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

Adding special characters in Microsoft Word is a straightforward process that can be achieved through the use of the Insert tab or keyboard shortcuts. Whether you need to insert an accent mark, currency symbol, or any other special character, Word provides a simple way to do so. Let’s dive into the steps to add these characters to your documents.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Add Special Characters in Word

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s set the stage. Special characters are those that don’t appear on your keyboard, like the copyright symbol (©) or the degree symbol (°). Adding these to your Word document can be crucial for academic papers, professional documents, or even just to spice up your text messages.

Step 1: Open the Insert tab

The first step to adding special characters is to navigate to the Insert tab on the Word ribbon.

This is where all the magic begins. The Insert tab is like the Swiss Army knife of Word – it has tools for just about anything you could want to add to your document, from pictures to graphs to, you guessed it, special characters.

Step 2: Click on Symbol

Within the Insert tab, click on the Symbol button, usually located on the far right.

This button opens up a whole new world of characters for you to explore. Think of it as a treasure trove of linguistic gems, waiting to be discovered and added to your document.

Step 3: Choose More Symbols

If the character you need isn’t immediately visible, click on More Symbols to open the Symbol dialog box.

Here, you’ll find characters from various languages and scripts, mathematical symbols, and all sorts of other oddballs. It’s like a zoo for characters, with every species you can imagine.

Step 4: Select your desired character

Scroll through the list or use the Subset dropdown menu to find the character you need, then click to select it.

It’s like shopping for the perfect accessory – you’ll know it when you see it. And when you do, just click on it, and it’s as good as yours.

Step 5: Click Insert

Once your character is selected, click the Insert button at the bottom of the dialog box to add it to your document.

And just like that, your character jumps from the dialog box into your document. It’s like a character teleportation device – quick and painless.

After completing these steps, the special character will now appear in your Word document exactly where your cursor was placed. It’s like planting a little seed that grows into a beautiful character tree, right in the middle of your text.

Tips for Adding Special Characters in Word

  • Use keyboard shortcuts for common characters to save time. For example, Alt + 0169 inserts the copyright symbol.
  • Customize your Quick Access Toolbar to include the Symbol button for even faster access.
  • Remember that some fonts may not support all special characters, so choose your font wisely.
  • Explore the ‘Character Map’ on Windows for an even wider range of characters to insert into Word.
  • If you find yourself using certain special characters frequently, consider creating autocorrect entries for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I add emoji to my Word document?

To add emoji, you can use the Windows Emoji Panel by pressing the Windows key + period (.) or semicolon (;) while in your Word document.

Emojis are the fun cousins of special characters and can add some personality to your document. Just remember, they might not be appropriate for all types of documents, so use them wisely.

Can I add special characters to Word on a Mac?

Yes, you can add special characters on a Mac by using the Character Viewer. Access it by pressing Control + Command + Spacebar.

The Character Viewer is like the Symbol dialog box’s cooler, hipper sibling. It’s got all the characters you need, with a bit more style.

Is there a shortcut to open the Symbol dialog box?

While there isn’t a direct keyboard shortcut, you can add the Symbol command to your Quick Access Toolbar for easy access.

Think of the Quick Access Toolbar as your own personal shortcut haven – customize it with all your most-used tools for a streamlined workflow.

Can I use special characters in Word Online?

Yes, special characters can be added in Word Online using the Symbol option under the Insert tab, similar to the desktop version.

Just because you’re in a browser doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the special character party. Word Online has got you covered.

How do I insert special characters using keyboard shortcuts?

Most special characters have an Alt code that you can type using the numeric keypad while holding down the Alt key.

It’s like a secret handshake for your keyboard – learn the right moves, and you’ll be adding special characters with the flick of a wrist.


  1. Open the Insert tab
  2. Click on Symbol
  3. Choose More Symbols
  4. Select your desired character
  5. Click Insert


Adding special characters in Word is like giving your document a sprinkle of personality—it’s the little details that make a big difference. Whether you’re working on a dissertation that requires a plethora of Greek letters or a financial report filled with currency symbols, knowing how to add these special characters efficiently can be a real game-changer. Plus, with the tips and shortcuts provided, you’ll be adding dashes of flair to your documents faster than you can say "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"

But don’t just stop at special characters—explore the full range of Word’s capabilities to enhance your documents even further. From image formatting to advanced table creation, there’s a whole world of features waiting to be unlocked. And remember, practice makes perfect. The more you familiarize yourself with the process of adding special characters, the more intuitive it will become.

So go ahead, get creative, and let those special characters shine in your next Word masterpiece. Who knows, you might just discover a newfound love for the obscure and the unusual. Happy typing!

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