Microsoft Word – insert symbols using shortcut keys

Posted: March 26, 2014

If you are finding yourself repeatedly making your way to the Insert tab to insert a symbol into a Word document you might like to teach yourself the shortcut keys to insert symbols.

You’ll save yourself oodles of time.

Microsoft Word has pre-defined shortcuts keys already mapped to the most popular symbols. However you can easily set your own shortcut keys to any symbol you require.

Microsoft Word – inserting symbols using shortcut keys

Check out the Special Characters shortcuts to see if there are any that could save you time. For example, if you use the Trademark TM symbol a lot you might like to start using ALT + CTRL + T.

To do this:

  1. On the Insert tab click Symbol and then click More Symbols.

2. On the Special Characters tab check out the shortcut key combinations for the characters listed.

If there are any that you use regularly note them done and start using them. Before you know it you will have the shortcuts committed to memory, saving you a heap of time each time you need to insert the symbol.

Word Symbols Special Characters


Setting your own shortcut keys to Symbols

Mapping symbols to shortcut keys allows you to quickly drop a symbol into your document using a key combination, making your document creation time faster.

To do this:

  1. On the Insert tab click Symbol and then click More Symbols.

2. On the Symbols tab select the Symbol that will be mapped to the shortcut key, for example the pound sign.

3. Click the Shortcut Key button.  The Customize Keyboard dialog box will be displayed with the insertion point flashing in the Press new shortcut key box.

4. Press a key combination, e.g. ALT + N.  Please check the Currently assigned to indicator to ensure your key combination is [unassigned].  If it is already

assigned, try a different combination.


Word Symbols Shortcut

5. Click Assign and then Close, and Close again to close the Symbol dialog box.

6. In your document place the insertion point where you require the symbol and then press the shortcut key combination.  The Symbol will be inserted.

Note: by default the key combination is saved to your Normal template.  This means you can use the combination in all documents based on this template.

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