Sometimes you may want to insert a degree symbol into Microsoft Word to display temperature readings instead of typing the word “degrees.” However, this may not be as easy as it sounds, because you won’t find the degree symbol on the keyboard.
There are actually several good ways to do this, including using the keyboard. Even if you don’t see the symbol, it doesn’t mean you can’t type it. We are here to focus on Windows, but also to offer solutions for macOS and Linux.
1. Using Copy and Paste
If you rarely use the degree symbol in Microsoft Word, it is difficult to remember keyboard shortcuts or how to open special menus. If this is the case, you can use a simple trick to avoid memorizing anything: copy and paste.
The Wikipedia List of Unicode Characters is a good starting point. Just use the browser’s search function to search for the symbol name, then copy the symbol and paste it into Word.
CopyPasteCharacter Is another great resource. Expand the “All Characters” menu that floats when scrolling to filter characters by type or use the search box in the menu. Then copy the required symbols and paste them into the Word document. You’ll find more characters here than in the Wikipedia list, making it a great choice for you to dial in when you need it for quick access. In addition, if you create a web page in Word, when you click a symbol, you can copy the HTML shortcode.
For frequently used symbols, create a Word document that contains only the listed symbols, then copy and paste. For ease of use, write the name of the symbol next to it. It will have its own resources to copy and paste to the desktop. This applies to all operating systems.
2. Use the Keyboard Shortcut
Using keyboard shortcuts is the easiest way to insert symbols into documents. The only problem is that you have to remember some shortcodes that are rarely used. You can save your Notepad document to your desktop at any time for easy reference. Fortunately, with this method, you only need to click the key combination to insert the degree symbol anywhere in the Word document.
The downside to this method is that if your laptop keyboard does not have a number pad, it may not work for you. Desktop computers are equipped with a number pad, but due to space limitations, most laptops have abandoned the number pad.
To insert the degree sign, simply follow these two steps:
1. Select where you want to insert the degree symbol in Microsoft Word.
2. While holding down the Alt key, use the keypad to type “0176.” Release the Alt key, and the degree sign will appear.
Note: for this method to work, the Num Lock on your keyboard MUST be OFF. If it’s ON, the keyboard will not accept numerical input.
If you’d like to know how to insert other symbols using this method, Alt Codes lists most every symbol code.
For macOS, use this keyboard shortcut instead: Option + Shift + 8. Option + K gives you a slightly different degree symbol, so try both to see which looks best for your needs.
Linux uses Unicode versus Alt Codes: Ctrl + Shift + U followed by 00B0. Hit Enter and the degree symbol will appear.
3. Use the Symbol Menu in Word
Microsoft Word and Libre Office have a built-in special characters menu that you can use to insert degree symbols. To access the symbols menu in Word, just follow these steps:
1. Select the “Insert” tab and navigate to the “Symbols” section towards the far-right end of the screen. Click the “Symbols” icon, and you should see a list of the most common or recently used symbols.
2. Click the “More Symbols” option and a rectangular grid with a full list of many different symbols will open. Locate the degree sign and click on it. You’ll also be able to see a description of the degree symbol you’ve highlighted just above the “AutoCorrect” button.
3. Move the cursor to the position in the Word document where you want to insert the degree symbol, and then click the “Insert” button on the character menu. Now whenever you open the symbols menu, you should see the degree symbol in the list of recently used symbols. This method can save you time because you will never have to repeat the process again.
If you use Word for macOS, it should have the same functionality.
4. Use Character Map
To use this method, follow the steps below. I use Windows 10, but it can also run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.
1. Open the start menu and type “character map” in the search box. Press the Enter key. This will search for a character mapper in your computer.
2. Double-click the Character Map desktop app that will appear to open the program. Here you’ll find a list of symbols and characters.
3. At the bottom of the program, you should see the “Advanced View” box. Click to view. If it is already selected, skip this step. The essence of ticking the checkbox is to be able to easily find the degree symbol in a list of more than one hundred symbols.
4. Now it is easy to find the degree symbol. As shown in the figure below, type “degrees” in the search box, and then click the search button, all other symbols will be deleted, leaving only the degree.
5. Double-click on the degree symbol and then click “Copy.” Go to the Word document you want to insert and click Ctrl + V to paste it. You can use the same process to insert any other special characters in Word or web pages.
For macOS users, it has a similar feature called Character Viewer. Use Control + Command + Space to open the viewer. You can insert accent marks, special characters, emoticons, and mathematical symbols.
Once you know how to insert the degree symbol into Microsoft Word, it only takes a few seconds. No matter which method you prefer, you can finally skip typing “degrees” and insert symbols. In addition, once you learn how to do this, you can also insert other types of symbols.