euro sign.

Care has been taken to avoid replacing an existing obsolete currency sign with the euro sign. That could create different currency signs for sender and receiver in e-mails or web sites, with confusions about business agreements as a result.

Entry methods

Depending on keyboard layout and the operating system, the symbol can be entered as:

  • AltGr+4 (UK/IRL)
  • AltGr+5 (US INTL/ESP)
  • AltGr+U (HU/PL)
  • Ctrl+Alt+4 (UK/IRL)
  • Ctrl+Alt+5 (US INTL/ESP)
  • Ctrl+Alt+e in Microsoft Word in United States layout
  • Alt+0128 in Microsoft Windows (depends on system locale setting)[a]
  • Ctrl+⇧ Shift+u followed by 20ac in Chrome OS, and in other operating systems using IBus.
  • Ctrl+k followed by =e in the Vim text editor
  1. ^ Alt+0128 is the correct alt code for the Euro under most system locale settings. Under Cyrillic-based system locale settings (using Windows code page 1251), Alt+0136 must be used. Neither will work under Japanese (932), Korean (949) or Traditional Chinese (950) system locale settings.

On the macOS operating system, a variety of key combinations are used depending on the keyboard layout, for example:

  • ⌥ Option+2 in British layout
  • ⌥ Option+⇧ Shift+2 in United States layout
  • ⌥ Option+⇧ Shift+5 in Slovenian layout
  • ⌥ Option+$ in French layout[9]
  • ⌥ Option+E in German, Spanish and Italian layout
  • ⇧ Shift+4 in Swedish layout

The Compose key sequence for the euro sign is =E.


A euro light sculpture at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt

Placement of the sign also varies. Countries have generated varying conventions or sustained those of their former currencies. For example, in Ireland and the Netherlands, where previous currency signs (£ and ƒ, respectively) were placed before the figure, the euro sign is universally placed in the same position.[10] In many other countries, including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Latvia[11] and Lithuania, an amount such as €3.50 would be written as 3,50 €.

The European Union did indeed usher a guideline on the use of the euro sign, stating it should be placed in front of the amount without any space in English, but after the amount in most other languages.[12][13][14][15][16]

In English, the euro sign—like the dollar sign ($) and the pound sign (£)—is placed before the figure, unspaced,[17] as used by publications such as the Financial Times and The Economist.[18] When written out, "euro" is placed after the value in lower case; the plural is used for two or more units, and euro cents are indicated with a point, not a comma, e.g., 1.50 euro, 14 euros.

Sums are often expressed as decimals of the euro (for example €0.10). Incl. "ct." (particularly in Germany, Spain, Italy and Lithuania), "snt." (Finland) and Λ (the capital letter lambda for Λεπτό ("Leptó)" in Greece): 10 ct./10Λ/10 cent./10 snt.

The Europa series 50 € reverse side
Euro sign in the top left corner on a €50 banknote reverse

In Standard English:

  • €0.10/10ct. (amount)
  • €-0.10 (negative)
  • -€0.10 (discount)

See also


  1. ^ Connaire  🇪🇺, Vincent ✍🏽 (26 October 2017). "Monitery symbols are used with numerals; all are on a figure width, the same as the zero. EU's euro would not work on a figure width. …". External link in |title= (help)
  2. ^ Connare, Vincent. "Keynote: From the Dark Side… Speak to Me". Ampersand Conference 2011. Archived from the original on 2 July 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Belg Alain Billiet ontwierp het euroteken" [The Belgian Alain Billet designed the euro sign]. Gazet van Antwerpen (in Dutch). 10 October 2001. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b "European Commission – Economic and Financial Affairs – How to use the euro name and symbol". Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  5. ^ Connolly, Kate (23 December 2001). "Observer | Inventor who coined euro sign fights for recognition". London: Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  6. ^ Typographers discuss the euro, from December 1996.
  7. ^ For details please see the Western Latin character sets (computing)
  8. ^ For Eastern European character set Latin 10 with the euro sign, please see ISO/IEC 8859-16
  9. ^ Mac OS: How to type the Euro glyph, Apple Technical Report TA26547 (11 September 2003).
  10. ^ Euro: valutateken voor of achter het bedrag?, Nederlandse Taalunie. Retrieved 21 December 2006.
  11. ^ "Pareizrakstības nodarbības #8. Eiro simbola pareiza rakstīšana. Otrā daļa - - Mr. Serge". 29 April 2014.
  12. ^ OP/B.3/CRI, Publications Office -. "Publications Office — Interinstitutional style guide — 7.3.3. Rules for expressing monetary units".
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Article on linguistics: Currency units, Retrieved 25 June 2008.
  18. ^ Research Tools: Style Guide, Retrieved 16 April 2012.

External links

Code page 850

Code page 850 (also known as CP 850, IBM 00850, OEM 850, DOS Latin 1) is a code page used under DOS and Psion’s EPOC16 operating systems in Western Europe. Depending on the country setting and system configuration, code page 850 is the primary code page and default OEM code page in many countries, including various English-speaking locales (e.g. in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada), whilst other English-speaking locales (like the United States) default to use the hardware code page 437.Code page 850 differs from code page 437 in that many of the box drawing characters, Greek letters, and various symbols were replaced with additional Latin letters with diacritics, thus greatly improving support for Western European languages (all characters from ISO 8859-1 are included). At the same time, the changes frequently caused display glitches with programs that made use of the box-drawing characters to display a GUI-like surface in text mode.

In 1998, code page 858 was derived from this code page by changing code point 213 (D5hex) from a dotless i ‹ı› to the euro sign ‹€›. Despite this, IBM's PC DOS 2000, released in 1998, changed their definition of code page 850 to what they called modified code page 850 now including the euro sign at code point 213 instead of adding support for the new code page 858.Systems largely replaced code page 850 with Windows-1252 which contains all same letters, and later with Unicode.

Code page 858

Code page 858 (also known as CP 858, IBM 00858, OEM 858) is a code page used under DOS to write Western European languages.Code page 858 was created from code page 850 in 1998 by changing code point 213 (D5hex) from dotless i ‹ı› to the euro sign ‹€›. It is not clear why the currency sign at CFhex was not chosen as the character to replace, as this was the replaced character in virtually all other sets modified to support the Euro.

Still, instead of adding support for the new code page 858, IBM's PC DOS 2000, also released in 1998, changed the definition of the existing code page 850 to what IBM called modified code page 850 to include the euro sign at code point 213. More recent IBM/MS products implemented codepage 858 under its own ID.

Code page 867

Code page 867 is a Hebrew 8-bit code page defined by IBM in 1998. It is based on Code page 862 but replaces several characters not used in Hebrew with nonprinting characters for bidirectional text support, a euro sign and a shekel sign.

The code page ID is conflictive with a NEC code page for the Kamenický encoding defined since 1992.

Code page 875

IBM code page 875 (CCSIDs 875, 4971, 9067) is an EBCDIC code page with full Greek-charset used in IBM mainframes. It has superseded Code page 423.

In CCSID 4971 (November 1998), the euro sign was added in position FC.

In CCSID 9067 (March 2005), the drachma sign and Greek ypogegrammeni were added in positions E2 and EC, respectively, to match the characters that were added to ISO-8859-7.

Code page 936 (Microsoft Windows)

Windows Code page 936 (abbreviated MS936, Windows-936 or (ambiguously) CP936), is Microsoft's character encoding for simplified Chinese, one of the four DBCSs for East Asian languages. Originally, Windows-936 covered GB 2312 (in its EUC-CN form), but it was expanded to cover most of GBK with the release of Windows 95.

IBM's Code page 936 is a different encoding for Simplified Chinese, although International Components for Unicode does not include an IBM-936 codec, and uses the Windows code page for the "cp936" label. IBM's code page for GBK coverage is Code page 1386 (CP1386 or IBM-1386), which is defined as a combination of the single byte Code page 1114 and the double byte Code page 1385.It was superseded by code page 54936 (GB 18030), but as of 2014 was still prevalent in use. The Windows command prompt uses CP936 as the default code page for simplified Chinese installations, although part of the GB 18030 was made mandatory for all software products sold in China. In 2002, the IANA Internet name GBK was registered with Windows-936's mapping, making it the de facto GBK definition on the Internet.

The concepts of "Windows-936", "GBK", "GB2312" and "EUC-CN" are sometimes confused in various software products. Code pages MS936 and 1386 are not identical to GBK because a code page encodes characters, whereas GBK only defines code points. In addition, the Euro sign (€), encoded as 0x80 in both Windows-936 and IBM-1386, is not defined in GBK. On the other hand, 95 characters defined in GBK were initially not encoded into Windows-936.

This is partly resolved in later versions of Windows and, as in Windows 7, all GBK characters not in the Unicode BMP Private Use Area can be displayed using code page 936, but encoding the 95 characters was still not supported as of 2014. However, "CP936" and "GBK" are often used interchangeably because of the popularity of Microsoft products on the Chinese market when GBK was then published.

Since GBK superseded GB 2312 long ago, these two terms have also become virtually equivalent to many users, so "Windows-936", "GBK" and "GB 2312" are misunderstood by many to mean the same thing while they actually differ significantly. Instead of supporting precisely EUC-CN / GB 2312, most modern-day Windows-based software products mean partial support for GBK via Windows-936 when they use the term "GB 2312" as a character encoding option. This can be observed in products such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Notepad++.

Code page 950

Code page 950 is Microsoft's implementation of the de facto standard Big5. The code page is not registered with IANA, and hence, is not a standard to communicate information over the internet. The major difference between code page 950 and Big5 is the incorporation of some ETEN characters at F9D6-F9FE (碁, 銹, 裏, 墻, 恒, 粧, and 嫺) and 34 box drawing characters and block elements. It was updated in 2000 with the addition of the euro sign (€), at 0xA3E1. This update is called Code page 1370 by IBM (as IBM did not change Code page 950), but Microsoft Windows refers to it as a Code page 950 update.

Crescent Nebula

The Crescent Nebula (also known as NGC 6888, Caldwell 27, Sharpless 105) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, about 5000 light-years away from Earth. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1792. It is formed by the fast stellar wind from the Wolf-Rayet star WR 136 (HD 192163) colliding with and energizing the slower moving wind ejected by the star when it became a red giant around 250,000 to 400,000 years ago. The result of the collision is a shell and two shock waves, one moving outward and one moving inward. The inward moving shock wave heats the stellar wind to X-ray-emitting temperatures.

It is a rather faint object located about 2 degrees SW of Sadr. For most telescopes it requires a UHC or OIII filter to see. Under favorable circumstances a telescope as small as 8 cm (with filter) can see its nebulosity. Larger telescopes (20 cm or more) reveal the crescent or a Euro sign shape which makes some to call it the "Euro sign nebula".

Currency symbol

A currency symbol is a graphic symbol used as a shorthand for a currency's name, especially in reference to amounts of money.

Although several former currency symbols were rendered obsolete by the adoption of the euro, having a new and unique currency symbol – implementation of which requires the adoption of new Unicode and type formats – has now become a status symbol for international currencies. The European Commission considers the global recognition of the euro sign € part of its success. In 2009, India launched a public competition to replace the ₨ ligature it shared with neighbouring countries. It finalised its new currency symbol, ₹ (₹) on 15 July 2010. It is a blend of the Latin letter 'R' with the Devanagari letter 'र' (ra).


IBM code page 37 is an EBCDIC code page with the full Latin-1 character set used in IBM mainframes. It is used in some English- and Portuguese-speaking countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, and the United States.

CCSID 1140 is the Euro currency update of code page/CCSID 37. In that code page, the "¤" (currency sign) character at code point 9F is replaced with the "€" (Euro sign) character.


IBM code page 424 is an EBCDIC code page that supports Hebrew used in IBM mainframes.

In CCSID 8616, the directional controls were added at positions DB, DE, DF, FB, FC, FD, and FE. In CCSID 12712, the euro sign was added at position 9C new sheqel sign was added at position 9E.


IBM code page 871 (CCSID 871) is an EBCDIC code page with full Latin-1-charset used in IBM mainframes. It is used in Iceland.

CCSID 1149 is the Euro currency update of code page/CCSID 871. In that code page, the "¤" (currency sign) character at code point 9F is replaced with the "€" (Euro sign) character.

GBK (character encoding)

GBK is an extension of the GB2312 character set for simplified Chinese characters, used in the People's Republic of China. It includes all unified CJK characters found in GB13000.1-93, i.e. ISO/IEC 10646:1993, or Unicode 1.1. Since its initial release in 1993, GBK has been extended by Microsoft in Code page 936/1386, which was then extended into GBK 1.0. GBK is also the IANA-registered internet name for the Microsoft mapping, which differs from other implementations primarily by the single-byte euro sign at 0x80.

GB abbreviates Guojia Biaozhun, which means national standard in Chinese, while K stands for Extension (扩展 kuòzhǎn). GBK not only extended the old standard GB2312 with Traditional Chinese characters, but also with Chinese characters that were simplified after the establishment of GB2312 in 1981. With the arrival of GBK, certain names with characters formerly unrepresentable, like the 镕 (róng) character in former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji's name, are now representable. 0.1% of all web pages used GBK in December 2018.

ISO/IEC 8859-13

ISO/IEC 8859-13:1998, Information technology — 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets — Part 13: Latin alphabet No. 7, is part of the ISO/IEC 8859 series of ASCII-based standard character encodings, first edition published in 1998. It is informally referred to as Latin-7 or Baltic Rim. It was designed to cover the Baltic languages, and added characters used in the Polish language missing from the earlier encodings ISO 8859-4 and ISO 8859-10. Unlike these two, it does not cover the Nordic languages.

ISO-8859-13 is the IANA preferred charset name for this standard when supplemented with the C0 and C1 control codes from ISO/IEC 6429.

Microsoft has assigned code page 28603 a.k.a. Windows-28603 to ISO-8859-13. IBM has assigned Code page 921 to ISO-8859-13. ISO-IR 206 replaces the currency sign at position A4 with the Euro Sign (€).

ISO/IEC 8859-15

ISO/IEC 8859-15:1999, Information technology — 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets — Part 15: Latin alphabet No. 9, is part of the ISO/IEC 8859 series of ASCII-based standard character encodings, first edition published in 1999. It is informally referred to as Latin-9 (and for a while Latin-0). It is similar to ISO 8859-1, and thus also intended for “Western European” languages, but replaces some less common symbols with the euro sign and some letters that were deemed necessary:

ISO-8859-15 is the IANA preferred charset name for this standard when supplemented with the C0 and C1 control codes from ISO/IEC 6429.

Microsoft has assigned code page 28605 a.k.a. Windows-28605 to ISO-8859-15. IBM has assigned code page 923 to ISO 8859-15.

All the printable characters from both ISO/IEC 8859-1 and ISO/IEC 8859-15 are also found in Windows-1252. Since October 2016 0.1% of all web sites use ISO-8859-15.

ISO/IEC 8859-4

ISO/IEC 8859-4:1998, Information technology — 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets — Part 4: Latin alphabet No. 4, is part of the ISO/IEC 8859 series of ASCII-based standard character encodings, first edition published in 1988. It is informally referred to as Latin-4 or North European. It was designed to cover Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Greenlandic, and Sami. It has been largely superseded by ISO/IEC 8859-10 and Unicode. Microsoft has assigned code page 28594 a.k.a. Windows-28594 to ISO-8859-4 in Windows. IBM has assigned code page 914 to ISO 8859-4.

ISO-8859-4 is the IANA preferred charset name for this standard when supplemented with the C0 and C1 control codes from ISO/IEC 6429. ISO-IR 205 replaces the Currency Sign at 0xA4 with the Euro Sign.

Mac OS Cyrillic encoding

Mac OS Cyrillic is a character encoding used on Apple Macintosh computers to represent texts in the Cyrillic script.

The original version lacked the letter Ґ, which is used in Ukrainian, although its use was limited during the Soviet era to regions outside Ukraine. The closely related MacUkrainian resolved this, differing only by replacing two less commonly used symbols with its uppercase and lowercase forms. The Euro sign update of the Mac OS scripts incorporated these changes back into MacCyrillic.

Other related code pages include Mac OS Turkic Cyrillic and Mac OS Barents Cyrillic, introduced by Michael Everson in fonts for languages unsupported by standard MacCyrillic.

VT100 encoding

The VT100 code page is a character encoding used to represent text on the Classic Mac OS for compatibility with the VT100 terminal. It encodes 256 characters, the first 128 of which are identical to ASCII, with the remaining characters including mathematical symbols, diacritics, and additional punctuation marks. It is suitable for English and several other Western languages. It is similar to Mac OS Roman, but includes all characters in ISO 8859-1 except for the currency sign (which was superseded by the euro sign), the no-break space, and the soft hyphen. It also includes all characters in DEC Special Graphics (code page 1090), except for the new line and no-break space controls. The VT100 encoding is only used on the VT100 font on the Classic Mac OS, and is not an official Mac OS character encoding.

Western Latin character sets (computing)

Several binary representations of character sets for common Western European languages are compared in this article. These encodings were designed for representation of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch, English, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Icelandic, which use the Latin alphabet, a few additional letters and ones with precomposed diacritics, some punctuation, and various symbols (including some Greek letters). Although they're called "Western European" many of these languages are spoken all over the world. Also, these character sets happen to support many other languages such as Malay, Swahili, and Classical Latin.

This material is technically obsolete, having been functionally replaced by Unicode. However it continues to have historical interest.

European Union
Euro topics
Fiscal provisions
International status
Coins by issuing country
Potential adoption by
other countries
Currencies yielded

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.