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: Typing Pronunciations of Words.

Typing Pronunciations of Words

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 27, 2021)

When Roger looks at the pronunciation of words in a dictionary, he sees marks over letters to show which sounds are long or short. He wonders how to type out these types of characters to show pronunciation within his documents.

Those marks are collectively called diacritical marks. Each individual mark has a name, as well. For instance, the mark to indicate a long-sounding vowel is called a macron and the one to indicate a short-sounding vowel is called a breve. Besides being used to indicate how vowels should sound, marks can also be used to show emphasis and break up syllables.

The easiest way to insert diacritical marks is to use the Symbol dialog box. You display this dialog box by displaying the Insert tab of the ribbon, clicking the Symbol tool in the Symbols group, and then clicking More Symbols. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Symbol dialog box.

Once you have the Symbol dialog box displayed, you may need to search around for the characters you want, but for most fonts they are all there. If you find that there are some symbols that you use quite a bit, you can click the Shortcut Key button in the Symbol dialog box and specify a shortcut key to enter the character. You could, if you prefer, also create a macro to insert them.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13170) 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: Typing Pronunciations of Words.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Pulling Formulas from a Worksheet

The formulas in your worksheet can be displayed (instead of formula results) by a simple configuration change. You can ...

Discover More

Using the Status Bar

When developing a macro, you may want to display on the status bar what the macro is doing. Here's how to use this ...

Discover More

Can't Find or Delete a Style

Using the shortcuts available in the Styles pane to select text can be very helpful. It may, however, be quite ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Adding an Optional Break

The no-width optional break is primarily used for Asian languages in Word. It can have value for English-speakers, as ...

Discover More

Sticking with the Dashes

By default, dashes don't "stick" to the text that follows them. Here's one way around this normal formatting convention.

Discover More

Replacing Random Text with Your Own Text

Word includes a little-known function that allows you to put "filler text" into your document. If you want this function ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven less than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.