Sometimes while working on a spreadsheet, you may want to insert special characters or symbols.
From copyright symbols to plain checkmarks, using these can add variety to your spreadsheet and make things stand out.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to insert symbols in Google Sheets.
How to Insert Symbol In Google Sheets?
To insert a symbol in Google Sheets, use the Unicode of the desired symbol as an argument in the CHAR function. For example, entering =CHAR(9742) in a cell will insert a telephone symbol in the spreadsheet.
01. Insert Special Character Using The Character Map
The first and most common way to insert special character in Google Sheets is to use the windows character map feature.
Here’s how it works:
- To begin, go to the Start menu on your Windows PC, search for Character Map and then launch the app.
- You’ll get a pop-up panel showing a bunch of special characters for a specific font.
- Click on one of the special characters or symbol that you want to use in your spreadsheet and then click on the Select button. They’ll appear in the “Characters to copy” field.
- Once you’ve selected the desired characters, click on the Copy button to copy the characters to the clipboard.
- Finally, open the Google spreadsheet, select the cell where you want to insert the special character and press Ctrl + V button.
02. Insert Symbols using Google Docs
If you don’t want to use the Windows Character Map to insert symbols, you can utilize the Google Docs native character map feature.
Here’s how it works:
- Open a Google Docs document and go to the Insert menu and then select Special Characters from the drop-down menu items.
- The Special Characters dialog box will appear with two dropdown menus to select category and subcategory of special characters. To change the type of symbol, click on the drop-down box under Symbol and from there you can choose from a variety of symbol types such as Symbol, Emoji, Punctuation, numbers, and more.
- Next, click on your desired character to insert it into your Google Docs document.
- Once you’ve the desired character in Google Docs document, Just copy and paste it into your spreadsheet,
03. Insert Special Characters using Add-ons
Does the above copy-pasting method sound like a lot of work to you?
You can utilize a Google Sheets add-on to directly insert special characters in Google spreadsheet.
Here’s how it works:
- Open a Google spreadsheet and go to Extensions > Add-ons > Get add-ons
- Search for Special Characters from the search bar appearing at top.
- Click on the add-on by hdas49 appearing in the search result.
- Click on the Install button and follow the install prompts to complete the installation process.
- Once the add-on is installed, navigate to Extensions > Add-ons > Special Character and click on Insert
- This will open the special character pane in the right side.
- Just select a cell and click on the desired special character to insert it into your spreadsheet.
04. Insert Symbol using Alt Code
Do you know all symbols or special characters have designated alt key codes?
So, if you have a numeric keyboard, you can use the Alt code to insert symbols in Google Sheets.
All you need to do is hold the Alt key and then type the code. For example, Alt + 3 will insert the ‘heart’ symbol.
Now you must be wondering how will I remember the alt-code of each special character.
Well, you can just do a quick search on Google for your desired character or visit a site like this to find the alt-code of all characters in one place.
05. Insert Symbols Using CHAR function
Just like alt code, all special characters or symbols also have an associated Unicode.
You just need to use the Unicode as the argument in the CHAR function to insert a particular symbol.
For example, using the Unicode ‘9742’ in the CHAR function will insert the ‘telephone’ symbol in the spreadsheet.
You can refer to this GitHub page to find Unicode for different symbols.
Final Thought on Inserting Symbols in Google Sheets:
Although Google Sheets has yet not introduced a native feature to insert special characters like MS Excel, still the above workarounds are quite easy and straightforward.
Do you have any questions about how to insert symbols in Google Sheets? Comment down below.