How to Add Special Characters in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding special characters in Microsoft Word can seem like a mystery if you’re not familiar with the process. But don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple. These characters can be anything from currency symbols to mathematical operators, and they can add a whole new level of depth to your document. So, how do you do it? Well, in just a moment, you’ll find out how to easily insert these special characters into your Word document.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding Special Characters in Word

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what we will achieve with these steps. By following the tutorial below, you will be able to insert any special character into your Word document, enhancing its appearance and functionality.

Step 1: Open the ‘Insert’ tab

Open Microsoft Word and navigate to the ‘Insert’ tab on the Ribbon at the top of the page.

The ‘Insert’ tab is home to a variety of tools that allow you to add different elements to your document, such as tables, pictures, and, of course, special characters.

Step 2: Click on ‘Symbol’

Once you’re in the ‘Insert’ tab, click on the ‘Symbol’ button, which is usually located towards the right side of the Ribbon.

When you click this button, a drop-down menu will appear, showing some of the most commonly used symbols. If you don’t see the one you need, don’t fret!

Step 3: Choose ‘More Symbols’

Within the ‘Symbol’ drop-down menu, select ‘More Symbols’ to open the Symbol dialog box.

This dialog box is like a treasure trove of characters – from Greek letters to scientific notations, they’re all there!

Step 4: Find and select your desired character

Scroll through the list or use the ‘Subset’ dropdown to navigate to a specific set of characters. Once you find the special character you need, click on it to select it.

You can also use the ‘Character code’ box if you know the code of the character you want to insert.

Step 5: Click ‘Insert’ and then ‘Close’

After selecting your special character, click the ‘Insert’ button at the bottom of the dialog box. Then, click ‘Close’ to exit the dialog box.

Voila! You should now see the special character in your document where your cursor was last placed.

After completing these steps, the special character you selected will be inserted into your Word document. You can then continue typing or add more special characters as needed. Remember, you can always go back and add different characters at any time.

Tips for Adding Special Characters in Word

  • Use the ‘Symbol’ dialog box to explore and find new special characters that could enhance your document.
  • If you frequently use a particular character, consider assigning a shortcut key to it for quicker insertion.
  • Remember that some fonts have a wider range of special characters than others, so switch up your fonts if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
  • The ‘Character code’ feature is useful if you’re working with codes like Unicode.
  • If you need a special character that’s not available in Word, you can use a character from an online source and copy-paste it into your document.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use special characters in Word on a Mac?

Yes, you can use special characters in Word on a Mac. The process is similar, but you might find the ‘Symbol’ option under a different tab or menu.

Is there a shortcut to insert special characters?

While there isn’t a universal shortcut, you can create your own shortcut keys for specific symbols you use often by using the ‘Shortcut Key’ button in the ‘Symbol’ dialog box.

Can I insert emojis into my Word document?

Yes, some emojis are considered special characters and can be found in the ‘Symbol’ dialog box, especially if your font is set to ‘Segoe UI Emoji’.

How do I insert special characters using keyboard shortcuts?

Some special characters have built-in keyboard shortcuts. For example, you can type © by pressing Alt + 0169. Check online resources for a comprehensive list of these shortcuts.

Are special characters the same in all fonts?

No, the available special characters can vary depending on the font you are using. Some fonts may have more or fewer characters than others.


  1. Open the ‘Insert’ tab
  2. Click on ‘Symbol’
  3. Choose ‘More Symbols’
  4. Find and select your desired character
  5. Click ‘Insert’ and then ‘Close’


There you have it, a comprehensive guide on how to add special characters in Word. It’s not rocket science, but it sure can make your documents look out of this world! Whether it’s the degree symbol for a temperature, a foreign currency sign, or a mathematical operator, adding special characters can enhance the clarity and aesthetic of your work. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch your documents transform from bland to grand. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different symbols and fonts. And if you ever get stuck, just come back to this article for a quick refresher. After all, mastering special characters in Word is a skill that’s sure to come in handy time and time again.

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