Insert the Alpha Symbol in Word Documents

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated May 15, 2021

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

You can insert or type the Alpha (α or Α) symbol in Word documents in several ways. The Greek Alpha symbol can be entered as a capital or lower case.

In this article, we’ll look at 6 ways to insert the Alpha symbol:

  1. Use the Insert Symbol command in the Ribbon
  2. Press Alt and then type a number sequence
  3. Assign custom 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 the Alpha symbol using Insert Symbol

To insert the Alpha symbol using Insert Symbol:

  1. Position the cursor in the document where you want to insert the Alpha symbol.
  2. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Symbols group, select 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. You could also select the Symbol font.
  7. Click the Alpha symbol.
  8. Click Insert.
  9. Click Close.

The Insert Symbol dialog box displays the Alpha symbol (α or Α) when you select normal text as the font and Greek and Coptic as the subset:

Alpha symbol in Insert Symbol dialog box in Word.

2. Using an Alt keyboard shortcut to insert the Alpha symbol

You can press the Alt key in combination with numbers on the numeric keypad to insert the Alpha symbol:

  • Press Alt + 224 to enter lower case Alpha (α).
  • Press Alt + 913 to enter capital letter Alpha (Α)

If the sequence doesn’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.

3. Creating a custom keyboard shortcut for Alpha

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

To create your own keyboard shortcut for Alpha:

  1. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
  2. In the Symbols group, click Symbol. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select More Symbols. A dialog box appears.
  4. If necessary, click the Symbols tab.
  5. 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.
  6. Click the Alpha symbol.
  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 + Shift + A). 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.

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 the Alpha symbol 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” or “A”, Word enters Alpha in lower case or upper case. Note that this works for one character only and then the font changes back to the normal font.

5. Inserting the Alpha symbol Using AutoCorrect for Math

Another way to insert the Alpha symbol is to turn on the Math AutoCorrect option and then type specific sequences to insert the 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.
  8. To enter Alpha, type \alpha or \Alpha and then press the Spacebar.

The Math AutoCorrect options appear as follows:

Math Autocorrect options in Word to insert the Alpha symbol.

6. Entering the Alpha symbol in equation blocks or placeholders

To enter the Alpha symbol 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 also 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 \alpha or \Alpha) and then press the Spacebar.

Below is a new equation block or placeholder:

Equation placeholder in Word document.

When you are in an equation block, you can also click the Equation tab in the Ribbon and select the Alpha symbol 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 Alpha symbol.

You can enter other Greek characters using the same tools.

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Summary
How to Insert or Type the Alpha Symbol in Word (α)
Article Name
How to Insert or Type the Alpha Symbol in Word (α)
Description
You can insert or type the Alpha (α or Α) symbol in Word documents in several ways. The Greek Alpha symbol can be entered as a capital or lower case.
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Avantix Learning

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