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Inserting symbols and special characters

From: Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training

Video: Inserting symbols and special characters

Most of the data you enter into an Excel worksheet will either be text or numbers. There will be times, however, when you need to enter a symbol into a worksheet. Some typical symbols are fractions, mathematical symbols, trademark or copyright symbols, and so on. In this movie, I'll show you how to insert those special symbols into your worksheets. If you're in Excel, and you want to insert a symbol into a cell, first you click the cell where you want the symbol to go, and then on the formula bar, start editing that cell. Then you can go up to Insert > Symbol.

Inserting symbols and special characters

Most of the data you enter into an Excel worksheet will either be text or numbers. There will be times, however, when you need to enter a symbol into a worksheet. Some typical symbols are fractions, mathematical symbols, trademark or copyright symbols, and so on. In this movie, I'll show you how to insert those special symbols into your worksheets. If you're in Excel, and you want to insert a symbol into a cell, first you click the cell where you want the symbol to go, and then on the formula bar, start editing that cell. Then you can go up to Insert > Symbol.

When you do, Excel displays the Media browser, and opens it to the Symbols page. You can navigate the Symbols page of the Media browser either by using the scrollbar to scroll up and down, to display the symbols that are available, or you can limit the display by clicking the list box and just displaying the ones that you want. So, for example, if you want trade symbols, which include copyright, registered trademark, service mark and trademark, then you can limit it to those symbols. Now let's say that "Unsurpassed purity in every bottle" is a trademark.

To enter the trademark symbol, I click it, and you can see that it's now in the formula bar, and it also appears in the cell. But on the other hand, if it's a registered trademark, which is symbolized by the R in a circle, I would have clicked that one instead. I'm done with the cell, so I will close the Media browser, and press Enter, and the trademark symbol is now in cell A2. You can also enter fractions. Let's say that you want to enter the fraction that represents the amount of bottles that are shipped in state. In this case, the Two Trees Olive Oil Company ships two-fifths, or 40%, of their bottles in state.

To enter the two-fifths fraction, you click Insert > Symbol, and then display the fractions, which are here. Find 2/5, which is here. When you click it, it appears in your cell. You can now close the Media browser, press Return, and your value remains. Now let's say that you're trying to communicate, in an Excel workbook, the key sequence that you need to use to copy a cell. You know from previous experience that that is Command+C, but there is no key on your keyboard that allows you to type the Command symbol.

It is, however, available in the Symbols dialog. So if you click Insert > Symbol, and then display the keyboard symbols, the first symbol that's available is the Command symbol. When you click it, it appears in your cell. You can then close the Media browser, the Symbols page, type a C, and there you have your key sequence. Now this last example is a little bit esoteric, or a little but fun, so please bear with me, because the setup does take a little bit of getting used to. Let's say that your business is having a party, and the only restriction on who can come to the party is that at the door you must be able to produce the card that is the four of spades.

So let's say that you type the number 4, and then you want to enter the symbol for the suit of spades. You could type an S, but that might be misinterpreted by someone who doesn't understand cards. So let's say that you want to enter the actual spades symbol. Well, let's go back to the Symbols dialog box. Insert > Symbol, so we get the Symbols page of the Media browser. We'll display all the symbols. The problem is that when we page through it, we'll see very quickly that there is no spade symbol; however, if you use other Microsoft Office 2011 programs, that symbol is available.

So what I'm going to show you how to do now is to reach into those other programs, copy the symbol that you need from there, and paste it back into Excel. So I'll close the Media browser. I'll stop editing this cell. We'll get back to it in a moment. I'm going to switch over to Microsoft Word, which I have already opened. In Microsoft Word, if you want to insert a symbol, you do the same thing that you did before: you click Insert, and then point to Symbol, but when you do, you'll see that you have two options: the Symbol browser, which is the Media browser that I showed you before, and has a limited set of symbols, or you have the Advanced Symbol dialog box.

So let me show you what that looks like. The Symbols page of the Symbol dialog box in Microsoft Word shows you every symbol - every character that is available - for every font on your system. In this case, we have the Symbol font. In the Symbol font, you have quite a few characters. And here on the first page, you have the club, the diamond, the heart, and the spade. We want to insert the spade, so we'll click it, and click Insert. When we do - and I close the dialog box - the spade symbol appears in your Microsoft Word document.

So I will select it, press Command+C to Copy it, and then press Command+Tab to switch back to my Excel document. Now I can type the number 4, and then to represent the spade, I can press Command+V, and paste in the spade symbol. The ability to add symbols to your worksheets greatly enhances your ability to communicate information beyond the basic words and numbers found in Excel documents. As long as you don't use too many of them, you'll found that symbols add impact to your message. Don't forget to look in Microsoft Word for any symbols that you might not be able to find in Excel.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training
Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training

100 video lessons · 33272 viewers

Curt Frye
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      42s
  2. 20m 56s
    1. Exploring the Excel 2011 window
      4m 16s
    2. Introducing the Ribbon for Mac
      4m 44s
    3. Customizing the Ribbon
      4m 20s
    4. Setting program preferences
      3m 20s
    5. Getting help in Excel
      4m 16s
  3. 20m 4s
    1. Opening, creating, and saving workbooks
      5m 23s
    2. Setting workbook properties
      4m 14s
    3. Creating and modifying workbook templates
      4m 18s
    4. Managing workbooks across multiple versions of Excel
      6m 9s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Selecting cells and groups of cells
      4m 58s
    2. Copying and pasting cell data
      2m 39s
    3. Entering data using AutoFill and other techniques
      4m 32s
    4. Inserting symbols and special characters
      5m 3s
    5. Creating an Excel table
      4m 43s
    6. Locating and changing data using Find and Replace
      4m 57s
    7. Restricting input using validation rules
      4m 42s
    8. Using lists to limit data entered into a cell
      2m 32s
    9. Sorting worksheet data
      3m 2s
    10. Creating a custom sort order
      3m 54s
    11. Filtering worksheet data
      4m 6s
    12. Inserting, moving, and deleting cells and cell ranges
      3m 50s
    13. Splitting and freezing rows and columns
      3m 51s
    14. Managing worksheets
      5m 28s
    15. Creating, editing, and deleting headers and footers
      4m 41s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Introducing Excel formulas and functions
      3m 17s
    2. Adding a formula to a cell
      4m 0s
    3. Introducing arithmetic operators
      4m 13s
    4. Using absolute and relative cell references
      6m 29s
    5. Controlling how Excel copies and pastes formulas
      6m 5s
    6. Referring to Excel table data in formulas
      2m 3s
    7. Creating an AutoSum formula
      3m 22s
    8. Summarizing data on the status bar
      2m 22s
    9. Joining text in cells with concatenation
      3m 59s
    10. Summarizing data using an IF function
      6m 21s
    11. Summarizing data using SUMIF and other conditional functions
      5m 41s
    12. Creating formulas to count cells
      2m 37s
    13. Rounding cell values up and down
      4m 55s
    14. Finding data using VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP
      6m 33s
    15. Auditing formulas by identifying precedents and dependents
      3m 25s
    16. Managing Excel formula error indicators
      4m 42s
    17. Managing scenarios
      4m 59s
    18. Performing Goal Seek analysis
      2m 31s
  6. 45m 48s
    1. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
      6m 7s
    2. Applying number and date formats to cells
      7m 1s
    3. Managing text alignment
      3m 56s
    4. Copying cell formats
      4m 2s
    5. Managing cell styles
      3m 16s
    6. Managing Office themes
      3m 31s
    7. Creating rule-based conditional formats
      3m 54s
    8. Defining Top 10 conditional formats
      4m 19s
    9. Defining data bar, color scale, and icon set conditional formats
      6m 6s
    10. Editing, ordering, and deleting conditional formats
      3m 36s
  7. 36m 55s
    1. Creating bar and column charts
      5m 26s
    2. Creating pie charts
      2m 32s
    3. Creating line charts
      4m 34s
    4. Creating XY (scatter) charts
      1m 49s
    5. Creating stock charts
      4m 11s
    6. Changing chart types and layouts
      2m 22s
    7. Changing the appearance of a chart
      4m 25s
    8. Managing chart axes and numbering
      2m 51s
    9. Adding trendlines to charts
      4m 14s
    10. Creating sparkline charts
      4m 31s
  8. 18m 39s
    1. Importing data from comma separated value (CSV) or text files
      4m 20s
    2. Connecting to an external data source
      2m 22s
    3. Using hyperlinks
      6m 1s
    4. Including an Excel workbook in another Office document
      3m 5s
    5. Linking to an Excel chart from another Office program
      2m 51s
  9. 26m 21s
    1. Creating and formatting shapes
      3m 10s
    2. Adding and adjusting images
      5m 38s
    3. Cropping, compressing, and removing image backgrounds
      4m 46s
    4. Creating SmartArt graphics
      5m 7s
    5. Creating WordArt
      2m 34s
    6. Aligning and layering objects
      5m 6s
  10. 29m 51s
    1. Introducing PivotTable reports
      3m 47s
    2. Creating a PivotTable report
      4m 37s
    3. Pivoting a PivotTable report
      3m 18s
    4. Managing subtotals and grand totals
      3m 23s
    5. Summarizing more than one data field
      1m 34s
    6. Changing the data field summary operation
      2m 40s
    7. Changing the data field number format
      2m 27s
    8. Filtering a PivotTable report
      2m 46s
    9. Applying a PivotTable style
      2m 20s
    10. Creating and editing styles
      2m 59s
  11. 26m 47s
    1. Checking spelling
      3m 32s
    2. Setting AutoCorrect and automatic Replace options
      3m 59s
    3. Managing workbook comments
      3m 40s
    4. Tracking and reviewing changes
      5m 12s
    5. Printing a worksheet or workbook
      3m 44s
    6. Setting and removing print areas
      2m 31s
    7. Exporting to other formats
      1m 33s
    8. Protecting a workbook
      2m 36s
  12. 23m 52s
    1. Running an existing macro
      4m 56s
    2. Recording a macro
      3m 56s
    3. Recording a macro using relative references
      6m 15s
    4. Renaming, viewing, and deleting macros
      2m 58s
    5. Adding comments to a macro
      2m 43s
    6. Turning off screen updating in a macro
      3m 4s
  13. 1m 1s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 1s

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