Special Characters

Special Characters

How do you insert special characters into your document?

Using character maps, we are going to show you how to insert special characters in to Word for Windows, Word for the Mac, Apple Pages, and Google Docs.

Word for Windows

First you must locate and open the character map for your fonts.

To open Character Map:

  • In Windows 10: Type “character” in the search box on the task bar, and choose Character Map from the results.
  • In Windows 8: Search for the word “character” on the Start screen and choose Character Map from the results.
  • In Windows 7: Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Character Map.

Special Characters

Once you have found the character map, click the character you want, click Select, click the right mouse button in your document where you want the character, and then click Paste.

Word for the Mac

How to open the Character Map on Mac?

  • In macOS 12 Monterey or earlier, go to  > System Preferences > Keyboard, choose the Input Sources tab, and check “Show Input menu in menu bar”: Emoji & Symbols is one choice.
  • In macOS 13 Ventura or later, go to  > System Settings > Keyboard, click Edit next to Input Sources (under Text Input), and enable “Show Input menu in menu bar.”

You might first see the Emoji & Symbols viewer.

Mac emojis characters

When it first appears, the viewer might be in an abbreviated form that emphasizes emojis and shows links along the bottom. If so, click the palette icon in the upper-right corner to expand it into the larger Character Viewer.

punctuation characters

Place your cursor where you want the character in the document and double click on the character. Voilà!

Apple Pages

Apple Pages makes it easy to add accents or diacritical marks to you document.

When you type a letter that needs an accent or other diacritical mark, hold down that key on the keyboard to display an accent menu.
If the key doesn’t have any possible diacritical marks, the menu isn’t shown.

In the menu, click the character you want to use.
You can also press the number key shown for a mark or use the arrow keys to cycle through the marks, then press the Space bar to select one.

 Pages does have a character viewer

You can use the Character Viewer to add special characters and symbols to text, such as math symbols, Latin characters, and pictographs.

Click in the text where you want to place the character, then choose Edit > Emoji & Symbols (or press Control-Command-Space bar).

The Character Viewer appears where you clicked. You can drag it to the desktop if you want to keep it open as you work.

Google Docs

Insert special characters

  1. On your computer, open Google Docs or Slides.You can’t insert special characters directly in Google Sheets.
  2. Open or create a document or presentation.
  3. At the top, click Insert  Special characters.
  4. Google Docs menu
  5. Find the character you want to insert:
    • Pick from categories.
    • Enter the character’s Unicode value.
    • In the box on the right, write the character.
  6. Google Docs Special Characters
  7. To add a character to your file, click it.
  8. Optional: If you want to add the special character to a spreadsheet, copy it and paste it in a cell on the sheet.

Once you know where to find the special characters in your word processor, you’ll be adding symbols and arrows all over your document!

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