10 Ways to Insert Symbols in Windows Documents
Symbols and special characters are part of any work whether it is a personal or professional. Windows 10 allows users to insert symbols on Office and other documents with ease. Here are 10 way you can insert symbols in Windows based documents.
- Use instant message codes
- From Insert > Shapes menu
- Using Insert > Symbols menu
- Decimal code with alt keys
- Hexadecimal code with alt + x
- Using Character Map app
- Emoticons panel
- Using font icons
- Using icon images
- Copy and paste the symbols
Remember that the symbols are similar to any text content in most cases. You can change the color and format them on your document to align with other content. If you do not see the symbol then change the font type and try.
1. Using instant Messaging Shortcodes
Nowadays it is very common to use smileys even on official documents. This is popular with instant chat services like WhatsApp, WeChat, Twitter and Facebook messenger. You can simply use short codes to insert symbols on Windows documents. For example, : – ) will produce the smiling face like :-) and typing : – ( will produce the sad face like :-( . Remember, the short codes used on chat messenger is different from the Windows documents.
2. Insert > Shapes Menu
You can insert shapes in all Office applications using the menu ‘Insert > Shapes’. People generally use shapes to insert geometrical shapes like rectangles, squares and triangles. However, you can also insert other symbols like stars, numbers inside shapes, smiley, etc.
You have limited number of shapes to select and draw on the document. The problem in using shapes is that they are like images and will not align on the documents properly.
3. Insert > Symbols Menu
Similar to shapes, you can navigate to ‘Insert > Symbols’ on Office documents to insert required symbols. Here you will have plenty of symbols and special characters to choose from the dialog box.
In addition, these symbols will behave like text content so that you can change the color and increase or decrease the font size. Ensure to select the font as Windings, Windings 2 or Windings 3 to see more symbols.
4. Alt Code Shortcuts
This is the most popular form of inserting symbols in Windows based computers when you have a keyboard with numeric pad. You can use one of the two alt keys and then type the decimal code using numeric pad. For example, alt + 127828 will produce a hamburger like this 🍔. Though alt code shortcuts will work on all Microsoft documents like Word, PowerPoint and Excel you need to have a bigger keyboard with numeric pad.
5. Hexadecimal Unicode for Word
You can use the Unicode hexadecimal values directly with alt + x shortcut for inserting symbols. However, this method will only work on Microsoft Word documents and will not work on other documents. For example, 2660 + alt + x keys will produce the spade symbol like ♠ used in playing cards.
6. Using Character Map
Every character or symbol is a corresponding language code to represent. Character Map is a standalone app in Windows for mapping characters and the relevant code. You can use Character Map to search for the symbol and copy paste on all default Windows documents.
7. Emoticons Panel
Microsoft introduced an emoticons panel in Windows 10 for quickly accessing useful symbols. Though emoticons panel is not an app, it works independently from the applications. You can press ‘Win + .’ or ‘Win + ;’ keys to open emoticons panel when using any applications in Windows 10. You can search the icons and insert it on your documents from panel.
8. Font Icons
Font icons are very popular with HTML documents as they save considerable size compared to images. The advantage is that there are custom font icons that may not be available within Windows. You can use icons like font awesome to create infographics using PowerPoint.
If you use Office 365 subscriptions then your Office document will have an option to insert icons using ‘Insert > Icons’ menu. You can find and insert the required icons similar to shapes and symbols. If you do not have Office 365 subscription then you need to link icon reference file to the document or install font icons on your computer. Then you can simply copy and paste the icons wherever you want on the documents. The disadvantage is that the receiver of the document should also have the fonts installed on their computer. Otherwise, the icons will show incompatible when they open the documents.
9. Using Icon Images
If the symbol you are looking for is not available then the solution is to create or find an icon image. For example, below is a band aid medical icon image that you may not get from Windows symbols. Since it is transparent PNG image, you can paste on any documents with any color background.
10. Copy & Paste
If none of the above options work for you then the easiest way is to copy and paste the symbol on your document. Since most of the alt codes only work on Word and PowerPoint, anyway you may end up in copy paste option for Excel workbook.