What do The Symbols on a Multimeter Mean?

If it’s your first time using a multimeter, this can be very challenging. A multimeter comes with various signs and symbols that the user needs to know. The signs on the multimeter can be a bit confusing and it is vital if you understand what they mean. So, if you’ve been wondering what the different signs on a multimeter mean, we are here to elaborate on them for you. Here are some of the most important symbols and what they mean.

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Symbols on Multimeter Meaning

Symbols Description Symbols Description
Consult symbol Consult user documentation. Certified by CSA symbol Certified by CSA Group to North American safety standards.
WARNING symbol WARNING. RISK OF DANGER. Earth symbol Earth
VOLTAGE. Risk of electric shock.
Certified by TÜV SÜD symbol Certified by TÜV SÜD Product Service.
Conforms to European Union symbol Conforms to European Union
Capacitance symbol Capacitance
Conforms to relevant symbol Conforms to relevant South Korean
EMC Standards.
Battery symbol Battery
Direct Current symbol DC (Direct Current) Diode symbol Diode
Alternating Current symbol AC (Alternating Current) Both direct and alternating current symbol Both direct and alternating current


Variable Symbols Unit Symbols
Voltage V Volts V
Resistance R Ohm Ω
Current I Ampere A

Summary of Contents

Digital Multimeter Display

multimeter symbols explained

Item Description Item Description
High voltage Frequency is selected
Display Hold is enabled Farads
Continuity selected Millivolts
Diode test is selected Amps or volts
Duty Cycle is selected Dc or ac voltage or current
Decimal prefix Auto Range mode is enabled
Ohms is selected The battery is low and should be changed

Hold button

When this button is pressed, it holds everything that the meter reads. This is an amazing feature if you want to measure something and you are busy or can’t see the screen clearly.

AC voltage

This is one of the most crucial and common settings for testing voltage at home or at work. Depending on where you reside, you can measure volts AC of between 100 and 240.

DC voltage

This voltage setting allows the user to test small electronic circuits, batteries, and as well indicator lights on the car. Most people come across dc voltage and it is usually under 30 volts dc.


This is utilized to measure the frequency of your circuit or appliance. Every piece of equipment and circuit is programmed to function at either a variable or fixed frequency.


The moment continuity is discovered within two points, the meter will automatically emit an audible tone. This is an excellent way to find short circuits, or open circuits.

Direct current

This button possesses the same attributes as the alternating current button but measures direct current instead. It looks similar to an “A” with the “road” on top of it. It has three hyphens with a single line on top.

Alternating current

This button is marked with “A” with a squiggly just above it. It allows you to know the amount of load an item is utilizing.

Brightness indicator

This is an important button especially if you’re working in a dimly lit area. By pressing the brightness button, a light comes on which lights your screen and makes it possible for you to read results in the dark.

Range button

This button is usually based across the top of the multimeter and has a sign in the form of “Lo/Hi” above it. This button will help you view different meter ranges.


This is another important sign of the multimeter. The sign is in the form of an omega letter, and it assists you to acquire the most precise reading possible.

Shift DC millivolts

This is normally based right next to the AC millivolts button. It is another “road” sign with three hyphens with a straight line above them. It has a similar role as AC millivolts but utilizes DC voltage.

Shift capacitance

This is normally the shift option on your diode test button and appears like two “T” letters facing one another. It measures your capacitance very well.

Diode test

It is made up of an arrow pointing to the right, with a + symbol right next to it. This issue tells you if you are dealing with a good or bad diode.

Current jack

This should be applied for measuring current with either a red test lead or a dedicated clamp attachment. It has an “A” sign above it.

Red jack

This is the other red jack which is normally based on the right-hand side of the multimeter. It normally has lots of signs of measurement just above it.

Common jack

This is the normal jack with the “COM” sign above it. It is normally based at the center with two blackjacks. It is also compatible with all measurements but should just be used with the blackjacks.

After knowing what these signs mean, you can now easily utilize them and carry out the necessary tests that you need.

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