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Inserting symbols and special characters

From: Word 2010 Power Shortcuts

Video: Inserting symbols and special characters

There will be times when you will want to include symbols and special characters in your document. Symbols refer to everything from degrees, to ordinals, to mathematical operands. Special characters are dashes, special spaces and other typological characters. Both can be accessed through the ribbon by a keyboard shortcut or by using AutoCorrect. Let's start with our mathematical equation, 12 divided by 4 = 3. I need a divided by sign right here, so I will highlight that space. I want to go up to the Insert ribbon and on the far right there is a dropdown for Symbol.

Inserting symbols and special characters

There will be times when you will want to include symbols and special characters in your document. Symbols refer to everything from degrees, to ordinals, to mathematical operands. Special characters are dashes, special spaces and other typological characters. Both can be accessed through the ribbon by a keyboard shortcut or by using AutoCorrect. Let's start with our mathematical equation, 12 divided by 4 = 3. I need a divided by sign right here, so I will highlight that space. I want to go up to the Insert ribbon and on the far right there is a dropdown for Symbol.

When I click on it I can see the Divide symbol. It might not be on the same location on your list but you should see it, and I will click on it and now I have a divide sign. But these are just a few of the possible symbols that we want. Let's take a look at some others. Let's say I want to do a 100 degrees. I will click at the end of 100, I will dropdown the Symbol button and I'll go to More Symbols. Now let's take a look at how this window is constructed. Right here where it says Font, it might start by saying normal text or it might actually have your font there.

I just want to point out that all the fonts on your computer are on this list, and I would like call your attention, especially while we are working with symbols, to down at the bottom. We have Webdings which contains a lot of images and then Wingdings 1, 2 and 3, which are full of additional symbols. Now I want to go back to Arial. Now here is a shortcut; when I clicked on any font menu I can start typing the font name that I want and once I see it on the list, I can just click on it.

That's a lot faster than scrolling around to look for it. All right! Now let's scroll down a little bit and here is the Degree symbol. So I can either double-click on it or click on it and click Insert and it will show up in my document. Let's click after Left arrow and give it a space. Notice that on the right of some of the fonts you'll see a subset. So if I'm looking for arrows instead of just scrolling, scrolling, scrolling until I find I can look down this list until I find it, what I am looking for, in this case, arrows, that will jump me down to the Arrows section of my document, and here is a Left Arrow.

Now you have already seen that I can double-click on it or click Insert to put it in the document, but I would also like to show you how this shortcut key works, because this is pretty unusual. It says 2190, Alt+X. So I will close it and here is how to do it. 2190 and then I'll hold the Alt key down and type X and it transforms into a left arrow. So if your brain likes codes, you can learn a lot of your special characters that way. Let me show you an easier way of doing it though. I am going to click after Up arrow and hit the Spacebar to give myself a little bit of room and let's go back to the Symbol dropdown again, so I will click on the Symbol button and then on More Symbols and I am going to use the Subset to jump back to my Arrows again.

So I want an Up arrow, so I will click on the next one. Now I want to show you how to use AutoCorrect to invoke an Up arrow. So I will click on AutoCorrect. Now we spent some time in this window earlier in this course and the concept is kind of the same. So it's going to substitute an Up arrow for whatever it is that I type here. So I am going to type uaw and then click Add. I will close this window and let's close this one as well and you will see that whenever I type uaw and tap the Spacebar it will give me an Up Arrow.

So that's another technique you can use for your frequently used symbols. Now let me show you one more. We will go up to Symbol and down to More Symbols again. In addition to all of the symbols in this dialog box, there is another tab right here that says Special Characters and this refers to the different type of graphic characters in Word. So if I want to insert an Em Dash, which is a long dash, I could double-click on this or on Ellipsis, I can click on this. It also shows you a shortcut key on the right-hand side.

So for instance, if I wanted to put an Em Dash in this sentence down here, I would have to type Alt+Ctrl+Num+-. Well that's fine but maybe you have a shortcut key you would rather use instead. So while I'm clicked on Em Dash I will come down here to Shortcut Key. It shows me what the current key stroke is and I am going to type in my own. I am going to hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift and type the letter M. Now after you type your keyboard combination, take a look right here and make sure it's not currently assigned to something else in Word.

You don't want to overwrite the keystroke for another feature. Here it gives you the choice of saving the change in the Normal template or just in this document. Now if I am going to go to the trouble to create my own keyboard shortcuts I generally want to keep them in the Normal template. So the next time I open up a new document, I will still be able to use them. So I will go ahead and click Assign and then I will click Close. Let me close this dialog box, and show you how it works. So if I want to put it an Em Dash right here, I can highlight that space because I am going to remove it and do Ctrl+Alt+Shift+M and there is my special character.

If you've customized a lot of your keyboard commands, you can print out a list. Go up to the File tab to go to the Backstage view and go down to Print. Right here where it says Print All Pages, drop that down and then use the Scroll bar to scroll down to the bottom, and the very last option on this dropdown menu is Key Assignments. So once I have clicked on this, then when I print, instead of printing my document, it would print my keyboard shortcuts. The ability to select symbols and special characters either from a menu, assigning them keyboard shortcuts, or using AutoCorrect, means that your frequently used symbols and special characters are literally at your fingertips.

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This video is part of

Image for Word 2010 Power Shortcuts
Word 2010 Power Shortcuts

74 video lessons · 13474 viewers

Alicia Katz Pollock
Author

 
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  1. 1m 39s
    1. Welcome
      51s
    2. Using the exercise files
      48s
  2. 44m 45s
    1. Selecting text for formatting
      7m 0s
    2. Mastering the Navigation pane
      3m 53s
    3. Using the Reveal Formatting pane
      4m 47s
    4. Clearing formatting
      1m 38s
    5. Adjusting paragraph spacing
      4m 58s
    6. Setting tabs using the ruler
      5m 59s
    7. Inserting horizontal lines
      3m 39s
    8. Using AutoCorrect to create abbreviations
      2m 12s
    9. Working with the text wrap features
      4m 58s
    10. Setting defaults for new documents
      5m 41s
  3. 4m 59s
    1. Opening recent files
      3m 2s
    2. Changing the AutoRecover settings
      1m 6s
    3. Changing the default saving location
      51s
  4. 6m 23s
    1. Using KeyTips to select Ribbon commands
      3m 18s
    2. Using keyboard shortcuts and function keys
      3m 5s
  5. 6m 48s
    1. Splitting the screen
      2m 12s
    2. Navigating with Browse by Object
      2m 35s
    3. Using the Go To tab in the Find and Replace dialog
      2m 1s
  6. 25m 50s
    1. Inserting random boilerplate text
      44s
    2. Selecting paste options
      4m 2s
    3. Inserting today's date
      2m 41s
    4. Using Click and Type
      45s
    5. Using Overtype mode
      2m 4s
    6. Cutting to the Spike
      2m 48s
    7. Using advanced Find and Replace techniques
      8m 0s
    8. Editing the dictionary
      2m 53s
    9. Refining grammar options
      1m 53s
  7. 38m 22s
    1. Marking inconsistent formatting
      1m 22s
    2. Applying theme colors vs. standard colors
      3m 30s
    3. Hiding text
      1m 56s
    4. Inserting symbols and special characters
      6m 3s
    5. Working with AutoFormat
      4m 36s
    6. Typing symbols with AutoCorrect
      1m 30s
    7. Inserting nonbreaking spaces
      1m 16s
    8. Inserting diacritical marks
      2m 38s
    9. Creating drop caps
      1m 31s
    10. Inserting and removing hyperlinks
      5m 33s
    11. Refining OpenType text features
      4m 5s
    12. Replicating font formatting
      4m 22s
  8. 20m 33s
    1. Adding first-line indents
      3m 23s
    2. Controlling line and page breaks
      5m 59s
    3. Mastering columns
      5m 21s
    4. Inserting line numbering
      3m 7s
    5. Vertically centering a cover page
      2m 43s
  9. 10m 15s
    1. Modifying a heading style to include a page break
      2m 21s
    2. Using multi-level numbering in heading styles
      3m 15s
    3. Saving style modifications for future use
      3m 5s
    4. Assigning a keyboard shortcut to a style
      1m 34s
  10. 9m 24s
    1. Adding captions to tables, figures, and charts
      3m 28s
    2. Using advanced table features
      5m 56s
  11. 20m 29s
    1. Using a drawing canvas
      2m 50s
    2. Creating transparent colors and removing backgrounds
      4m 1s
    3. Editing clip art
      3m 5s
    4. Cropping a picture with a shape
      2m 24s
    5. Aligning, distributing, and grouping graphics
      3m 24s
    6. Compressing images
      4m 45s
  12. 5m 16s
    1. Inserting text from a file
      1m 4s
    2. Linking Excel objects
      4m 12s
  13. 32m 13s
    1. Setting up odd and even pages
      2m 27s
    2. Formatting page numbering for different document sections
      4m 16s
    3. Inserting bookmarks
      3m 6s
    4. Inserting cross-references
      4m 14s
    5. Customizing a table of contents
      4m 21s
    6. Creating citations and a bibliography
      4m 18s
    7. Using a style reference in a header
      3m 41s
    8. Mastering Outline view
      5m 50s
  14. 12m 48s
    1. Saving ink and paper when printing
      3m 46s
    2. Printing a booklet
      2m 28s
    3. Printing document metadata
      1m 8s
    4. Updating fields before printing
      3m 27s
    5. Embedding fonts in the file
      1m 59s
  15. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

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