How to insert symbols or special characters in a word processor

Updated: 04/01/2018 by Computer Hope

While using a word processor, it may be necessary to insert special characters into your documents. These characters may include ellipsis, accented letters, foreign language characters, Copyright symbol, math symbols, trade symbols, and world currency symbols. Due to limited space for keys and because many of these symbols are uncommon, you won't find most of them on a standard keyboard. However, most programs and services allow the ability to insert symbols by following the steps below.

Inserting symbols in Microsoft Word

Microsoft WordTip: Use the Microsoft Word shortcut key Ctrl+'+<letter> to insert a letter with an accent (grave) mark above it. For example, if you wanted an accented รจ, you would use Ctrl+'+e (hold down Ctrl, single quote, and the letter e) as your shortcut key. To reverse the accent mark, use the opposite accent mark, on the tilde key.

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on the Insert top menu option or the Insert tab.
  3. Select the Symbol option in the Insert menu or click the Symbol option on the Insert tab.
  4. Select the letter in the symbol list with the accent mark you want to use and click the Insert button.

Note: Make sure that the font is selected on "Normal text" unless you are planning to use an accent from a different font.

Inserting symbols in Google Docs

  1. Open Google Docs.
  2. Click Insert
  3. Click Special Characters and select or draw the special character you want to insert.

Inserting symbols in OpenOffice Writer

  1. Open OpenOffice Writer
  2. Click on the Insert top menu option.
  3. Select the Special Characters option.
  4. Select the special character you want to edit. Keep in mind that not all fonts will support all characters. Therefore, it may be necessary to switch the font to display certain special characters.