How to insert the degree symbol in Microsoft Word

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Sometimes you may want to insert the degree symbol in Microsoft Word to show the temperature readings instead of typing the word "degrees". However, this may not be as easy as it sounds as you won't find the degree symbol on the keyboard.

Insert the degree symbol in Microsoft Word

You can simply copy it from a web page and paste it wherever you want, in our case in Word. However, it is much easier to use the keyboard. There are actually several great ways to do this.



Use the keyboard shortcut

Keyboard shortcuts are usually the easiest way to enter most symbols. The only problem is that you will have to remember some shortcodes. You can always keep a Notepad document on your desktop for easy reference. Fortunately, with this method, you just need to press a key combination to insert the degree sign anywhere in a Word document.

The downside to this method is that it may not work if your laptop keyboard doesn't have a numeric keypad. Desktop models come with a numeric keypad, but most laptops forgo the numeric keypad due to space constraints.

To enter the degree sign, simply follow these two steps:

Select where you want to insert the degree symbol in Microsoft Word.

While holding the Alt key, use the keyboard to type “0176”. Release the Alt key and the degree sign will appear.

Note: Num Lock on the keyboard MUST be set to OFF for this method to work. If it is ON, the keyboard will not accept numeric input.

If you want to know how to insert other symbols using this method, list most of the symbol codes.



Use the symbol menu in Word

Microsoft Word and Libre Office come with a built-in special character menu that you can use to insert the graduation mark. To access the symbol menu in Word, just follow the steps below:

  • Select the "Insert" tab and go to the "Symbols" section towards the right end of the screen. Click on the "Symbols" icon and you should see a list of the most common or recently used symbols.
  • Click on the “More Symbols” option and a rectangular grid will open with a complete list of many different symbols that you can use. Locate the graduation sign and click on it. You will also be able to see a description of the rank symbol that you highlighted just above the "AutoCorrect" button.
  • Move the cursor to where you want to insert the degree mark in your Word document, then click the "Insert" button in the character menu. Now whenever you open the Symbols menu, you should see the degree sign in the list of recently used symbols. This method can save you time, as you will never have to repeat this process again.

Use character map

To use this method, follow the steps below. I've used Windows 10, but it can also work on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

  • Open the Start menu and type "Character Map" in the search box. Hit enter. This searches your computer for the Character Map program.
  • Double-click on the Character Map desktop app that will be populated. This will open the program. Here you will find a list of numerous symbols and characters.
  • At the bottom of the program, you should see the "Advanced View" box. Click to verify it. Skip this step if it is already selected. The essence of checking the box is being able to easily find the grade mark from a list of over one hundred symbols.
  • Now it will be easy to spot the graduation mark. Type "graduation mark" in the search box as illustrated below, then click the search button and all other symbols will be cleared, leaving only the degree mark.
  • Double click on the graduation mark, then click "Copy". Go to the Word document you want to insert it into and click Ctrl + V to paste it. You can use the same procedure to insert any other special character into Word or a web page.
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