Insert or Type Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, Omega, Pi, Sigma, Theta and Other Greek Symbols in Word Documents

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated May 8, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2013, 2016, 2019 or 365 (Windows)

You can enter Greek letters or symbols (such as Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, Omega, Pi, Sigma or Theta) in Microsoft Word documents in several ways.

In this article, we'll look at 6 ways to insert Greek symbols:

  1. Use the Insert Symbol command
  2. Press Alt and then enter a number sequence
  3. Assign your own keyboard shortcuts
  4. Use the Symbol font and press the corresponding letter on the keyboard
  5. Use Math AutoCorrect
  6. Type AutoCorrect entries in an equation block or placeholder

Recommended article: How to Hide Comments in Word (or Display Them)

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1. Inserting Greek symbols using Insert Symbol

To insert Greek symbols using Insert Symbol:

  1. Click in the document where you want to insert the Greek symbol.
  2. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Symbols group, click Symbol. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Click More Symbols. A dialog box appears.
  5. If necessary, click the Symbols tab.
  6. Select (normal text) from the Font drop-down menu and then Greek and Coptic from the Subset menu. Alternatively, you could select the Symbol font.
  7. Click the symbol or letter you want to use.
  8. Click Insert.
  9. Click Close.

The Insert Symbol dialog box displays Greek letters or symbols when you select normal text as the font and Greek and Coptic as the subset:

Insert symbol dialog box for entering Greek characters in Microsoft Word.

2. Using Alt keyboard shortcuts to insert Greek symbols

You can press the Alt key in combination with numbers on the numeric keypad to insert Greek symbols.

Press and hold Alt and then enter number sequences on the numeric keypad to enter the following:

α (Alpha) – Alt + 224
ß (Beta) – Alt + 225
Γ (Gamma) – Alt + 226
Δ (Upper case Delta) – Alt + 916
δ (Lower case Delta) – Alt + 235
ε (Epsilon) – Alt + 238
Θ (Theta) – Alt + 233
π (Pi) – Alt + 227
µ (Mu) – Alt + 230
Σ (Upper case Sigma) – Alt + 228
σ (Lower case Sigma) – Alt + 229
τ (Tau) – Alt + 231
Φ (Upper case Phi) – Alt + 232
φ (Lower case Phi) – Alt + 237
Ω (Omega) – Alt + 234

If these sequences don't work, press the NumLock key on the numeric keypad.

If you don't have a numeric keypad, you may be able to press the Fn key and access the numbers at the top of your keyboard.

In the Insert Symbol dialog box, Alt keyboard shortcuts are also displayed for each character at the bottom. The Unicode (hex) sequences listed in the dialog box are entered differently. In the document, press the indicated keys (using the numeric keypad) and then press Alt + X.

Note the number sequence at the bottom of the dialog box:

Character code shortcuts for inserting Greek symbols in Microsoft Word.

3. Creating your own keyboard shortcuts for Greek symbols

You can also create your own keyboard shortcuts for Greek symbols. The easiest method is to access Shortcuts using the Insert Symbol dialog box.

To create your own keyboard shortcut for a Greek symbol:

  1. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
  2. In the Symbols group, click Symbol. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Click More Symbols. A dialog box appears.
  4. If necessary, click the Symbols tab.
  5. Select Symbol from the Font drop-down menu.
  6. Click the symbol or letter you want to use.
  7. Click Shortcut. A dialog box appears.
  8. Click in the Press new shortcut key box.
  9. Press the keys you want to use (for example, press Ctrl + Alt + S). If the keyboard shortcut is assigned to another command, Word will display it so you can decide if you want replace it.
  10. Click Assign.
  11. Click Close twice.

To insert the character, press the keys you assigned.

The following dialog box appears when you click Shortcut in the Symbol dialog box:

Assign shortcut dialog box in Microsoft Word to assign shortcuts to insert Greek symbols.

These shortcuts are typically saved in the Normal (default) template. When you close Word, you should be prompted to save the Normal template. Be sure to click Save.

4. Inserting Greek symbols by switching to the Symbol font

You can use the Symbol font to insert Greek letters or symbols in Word documents.

To insert letters or symbols using the Symbol font:

  1. Click in the location in the document where you want to insert the letter or symbol.
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + Q to switch to the Symbol font.
  3. Type the character to insert the required letter or symbol.

The Greek characters correspond to standard characters. For example, if you type "a", Word enters the corresponding Greek lowercase letter. Note that this works for one character only and then the font changes back to the normal font.

5. Inserting Greek symbols Using AutoCorrect for Math

Another way to insert Greek symbols is to turn on the Math AutoCorrect option and then type specific sequences to insert the required symbol.

To turn on AutoCorrect for Math:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Options. A dialog box appears.
  3. In the categories on the left, click Proofing.
  4. Click AutoCorrect Options in the pane on the right. A dialog box appears.
  5. Click the Math AutoCorrect tab.
  6. Select or check Use Math AutoCorrect rules outside of math regions.
  7. Click OK twice.

The Math AutoCorrect options appear as follows:

Math AutoCorrect dialog box in Microsoft Word.

Once you have enabled this option, you can type the names of symbols preceded by a backslash (\) both in the document and in an equation block. For example, type \lambda and then press the Spacebar to enter λ. To enter a Greek capital letter, use the same method but start with a capital letter (such as \Lambda).

6. Entering Greek symbols in equation blocks or placeholders

To enter Greek symbols in an equation block or placeholder:

  1. Click in the document where you want to enter an equation.
  2. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Symbols group, click Equation to insert a new equation block or placeholder. Alternatively, type Alt + equal sign (=). You can use an existing equation block or placeholder.
  4. Click in the equation block or placeholder and type a backslash (\) plus the name of the symbol (such as \lambda) and then press the spacebar. To enter a Greek capital letter, use the same method but start with a capital letter (such as \Lambda).

Below is a new equation block or placeholder:

New equation block or placeholder in Microsoft Word.

In the following example, an AutoCorrect entry has been entered with the name of a symbol (but the user has not yet pressed the Spacebar):

Greek symbol name entered in an equation block or placeholder.

When you are in an equation block, you can also click the Equation tab in the Ribbon and select Greek Letters in the Symbols group:

  1. Click in an equation block or placeholder.
  2. Click the Equation tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click the More arrow on the bottom right of the Symbols gallery.
  4. At the top of the Symbols gallery, select the drop-down menu (typically, this displays Basic Math).
  5. Select Greek Letters from the drop-down menu.
  6. Click the desired Greek symbol.

These methods are easy to use and it's up to you which method you prefer.

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Summary
How to Insert Greek Letters or Symbols in Word (6 Ways)
Article Name
How to Insert Greek Letters or Symbols in Word (6 Ways)
Description
You can enter Greek letters or symbols (such as Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, Omega, Pi, Sigma or Theta) in Microsoft Word documents in several ways. In this article, we’ll look at different ways to insert Greek symbols.
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Avantix Learning

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