How to Type Special Characters in Word (Lesson 1.5)

When writing a document with a text editing software we often need characters like €, @, µ. Watch the video to learn how to type special characters like that in Word.

Note: Under the video, you will find a written step-by-step solution

Video instructions

In this video you will learn how to enter text in Word and I will show you some basics about formatting. Entering text in Word is really straight forward. Just hit the keys on your keyboard and the characters will appear in your document. On some keys of your keyboard you will see more than one character.

Second Level Characters

On an american keyboard for example your number 1 key should look like this. So, when you press it, the number 1 will be shown in the document. But what if you want to type the exclamation mark instead? Then you just need to hold the “Shift” key down and THEN press the number 1 key.

Third Level Characters

Now, there might be also keys that looks like the number 4 key, where an additional character is located in the bottom right corner. To access that character, you will need to hold down the “CTRL” key AND the “ALT” key and then press the number 4 key. By now you know how to enter characters, numbers and also special characters, so let’s look at the basics of formatting. 

Line Break and Paragraph Break

When we type something in Word, we will reach the right margin of the document at a certain point. When we reach this margin, we don’t have to do anything to continue in the next line. Word will automatically switch to the next line. But let’s say that you intentionally want to start in the next line. Then you have 2 options. The first option is, that you hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard. This is called a hard return. Like this, Word will know that you want to start a whole new paragraph and the program will insert a little space between the preceding and the newly created paragraph. If you don’t want to separate your text into 2 paragraphs you can simply hold down the “Shift” key and THEN press the “Enter” key. This is a so called soft return and your text will not be split up into 2 paragraphs.


Text instructions

How to Enter Special Characters in Word

  1. To enter a second-level character, hold down the Shift key while pressing the primary key (e.g.: hold down Shift and press 1 to type an exclamation mark on an american keyboard)
  2. To enter a third-level character, hold down the CTRL key and also the ALT key while pressing the primary key (e.g.: hold down Shift and Alt and press 4 to type “€” on an american keyboard)

Tip: Not all special characters are available through the keyboard. For more special characters go to Insert > Symbols, click on Symbol and then on More Symbols… In the Font drop-down scroll to the top and select (normal text) to get a list of very common symbols.