5 Ways To Add Symbols In Microsoft Word

Sometimes you need to insert symbols or special characters in order to support your text or to visualize your document. Especially, in academic documents, you may need to insert special symbols while explaining equations. Luckily, MS Word offers a wide range of symbols that you can add to your document. In this article, I would describe how you can insert symbols in Word in three ways

Where are symbols in Word?

You can locate the symbols in Word under the insert tab. But there are also many other ways to insert symbols. Follow this article for more methods.

Using the insert tab

An easy way to add symbols is by using the insert tab. Here’s how:

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  1. Go to the Insert tab in the ribbon
  2. In the right-hand side corner, you will see the option of symbols
  3. Click on the drop-down menu to see further options and select symbols
  4. You can select the symbol you want.
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  1. If you can’t find your desired symbol in a small area, click on More symbols
  2. This will open a dialog box where you can explore symbols
  3. Select the one you want and click Insert

Using equations

Some mathematical symbols can also be inserted under the equation tab. Follow these instructions:

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  1. Go to the Insert tab in the ribbon
  2. In the right-hand side corner, you would see the option of equations
  3. Click on equations and an equation boundary will form in your document
  4. In the design tab, you will be able to see various symbols
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  1. By default, the design tab will show you basic math symbols, but to change it, expand the symbols menu
  2. Then from the drop-down menu select what type of symbols you want to insert
  3. Those symbols will now be displayed in this section, and you can select the symbol you wish to enter in your document
  4. Simply click on the symbol you want, and it will be inserted

3. Using Shortcut keys

This is another uncommon method that most people don’t know about, but you can use short cut keys to enter symbols. Every symbol can have a unique key associated with it that you can enter in order to insert that symbol. Follow the instructions to create the symbols using shortcut keys:

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  1. Go and insert a tab in the ribbon
  2. On the right side of the screen you will find the option of symbols, click on the drop-down menu next to it. Click on More symbols
  3. In the dialog box, click on a symbol whose short cut key you want to create. Some symbols already have a defined shortcut key that you can see by clicking on it
  4. If the symbol you want does not have a shortcut key, follow these steps:
  5. Click on the Short key button, this will open a dialog box
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  1. The dialog box will show you the command you are currently defining a key for, whether or not it has a key before or is the key that you are entering assigned to some other symbol
  2. In the Press new shortcut key field, enter the new key you wish to assign. If is already exist, you will see it in the Currently assigned to area. You can still overwrite it but it is recommended to find a new key
  3. Once you have entered a unique key, click Assign
  4. Now every time you enter the assigned shortcut key, the symbol associated with it will be entered

Using ASCII Characters

Every symbol has a unique ASCII code already assigned to it. You can use it to enter that symbol. Follow these steps:

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  1. Go to insert tab in the ribbon
  2. On the right side of the screen you will find the option of symbols, click on the drop-down menu next to it. Click on More symbols
  3. In the dialog box, click on a symbol whose code you want to see. It will be displayed in the character code field. The character code will be in the hexadecimal system showing Unicode(hex). On that menu, select ASCII (decimal)
  4. Since entering character code highly depends on a user’s memory, ASCII decimal character codes are easier to remember because they are short and like normal numbers.
  5. Once you see the character code of a symbol, you can enter that symbol by simply pressing the Alt key + character code. For example, to insert the degree (º) symbol, press and hold down alt while typing 0176 on the numeric keypad.
  6. You must use the numeric keypad to type the numbers, and not the keyboard. Otherwise the procedure will not work

5. Using Ink Equation

This method to insert a symbol is not that effective. But you can give it a try of the above methods fail to meet your needs. Here’s how you can use this tool to enter a symbol:

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  1. Go to insert tab in the ribbon
  2. On the right side of the screen, you will find the option of equations. Click on it to see advanced tools
  3. On the left, you will find the Ink equation tool. Click on it a new Math input Control window will open.
  4. Draw the symbol you want to enter and Word will try to replicate it. Once you are done drawing, click Insert
  5. In this way, you can enter the symbol easily without searching for it or entering its code.

Conclusion

In this article, I tried to cover different methods using which you can enter a symbol. If you are still facing issues, you may have an older version of Word. In that case, you can try copying the symbol from the internet and pasting it in your document.