Insert the Sigma Symbol in Word Documents (Upper or Lower Case)

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated September 30, 2021

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

You can insert or type the Sigma symbol in Word documents in several ways. The Greek Sigma symbol can be entered in upper case (Σ) or lower case (σ) using built-in commands or keyboard shortcuts (including Alt codes, AutoCorrect entries or custom shortcuts). Sigma is the 18th letter in the Greek alphabet and is comparable to the letter S. The upper case Sigma is used in math for sum and the lower case Sigma is used in statistics for standard deviation.

In this article, we’ll look at 6 ways to insert the Sigma 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 Sigma symbol using Insert Symbol

To insert the Sigma symbol using Insert Symbol:

  1. Position the cursor in the document where you want to insert the Sigma 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 Sigma symbol.
  8. Click Insert.
  9. Click Close.

The Insert Symbol dialog box displays the Sigma symbol (Σ or σ) when you select normal text as the font and Greek and Coptic from the Subset menu:

Insert Symbol dialog box in Word with Sigma selected.

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

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

  • Press Alt + 229 to enter lower case Sigma (σ)
  • Press Alt + 228 to enter upper case or capital letter Sigma (Σ)

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 Sigma

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

To create your own keyboard shortcut for Sigma:

  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 Sigma 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 + 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.

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.

The Customize Keyboard dialog box appears as follows:

Customize keyboard dialog box in Word to insert Sigma.

4. Inserting the Sigma 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 “s” or “S”, Word enters Sigma 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 Sigma symbol Using AutoCorrect for Math

Another way to insert the Sigma symbol is to turn on the Math AutoCorrect ourside of math regions and then type specific sequences to insert the symbol in your Word document (outside of equation blocks).

To turn on AutoCorrect for Math to use in all areas in Word:

  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 Sigma, type \sigma or \Sigma and then press the Spacebar.

6. Entering the Sigma symbol in equation blocks or placeholders

To enter the Sigma 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 \sigma or \Sigma) and then press the Spacebar.

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

You can enter other Greek characters using the same tools.

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Summary
How to Insert or Type the Sigma Symbol in Word (Σ or σ)
Article Name
How to Insert or Type the Sigma Symbol in Word (Σ or σ)
Description
You can insert or type the Sigma symbol in Word documents in several ways. The Greek Sigma symbol can be entered in upper case (Σ) or lower case (σ) using built-in commands or keyboard shortcuts (including Alt codes, AutoCorrect entries or custom shortcuts). Sigma is the 18th letter in the Greek alphabet and is comparable to the letter S. The upper case Sigma is used in math for sum and the lower case Sigma is used in statistics for standard deviation.
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Publisher Name
Avantix Learning

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