How to use symbols in word 2013

In Word, you can insert mathematical symbols into equations or text by using the equation tools.

On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click the arrow under Equation, and then click Insert New Equation.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Under Equation Tools, on the Design tab, in the Symbols group, click the More arrow.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Click the arrow next to the name of the symbol set, and then select the symbol set that you want to display.

Click the symbol that you want to insert.

Available symbol sets

The following mathematical symbol sets are available in the Symbols group in Word. After clicking the More arrow, click the menu at the top of the symbols list to see each grouping of symbols.

Commonly used mathematical symbols, such as > and <

Lowercase letters from the Greek alphabet

Uppercase letters from the Greek alphabet

Symbols that resemble letters

Common Binary Operators

Symbols that act on two quantities, such as + and ÷

Common Relational Operators

Symbols that express a relationship between two expressions, such as = and

You can easily insert a special character, fraction, or other symbol in your Word documents.

The most important thing to understand when inserting symbols, fractions, special characters, or international characters is that the font you use is critical. Not all fonts have the same characters in them. For example, the Elephant font has no fraction characters in it, while Verdana does. As a result it’s important to use the right font to find the symbol or character you want.

These marks are static symbols. If you’re looking for an interactive check box that you can click on to check or uncheck, see Make a checklist in Word.

Symbol such as currency (¥), music (♫), or check marks (✔)

Place your cursor in the file at the spot where you want to insert the symbol.

Go to Insert > Symbol.

Pick a symbol, or choose More Symbols.

Scroll up or down to find the symbol you want to insert.

Different font sets often have different symbols in them and the most commonly used symbols are in the Segoe UI Symbol font set. Use the Font selector above the symbol list to pick the font you want to browse through.

When you find the symbol you want, double-click it. The symbol will be inserted in your file.

Select Close.

Tip: If you want to make your symbol larger or smaller, select it and use the Font Size setting.

If you’re going to insert the same symbol often, consider setting up AutoCorrect to insert it for you. You can find more info about that here: Insert a check mark or other symbol using AutoCorrect.

Click or tap where you want to insert the special character.

Go to Insert > Symbol > More Symbols.

Go to Special Characters.

Double-click the character that you want to insert.

Select Close.

Some fractions (1/4, 1/2, and 3/4) automatically switch to a fraction character (¼, ½, ¾) when you type them. But others do not (1/3, 2/3, 1/5, etc.) so if you want to insert those as symbols you’ll need to use the insert symbol process.

Click or tapwhere you want to insert the fraction.

Go to Insert > Symbol > More Symbols.

In the Subset dropdown, choose Number Forms.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Note: Not all fonts have a number forms subset. If you don’t see the number forms subset available for your font you will have to use a different font, such as Calibri, to insert the fraction character.

Double-click the fraction that you want to insert.

Select Close.

Only a handful of common fractions have a symbol that you can substitute. For more unusual fractions, such as 8/9, you can approximate the symbol by setting the numerator as superscript and the denominator as subscript. For more information see Insert subscript or superscript text.

If you plan to type in other languages often you should consider switching your keyboard layout to that language. You can find more information about that at Enable or change a keyboard layout language.

For one-off characters there are almost always keyboard shortcuts in Office to do that. For example:

CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+? inserts a ¿

followed immediately by “a” will insert ã.

CTRL+SHIFT+: followed immediately by “u” will insert ü.

You can also use the character code of the symbol as a keyboard shortcut. Symbols and special characters are either inserted using ASCII or Unicode codes. You can tell which is which when you look up the code for the character.

Go to Insert >Symbol > More Symbols.

Scroll up or down the list to find the symbol you want. You might have to change the font or the subset to locate it.

Tip: The Segoe UI Symbol font has a very large collection of Unicode symbols to choose from.

Towards the bottom right you’ll see boxes for Character code and a from:. The character code is what you’ll enter to insert this symbol from the keyboard and the from: tells you what kind of character it is. If from: says “Unicode (hex)” it’s a Unicode character. If from: says “Symbol (Decimal)” then it’s an ASCII character.

ASCII and Unicode information and character tables

For more info about using ASCII or Unicode characters, see Insert ASCII or Unicode character codes.

Lori Kaufman
How to use symbols in word 2013Lori Kaufman
Writer

Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She’s been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business. Read more.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Hundreds of symbols that are not available on your keyboard are provided in Microsoft Word for use in your documents. For example, you can insert fractions (½), a degree symbol (°), pi (π), or currency symbols, such as the British pound symbol (£).

There’s a set of symbols and characters for each font set.

To insert a symbol, place the cursor in your Word document where you want the symbol and click the Insert tab on the Ribbon.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Click the Symbol button in the Symbols section of the Insert tab and select More Symbols.

How to use symbols in word 2013

On the Symbol dialog box, select the font from which you want to select a symbol from the Font drop-down list.

How to use symbols in word 2013

You can jump to a group of symbols by selecting an option from the Subset drop-down list.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Select the desired symbol by clicking on it and then click Insert.

How to use symbols in word 2013

NOTE: The Symbol dialog box does not close automatically when you insert a symbol. This allows you to insert more than one symbol at a time. If you are finished inserting symbols, click Close.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Symbols you recently inserted into your Word document are listed under Recently used symbols. This is useful if you insert the same symbols often.

Each symbol has a built-in shortcut key code assigned by Microsoft. However, these are not easy to remember unless you make yourself a cheat sheet. You can assign easy-to-remember shortcut keys to symbols you insert often so you don’t have to open the Symbol dialog box every time, or remember multiple number codes.

How to use symbols in word 2013

There are two ways you can assign shortcut keys to symbols. One method involves right-clicking on a section title on any tab on the Ribbon and selecting Customize Ribbon from the popup menu.

How to use symbols in word 2013

On the Customize Ribbon screen on the Word Options dialog box, click Customize next to Keyboard shortcuts below the list of commands on the left side.

How to use symbols in word 2013

On the Customize Keyboard dialog box, scroll down to the bottom of the Categories list and select Common Symbols. Then, select the symbol to which you want to apply a shortcut key in the Common Symbols list. Click in the Press new shortcut key edit box and press the keys for the shortcut you want. Click Assign. The shortcut key is added to the Current keys box.

The Customize Keyboard dialog box does not close automatically when you a assign a shortcut key. To close the dialog box, click Close.

NOTE: For more information about assigning shortcut keys in Word, see our article.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Click OK on the Word Options dialog box to close it.

How to use symbols in word 2013

You can also assign a shortcut key from the Symbol dialog box by clicking the Shortcut Key button.

How to use symbols in word 2013

This gives you direct access to the Customize Keyboard dialog box where you can assign a shortcut key to the selected symbol as described above. For this method, the only symbol available on the Customize Keyboard dialog box is the one selected on the Symbol dialog box.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Again, when you have assigned the shortcut key(s) to the symbol, click Close.

How to use symbols in word 2013

The Symbol dialog box also allows you to insert additional characters and symbols using the Special Characters tab, such as the special types of spaces, dashes, and hyphens. To insert a special character, select the desired character and click Insert.

You can also assign or change shortcut keys for special characters using the Shortcut Key button.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Assign shortcut keys on the Customize Keyboard dialog box as previously described.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Check out the three Wingdings fonts in the Symbol dialog box for some useful symbols, characters, and small images.

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How to use symbols in word 2013 Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She’s been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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Microsoft Word is one of the most widely used word processing tools in use for the past decade. It works well with how our computers and accessories are designed, especially our keyboard. However, when it comes to typing different kinds of symbols, things become a little bit tricky. While Word has all the capability and support to produce symbols, our keyboards are but limited. Therefore, you would have to memorize certain keyboard shortcuts to help you input symbols into Word. The program itself has configured a collection of keyboard shortcuts that allow you to do this. The instructions below will show you how to insert symbols in Word using keyboard shortcuts.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Inserting Symbols with Keyboard Shortcuts

To insert symbols with a keyboard shortcut, you first have to Open Microsoft Word. You can open a new document if you’re starting on one document, or you can open the one that you’re already working on. Then, once you have your Word document up, look in the Insert tab. There is a Symbol option, usually located at the very right-hand side of the tab menus. Click on this to open the drawer, which will give you more options. Here, click on the “More Symbols” option.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Create Your Own Symbol Keyboard Shortcuts

Now, the Symbol window will open, displaying a wide array of symbols that you can use in Word. The symbols shown are under the Current Keys subset, which is already configured with corresponding shortcut keys. The name of the symbol and the keyboard shortcut assigned to it will be seen at the bottom of the window. This little information tidbit is very helpful for those who are unfamiliar with the symbols or want to learn

You have to remember, however, that not all symbols have a preset shortcut key. Instead, you can assign shortcut keys to these symbols by clicking on the “Press new shortcut key” and tapping the keyboard shortcut that you want to use for the specific symbols.

While this method is worthwhile, there’s a downside. This is because you only have a limited number of keys that you can use to enter a symbol. If you’re using many symbols, such as in complex mathematical or scientific equations, you may need to enter numerous different symbols.

In this case, you can set up Word’s autocorrect function for your symbols. In the same way that you can autoformat a word when you type it, you can do the same to symbols. This allows you to save time and take out the hassle out of entering several symbols. You can use autocorrect for the symbols that you want to enter.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Using Autocorrect Feature for Symbols

To use the autocorrect feature for symbols, you have to choose the phrase you’ll use. Don’t choose something that you often type in regular or ordinary words, such as “th”. Here, you may also use letters and punctuation to bring up your symbols.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Using these clever combinations will prevent Word from entering the symbol in times when it shouldn’t. Just make sure the symbols that you use don’t already have a built-in keyboard shortcut and you’re good to go.

In Word_generic, you can use accent marks (or diacritical marks) in a document, such as an acute accent, cedilla, circumflex, diaeresis or umlaut, grave accent, or tilde.

For keyboard shortcuts in which you press one key immediately followed by another key, the keys to press are separated by a comma (,). For example, for è you would press Ctrl + ` , release and then type e.

To type a lowercase character by using a key combination that includes the SHIFT key, hold down the CTRL+SHIFT+symbol keys simultaneously, and then release them before you type the letter. For example, to type a ô, hold down CTRL, SHIFT and ^, release and type o.

To insert this

à, è, ì, ò, ù,
À, È, Ì, Ò, Ù

CTRL+` (ACCENT GRAVE), the letter

á, é, í, ó, ú, ý
Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú, Ý

CTRL+’ (APOSTROPHE), the letter

â, ê, î, ô, û
Â, Ê, Î, Ô, Û

CTRL+SHIFT+^ (CARET), the letter

(TILDE), the letter

ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ÿ,
Ä, Ë, Ï, Ö, Ü, Ÿ

CTRL+SHIFT+: (COLON), the letter

[email protected], a or A

CTRL+SHIFT+&, a or A

CTRL+SHIFT+&, o or O

CTRL+, (COMMA), c or C

CTRL+’ (APOSTROPHE), d or D

The Unicode character for the specified Unicode (hexadecimal) character code

The character code, ALT+X

For example, to insert the euro currency symbol , press 20AC, and then hold down the ALT key and press X.

The ANSI character for the specified ANSI (decimal) character code

ALT+the character code (on the numeric keypad)

Make sure that NUM LOCK is on before you type the character code.

For example, to insert the euro currency symbol, hold down the ALT key and press 0128 on the numeric keypad.

For more info on using Unicode and ASCII characters, see Insert ASCII or Unicode character codes.

To insert this macron character:

If you’re working on a laptop without a separate numeric keyboard, you can add most accented characters using the Insert > Symbol > More Symbols command in Word. For more info, see Insert a symbol in Word.

If you plan to type in other languages often you should consider switching your keyboard layout to that language. For more info see Switch between languages using the Language bar.

When editing documents in Word, sometimes we can insert some graphic symbols to make the content more intuitive and lively, like arrows with different shapes and directions. Since they can’t be typed directly like numbers and characters, here I’d like to introduce 3 common used ways to insert arrows in Word. The method 1 and method 2 can also be applied in Microsoft Excel. Let’s have a look.

Insert Arrow Shape

1. Open the Word (or Excel) document.

2. Switch to Insert tab, click Shape button to expand the drop-down menu.

2. There are many different types of arrows with different directions, you can choose any one you like.

How to use symbols in word 2013

3. Hold your mouse to draw a shape you selected, and drag its frame to adjust the size and direction of the arrow.

How to use symbols in word 2013

4. You can also change its color or effect in Format (Drawing Tools) tab.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Insert Arrow Symbol

1. Open the Word document (or Excel file ).

2. Go to Insert tab, click Symbol button on the right of the ribbon and choose More Symbols… in the menu.

How to use symbols in word 2013

2. Change the Font into Wingdings in the popping out Symbol window, scroll down till the end and you’ll find many different arrow symbols here. Select the one you want and hit Insert button to add it to your document.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Insert Arrow by Code

Alternatively, you can also insert different arrows in Word only by keyboard.

1. First you should make sure that your numeric keypad is enabled, otherwise, tap [Num Lock] to turn on it.

2. Press and hold [Alt] key while tapping corresponding numeric code. Then release the [Alt] key and the arrow will show in your document.

3. Here I collect a list of arrow code (all in Unicode 11), you can find the arrow you want and use its corresponding code.

Arrow Code
Left Arrow ← 8592
Right Arrow → 8594
Up Arrow ↑ 8593
Down Arrow ↓ 8595
Left-right Arrow ↔ 8596
Up-down Arrow ↕ 8597

For example, if you want to insert a right arrow in Word document, you just need to hold [Alt] key and enter 8594 on numeric keypad. Then release the [Alt] key, you will see the right arrow is successfully inserted.

Microsoft Word 2013 has a rather large library of symbols that you can insert into a document, and the check mark is one of the symbols that is available.

The check mark symbol is part of the Wingdings font, and behaves similarly to any other letter or number that you might include in your document.

Since the check mark is a normal character as far as Word is concerned you can customize it in a variety of ways, making it more flexible than adding a picture of a check mark to your document instead.

Our tutorial will show you how to insert a checkmark into a Word document, as well as how to change its appearance, or copy and paste the check mark into a different location within the document.

How to Make a Check Mark in Word 2013

  1. Open the document.
  2. Choose where to put the check mark.
  3. Select Insert.
  4. Click Symbols, then More Symbols.
  5. Choose the Wingdings font.
  6. Click the check mark symbol.

Our guide continues below with additional information and pictures for these steps.

How to Add a Check Mark to a Document in Word 2013 (Guide with Pictures)

The steps in this article will show you how to locate and insert a check mark symbol into a document. The check mark is a symbol that is included with Word 2013 by default, so any computer that has a copy of Microsoft Word 2013 installed should be able to follow these steps to put a check mark into a document.

Step 1: Open the document in Word 2013.

Step 2: Click in the document at the point where you wish to insert the check mark.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Step 3: Click the Insert tab at the top of the window.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Step 4: Click the Symbols button at the right end of the ribbon, then click the More Symbols option.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Step 5: Click the Font drop-down menu, then scroll to the bottom of the list and select the Wingdings option.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Step 6: Scroll all the way to the bottom of the grid of symbols, then click the check mark symbol.

Note that there is also a symbol of a check mark inside a box, if you would prefer to use that one. You can then click the Insert button to add the symbol to your document.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Once you have finished adding check marks to your document, you can click the Close button on the Symbol window. Note that you can select a check mark in your document and copy and paste it the same way that you would copy or paste any other text.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Additional Tips

  • If you select the check mark in your document, you can make it smaller or larger by adjusting the font size. You can also adjust the color, too.
  • If you want to make the check mark really big, but the 72 pt font size isn’t enough you can choose to manually enter a font size instead. Learn more about bigger font sizes here.
  • Instead of using the copy and paste commands on the right-click menu or in the ribbon, you can also copy a selection by pressing Ctrl + C on your keyboard, and paste by pressing Ctrl + V on your keyboard.
  • You can use the same method if you need to insert a check mark into an Excel spreadsheet as well.

Learn how to remove formatting from a Word document if you have copied and pasted information into your document, and manually changing each formatting option seems impractical.

See also

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.

After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.

His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.

When editing some documents involving mathematical formulas and symbols in Word, it can be a challenge to input them because you may not be able to find the corresponding buttons on keyboard. So what’s the best way to insert these relatively difficult formulas? Here are 3 commonly used methods you can try.

Method 1. Insert Equations Symbols

1. Go to Insert tab and choose Equation in Symbols section.

2. There are some pre-set formulas for you to choose and edit.

3. You can also select Insert New Equation, of course.

How to use symbols in word 2013

4. It will insert a textbox in the document and enable the Equation Tools in Design tab, in where you can insert different kinds of mathematical symbols directly.

How to use symbols in word 2013

5. Just hit the symbols you want to insert and input the specific numbers in the corresponding positions of the textbox. In this way you can input any mathematical formula you want.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Method 2. Ink Equation

If you don’t want to find these symbols separately and rather input the formula by handwriting, you can try the Ink Equation feature in Word 2016 and above versions.

1. Just switch to Insert tab and click EquationInsert New Equation to toggle on Equation Tools. Then find Ink Equation button at the left side of the Equation Tools (Design) tab to invoke the handwriting window.

2. You can click Write button and use your mouse or writing pad to write the formula here. The identified formula will show at the top.

3. If there’s anything wrong, you can click the Select and Correct button and then hit the wrong part to choose the right symbol in the expanded menu.

4. You can also click Erase button to wipe part of the formula, or click Clear button to delete all the inks in the writing box.

5. After finishing the handwriting, just hit Insert to add the formula to your document.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Method 3. Microsoft Equation

1. Go to Insert tab, click Object button in Text section. Choose Microsoft Equation 3.0 in the list of Object type in Create New tab and click OK to confirm it.

How to use symbols in word 2013

2. Then the Equation toolbar will pop out along with a textbox. You can insert any mathematical symbol you want by clicking them in the toolbar. In this way you can also insert a difficult mathematical symbol quickly.

Amelia Griggs
How to use symbols in word 2013Amelia Griggs
Learning Design and Development specialist, Instructional Designer, Writer and Authorpeneuer

How to use symbols in word 2013

Did you know there are music symbols that you add to your Microsoft Word document without adding graphic images? Let’s take a look.

First, place your insertion point in the location in your document where you want to insert a music symbol. On the “Insert tab” on the Ribbon, click the “Symbol” button and then choose “More Symbols” from the drop-down menu.

How to use symbols in word 2013

In the Symbol window, open the “Font” drop-down menu and choose the “MS UI Gothic” font.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Open the “Subset” drop-down menu and select the “Miscellaneous Symbols” option there.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Scroll down a bit (four or five lines) and you’ll see seven music symbols:

  1. Quarter Note
  2. Eighth Note
  3. Beamed Eighth Note
  4. Beamed Sixteenth Notes
  5. Music Flat Sign
  6. Music Natural Sign
  7. Music Sharp Sign

How to use symbols in word 2013

Click the music symbol of your choice and then click the “Insert” button (or just double-click the symbol) to insert the symbol at your insertion point.

You can insert as many symbols as you want while the Symbol window is still open. When you’re finished inserting symbols, click the “Cancel” button.

How to use symbols in word 2013

In this example, we inserted a Beamed Eighth Note. The size of the inserted symbol depends on the original font size in your document. To enlarge the symbol, select the symbol, click the “Font Size” drop-down, and select a large font size. In the example below, we went with 72 points.

How to use symbols in word 2013

You can even go a step further and copy and paste your symbol several times to create a nifty musical border for your document.

This tutorial shows three ways to insert special characters in Microsoft Word:

Word’s special characters include twelve text characters, such as the en dash, that don’t appear on traditional keyboards and fifteen formatting characters, such as the nonbreaking hyphen, that affect text layout. The table below lists all twenty-seven special characters.

Special Characters in Microsoft Word

1. Em Dash 10. Registered Symbol 19. No-Width Optional Break
2. En Dash 11. Trademark 20. No-Width Non Break
3. Nonbreaking Hyphen 12. Section Break 21. Left-to-Right Mark
4. Optional Hyphen 13. Paragraph Break 22. Right-to-Left Mark
5. Em Space 14. Ellipsis 23. Left-to-Right Embedding
6. En Space 15. Single Opening Quote 24. Right-to-Left Embedding
7. 1/4 Em Space 16. Single Closing Quote 25. Left-to-Right Override
8. Nonbreaking Space 17. Double Opening Quote 26. Right-to-Left Override
9. Copyright Symbol 18. Double Closing Quote 27. Pop Directional Formatting

If you want to insert accent marks (the extra marks that appear above and below letters) instead of special characters, visit “Three Ways to Insert Accent Marks in Microsoft Word.”

This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.

Watch more than fifty other videos about Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat on my YouTube channel.

The images below are from Word for Office 365, which is currently the same as Word 2019. The steps are the same for Word 2016 and similar for Word 2013 and Word 2010.

Insert Special Characters Using the Symbol Dialog Box

All twenty-seven special characters can be inserted using the Symbol dialog box.

1. Place your cursor where the special character should be inserted in your text.

2. Select the Insert tab in the ribbon.

How to use symbols in word 2013

3. Select Symbols in the Symbols group.

How to use symbols in word 2013

4. Select More Symbols in the drop-down menu.

How to use symbols in word 2013

5. Select the Special Characters tab in the Symbol dialog box.

How to use symbols in word 2013

6. Select the special character that you need from the Character menu.

How to use symbols in word 2013

7. Select the Insert button to insert the special character.

8. Select the Close button to close the Symbol dialog box.

Pro Tip: If the Symbol dialog box blocks your view of your newly inserted special character, left-click your mouse arrow on the uppermost area of the dialog box to grab it and then move it to a different location on your screen.

How to use symbols in word 2013

Insert Special Characters Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Thirteen special characters can be inserted with preset keyboard shortcuts.

Please note that the shortcuts shown below for the Double Opening Quote and Double Closing Quote are different than those shown in Word’s Symbol dialog box (which may be typos because they don’t function as intended).

1. Place your cursor where the special character should be inserted.

2. Select the appropriate key combination on your keyboard.

Em Dash: Alt + Ctrl + Num –
(Alt plus Ctrl plus the minus sign on the number pad)

En Dash: Ctrl + Num –
(Ctrl plus the minus sign on the number pad)

Nonbreaking Hyphen: Ctrl + Shift + _
(Ctrl plus Shift plus underscore)

Optional Hyphen: Ctrl + –
(Ctrl plus hyphen)

Nonbreaking Space: Ctrl + Shift + Spacebar

Registered: Alt + Ctrl + R

Trademark: Alt + Ctrl + T

Ellipsis: Alt + Ctrl + .
(Alt plus Ctrl plus period)

Single Opening Quote: Ctrl + `,`
(Ctrl plus two grave accents)

Single Closing Quote: Ctrl + ‘,’
(Ctrl plus two single quotation marks)

Double Opening Quote: Ctrl + ` , Shift + ‘
(Ctrl plus one grave accent followed by Shift plus one single quotation mark)

Double Closing Quote: Ctrl + ‘, Shift + ‘
(Ctrl plus one single quotation mark followed by Shift plus one single quotation mark)

Insert (a Few) Special Characters Using AutoCorrect

The en dash won’t appear automatically until you complete the next word or character string and then press the spacebar.

Pro Tips: Select Ctrl + Z to reject an autocorrected character. You can also customize Word’s autocorrect options in the Proofing section of the Word Options dialog box.