How to Insert Symbol in MS Word – Symbol and Special Characters

Special Symbol in Word

This chapter discusses how to insert symbols in MS Word. If you don’t have a large number of characters on your keyboard but still want to use them in your document, you have the option of inserting special symbols, as explained in this article.

Meanwhile, this is the continuation of the previous tutorial on how to use find and replace tools in a word document and the spelling and grammar checker of MS Word.

What are Symbols of MS Word?

The Symbols of MS Word is a special feature in Microsoft Word through which users can insert many different types of symbols into the document. Word does make a difference between symbols and special characters, but you shouldn’t have any trouble finding either one or adding it to your documents.

Additionally, MS Word also has many different symbols, special characters, fractions, languages, and other things. With Microsoft Word’s Symbol dialog box, we can add symbols and other characters.


What are special characters and symbols?

What are special characters and symbols?

A special character is one that is not considered a number or letter. Symbols, accent marks, and punctuation marks are considered special characters. Similarly, ASCII control characters and formatting characters like paragraph marks are also special characters.

List all the special characters in Word

The following are the list of special characters in Word.

1. Em dash is a long dash (—).

2. En dash is a dash (–) that is shorter than an em dash but longer than a hyphen.

3. Copyright is a letter c in a circle (©).

4. Registered is a capital letter R in a circle (®).

5. Trademark is a capital letter T with a capital letter M (™).

6. Section is a section break symbol (§). This special character doesn’t insert a section break.

7. Paragraph is a paragraph symbol (¶). This special character doesn’t insert a new paragraph.

8. Ellipsis is a set of ellipsis points (…). The spacing between the points varies depending on your font.

9. Single opening quote (‘), single closing quote (’), double opening quote (“), and double closing quote (”) – are the same as the curly quotations that Word makes when you use the apostrophe or the double quotation mark on the keyboard to start and end a quote. So, unless you change Word’s AutoFormat settings, using the keyboard to make quotation mark pairs is faster than inserting these special characters.

How to Insert symbols in MS Word

The following are the steps to insert symbols in MS Word.

  • Step 1: On the navigation menu click on the insert option.


  • Step 2: On the right-hand side of the navigation menu select the Symbol option as shown in figure:


  • Step 3: Next select the symbol from the menu as per your need.

  • Step 4: You can also select more different types of symbols by just clicking on the More Symbols option as shown in the figure:


  • Step 5: A symbol dialog box will be pop up on the screen.


  • Step 6: Now click on the symbols option as shown in the figure.  Next click on the drop-down arrow of the font box to change the font style of symbols.

  • Step 8: Select the font style from the style menu. Next click on the drop-down arrow of subset box to select the different categories of the symbols.

  • Step 11: Select the symbol as per your choice as shown in the figure:

  • Step 12: Then click on the insert option to insert the symbol on your current page of the document.

    Note – You can also search for a particular symbol using its character code as shown in the figure:

    Then, Select the option (UNICODE, ASCII) as shown in the figure:

    Then click on the insert option. Close the symbol dialog box as shown in the figure.

    Finally, the symbol is added to your document.

How to Insert Special Character in MS Word

Here are the ways on how to insert special character in MS Word:

First, click on the Symbol option in the menu bar. Then, choose the “More Symbols” option. A dialog box about symbols will open. Now, choose the option that says “Special characters.” Then, choose the option that says “Special characters.” To move on, click the Insert button. Lastly, Close the box with the symbols.

Insert Special Character
Insert Special Character

Finally, special characters symbol is added to your document.

Special Character Successfully Added
Special Character Successfully Added

Codes for Special Characters used for Searching

Word also includes codes to assist you in searching for special characters in a document. To examine the list of potential codes while you are inputting a find and replacement of text, press Ctrl+F or Ctrl+H to activate the Find and Replace dialog box. Then click More and click Special. 

The following table contains some of the special characters and the related codes that you can use in the Find and Replace with text box.

Special CharacterCode
Em dash (—)^+
En dash (–)^=
Nonbreaking hyphen^~
Optional hyphen^-
Nonbreaking space^s
Section mark (§)^%
Paragraph mark (¶)^v
Right to left mark^r
Left to right mark^h
No-width optional break (zero width non-joiner)^o
No-width non-break (zero width joiner)^y


In summary, we’ve talked about how to insert symbols in MS Word as well as what those terms mean. In addition, we know the different special characters and symbols available in words. We also gain insight into adding symbols step by step. 

We hope this tutorial helps you as you plan to create a document in MS Word.

1 thought on “How to Insert Symbol in MS Word – Symbol and Special Characters”

  1. Thank you for the info, especially the Search.
    The “No-Width Optional Break” character does not cause Word (365 running on Windows 10) to break a long string as I expected. I inserted few just after the backslashes in a long pathname, but Word ignored them. I used the Search and Replace as you described to replace them with a # character, and the characters are definitely there.
    Could it be a font or style setting which is causing the problem? (Calibri 11 pt, Normal style as supplied by MS)

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