Google Docs Editor is an online interface used for word processing. This is a free interface which comes with the apps like Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, etc. If you are using the online editor, did you any time wonder how to insert a special symbol in Google Docs Editor? For example, you may want to insert a division or ROFL emoji which are not part of standard keyboard layout. In this article, we will explain all possible ways to insert emoji, symbols, special characters, and mathematical equations in Google Docs Editor.
Inserting Symbols and Special Characters in Google Docs Editor
There are multiple ways to insert symbols using the inbuilt options as well as depending upon the system you use. Since the same editor interface is used on all Google word processing applications, you can use these methods in all apps like Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc.
1. Insert Symbols with Inbuilt Special Characters Utility
When you are in Google Docs Editor, go to “Insert” menu and choose “Special characters” option.
This will open a pop-up like below showing thousands of symbols under different categories. You can select categories and sub-categories to filter you’re the symbols. For example, select “Symbols” and “Arrows” to filter hundreds of different arrow symbols. When you find the symbol you need, simply click on it to insert in your document. You can also select emoji category and then the relevant sub-category to find emoji symbols.
Alternatively, you can type the keyword or Unicode hexadecimal codepoint to find relevant symbols. For example, to find Face with Tears of Joy emoji, simply type “tears of joy” in the search box and press enter key. The editor will filter the relevant symbols and show you in the box which you can click and insert.
In addition, you can draw the symbol in the right-side pane to filter similar symbols on the left pane. For example, draw a six-pointed star symbol to filter similar symbols and emoji that looks like a star.
2. Inserting Mathematical Equations
If you want to insert simple mathematical symbols in your document, go to “Insert” menu and select “Equation” option. This will add an equation box in the content area and show additional options above the top ruler. The options include Greek letters, miscellaneous operations, relations, math operations and arrows. You can select the equation format from these options (for example, square root from math operations) and type the numbers in the box inside content area.
Note that for inserting simple mathematical operators like division symbols, you can simply use the “Insert special characters” pop-up instead equation editor.
3. Inserting Emoji in Google Docs
If you want to insert colorful Unicode emoji symbols, go to “Insert > Emoji” menu. Alternatively, type @emoji and select “Emoji” from the options that appear. This will open the in-built emoji panel in Google Docs; use the search box or navigate through different categories to find your favorite emoji. Click on the symbol to insert it in your document.
4. Add Emoji Reactions
Google Docs Editor allows you to insert emoji reactions as feedback similar to comments. Click on the paragraph or on any other content and move the mouse nearer to the document edge. This will show you additional options for inserting emoji reaction, comments and suggesting edit.
Click on the emoji icon to open the complete list of emoji symbols. You can find the emoji under different categories or by searching with a keyword.
After finding your emoji, click on it to add beside the selected paragraph as an emoji reaction. You can anytime remove or change the reaction by clicking on the emoji and selecting relevant option.
5. Using Third-Party Add-ons
If the inbuilt options are not sufficient for you then you can look for third-party add-ons to make things simpler. For example, you can show the emoji panel beside the document so that you can easily copy paste needed emoji symbol. For adding add-on in Google Docs Editor, click on the + icon showing on the right sidebar. Search for your favorite add-on and install it on your editor to start using.
If you want to use the same add-on on all Google Docs Editor apps, then make sure to check the add-on page for the supported apps. You can find the supported app icons next to “Work with:” section as shown below.
6. Using Alt Code Keyboard Shortcuts
Though we do not find any keyboard shortcuts available for opening and inserting symbols in Google Docs Editor, you can use the standard alt code keyboard shortcuts.
- On Windows – make sure you have long keyboard with additional number pad. Hold the alt key and type the decimal code for the symbols. For example, alt + 0024 will make the dollar symbol.
- On Mac – first change the language input to Unicode Hex Input and the type the hexadecimal codepoint with option key. For example, option + 0024 will make dollar symbol in Mac.
You can refer this alt code shortcuts finder page to get decimal and hexadecimal codepoint for more than 40 thousand symbols.
7. Additional Options for Windows Users
Windows operating system comes with few options that you can use with any apps including Google Docs Editor.
- Search and open Character Map app to find and insert any symbol and special characters. This app is similar to the inbuilt utility available in Google Docs Editor.
- Press “Win + Dot” keys to open emoji panel to find and insert emoji symbols.
8. Additional Options for Mac Users
If you are using Google Docs Editor on Mac, press “Function + E” keys or go to “Edit > Emoji & Symbols” menu from the top bar. This will open Character Viewer app using which you can search and insert the required emoji, symbols and special characters.