Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Entering a Degree Sign.

Entering a Degree Sign

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 12, 2022)

8

Beverly knows that she can add a temperature degree symbol to her document by using the Symbol dialog box. She wonders, though, if there is a keyboard shortcut for adding the symbol. The shortcut would make typing much faster and easier.

When you display the Symbol dialog box and select the character you want to insert (in this case the degree symbol), you should see some information about the character at the bottom of the dialog box. In this case, you see the value 176 (the ASCII value for the degree symbol) or 00B0 (the Unicode value for the degree symbol, in hexadecimal). You should also see a shortcut for the symbol which is "ALT+0176" (without the quote marks). This information provides two ways you can use the keyboard to enter the degree symbol.

The first way is to use the ASCII value to enter the character. Just press ALT+0176 and then press the spacebar. Bingo! The degree symbol appears in your document.

You could also use the Unicode value to enter the character. Type 00B0 (although you can leave off the leading zeroes) and then press Alt+X.

If you choose to go the route of using the Unicode value, you should understand that what you have before the code is important. If you have some other number immediately before the code (especially if you shorten the code to B0), Word gets confused because it can't tell if the preceding number is part of the code or not. The solution is to put a space before the code and then delete it afterward.

If you don't want to use one of these methods to enter the degree symbol, you could also create your own shortcut. Display the Symbol dialog box, select the degree symbol, and then click the Shortcut Key button. Word then lets you decide which shortcut you want to use.

Another approach is to create an AutoCorrect entry for the degree symbol. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Proofing.
  3. Click the AutoCorrect Options button. Word displays the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  5. In the Replace box, enter a mnemonic you want to use, such as "<o>" (without the quote marks).
  6. With the insertion point in the With box, hold down the Alt key as you type 0176 on the numeric keypad.
  7. Click on Add. Your new AutoCorrect definition is added to those already maintained by Word.
  8. Click on OK.

Now, whenever you want a degree symbol all you need to do is type your mnemonic (the one you entered in step 4) and when you press the spacebar Word expands it to your degree symbol.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7719) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Entering a Degree Sign.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is two less than 7?

2020-12-07 12:00:02

Andrew

Or you can bind the symbol directly to a keystroke, e.g., ALT-D, like this

KeyBindings.Add KeyCode:=BuildKeyCode(wdKeyD, wdKeyAlt), KeyCategory:=wdKeyCategorySymbol, Command:=Chr(176) & "Symbol"

Make this the body of a macro or enter it directly into the immediate window in VBA.

Andy.


2020-12-05 16:53:27

Mac Turned Dell

if it takes me 5 buttons to type in a symbol then it's easier to copy it from wikipedia. I don't know who invented the "alt codes" for stuff but let's figure something else out, Windows.


2019-09-23 16:28:39

Erick Zind

Do you not include instructions for Mac users in your tips?


On Mac: Using keyboard shortcuts : OPTION + SHIFT + 8

The other way: Also, suppose you forgot keyboard shortcuts. Now press CONTROL + COMMAND + SPACE right away from the keyboard. The symbol manager will then open. Just type the expression you want in the top search bar. When we enter in "degree", we will show the necessary results. You can now access all math symbols.

Source: https://www.degree-symbol.com/article/degree-symbol-on-mac


2018-09-19 13:17:10

Ratib Baker

In Word the fastest way is to type CTRL+@(shift+2) and then the Space Bar.
Another way is to create an autocorrect for an unused combination such as (o) or (0)
Note that with ALT+0172 and ALT+248, you must use the keypad with NUMLOCK on, you cannot use it with the number keys on top of the keyboard. The Degree symbol should appear when you release the ALT key, you do not have to hit the Space Bar. On laptops using the ALT+FN+0176 (or 248) may work using the alternate keypad built into the keyboard.


2018-03-05 11:23:37

CB

Used to be for ASCII, you needed to hold the Alt key down while you typed digits on the numeric keypad, and symbol would appear when you released the Alt key. With ALT plus top row digits, I get a Word menu.


2018-03-03 13:44:48

Penny Edwards

You can also just use the letter "o" (lowercase) and superscript it. You have a button on the Home tab for superscript or use Ctrl Shift +. Take this a step further. Create your temperature by superscripting the "o" to get the degree sign, highlight the degree sign and temperature symbol and save this as an autocorrect entry. Make sure you select formatted text in the With box. Now whenever you type the temperature, just type 25oC (or whatever the temperature is) and Word will take care of the superscript for you.


2018-03-03 04:54:53

aussieii

For me Alt+0176 is ok in notepad but not in MS word. This requires Alt+248 which displays ° also in wordpad. I'll stick with Alt+248 unless someone comes up with a reason not to.


2018-03-03 04:23:55

John Fleet

Do you not include instructions for Mac users in your tips?


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