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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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