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Symbols in Excel.

RE: Symbols in Excel.

A quick search didn't find much, and most of what I did find wasn't very helpful, but the link below looks like it might give you what you want, at least from VBA:

Please let us know if that helps or not.

By the way, you'll probably get more response here if you post your actual question where everyone can see it, rather than in the attachment!

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services

RE: Symbols in Excel.

I've done it lots of times... just change the format of the font to Symbol and you have a whole collection to choose from.


RE: Symbols in Excel.

There is no way to key in unicode symbols above 255 in excel. It just wraps around to 0 again. However, per instructions on this website, you can use custom Excel Autocorrect settings to do what you are looking for. ie type (inf) and it will autocorrect to the infinity symbol.

Below is an example of how you can insert your unicode symbols using VBA.


RE: Symbols in Excel.

I have just discovered that since 2013 Excel has a Unichar function, that will return all the Unicode characters.

For instance Unichar(8805) displays the >= symbol.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services

RE: Symbols in Excel.

Nice find! I didn't come across that one. UNICHAR coupled with HEX2DEC might be an option since OP's question used Hex unicode notation.

RE: Symbols in Excel.

JG - thanks for your post also. Updating the autocorrect list converts this feature from something that is just annoying into something really useful.

Adding a lot of characters is pretty tedious though, so I have written a macro to do it from a list on the spreadsheet. I have also written a UDF to convert ASCII strings to Unicode characters.

In the attached spreadsheet there is:

- A table of Unicode characters for a range of codes. Enter 1-16 in cell A2 and it will return the codes from the Wikipedia "Mathematical operators and symbols in Unicode" page, together with a description of the group returned. For any value > 16 it will return a range of 512 characters, starting with the code entered in A2 (treated as a Hex value)

- A list of mathematical symbols and Greek characters, with the associated Unicode decimal value. If you click the "Update Auto-correct"button it will do what it says, so for instance entering (+-) will be converted to the Unicode +- symbol. The list can be edited or extended. Extend the range name "UCList" if necessary.

- An example of the UDF UCode, that will replace the ASCII strings from the UCList list with the equivalent Unicode values. For the UDF the ASCII strings should not be enclosed in ().

Once the auto-correct macro has been run it will work from any Excel file, or any other MS Office application.

The UDF will only work from Excel files with the UCode VBA code, and a range named UCList.

Any questions or comments, please let me know.

Linked file updated 7 May 2017

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services

RE: Symbols in Excel.


I really need to thank ALL of you for your assistance on this matter.

Your comments have been very helpful.

Thanks again.

RE: Symbols in Excel.

Great bit of work (where I am using "great" in both the magnitude sense and the benefit sense).
Since it is inaccessible via my Excel-2010 I have not looked at it in much detail, but I happened to notice that at cell AR13 you have labelled the "is proportional to" symbol as "approx".

RE: Symbols in Excel.

Denial, thanks for that.

My other self was telling me that wasn't quite right when I typed it in.

I should have listened to me.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services

I have now corrected the file linked in my previous post, and also added a button to remove a list of auto-correct items.

RE: Symbols in Excel.

Key combinations obtained by holding down the [Alt] key and typing the appropriate number using the keypad works at least in whatever version of Excel (or Word) ended up as Office 12. For example, [Alt] + 241 returns the plus/minus sign ± . . . but you do have to have the Num Lock on.


RE: Symbols in Excel.


That's OK as far as it goes, but it does not go very far.  It only gets you a tiny subset of the available symbols/characters.  And (for higher numbers at least) it gives different results in Word than in Excel, where in the former 259 gets you an accented "a" while in the latter it gets you a heart .  And some of the characters it does not offer include the more frequently used ones such as "<=".

I'm talking Word-2010 and Excel-2010, but I doubt the other versions are any different.

RE: Symbols in Excel.

Additionally, you might consider using Microsoft Equation Editor.

RE: Symbols in Excel.


And some of the characters it does not offer include the more frequently used ones such as "<=".

I can get that in my version (it's [Alt] + 243). It may have something to do with the cell's font - I normally use Arial and can use symbols via keystroke combinations without difficulty.

I assume that the Symbol font provides many or possibly most of the other symbols in common use. With an English to Greek letter chart handy, just type the whole thing in English and convert letters to symbols individually.


RE: Symbols in Excel.

Just came across an answer to OP's original question about how to key in Hexadecimal unicode symbols. However you will need to edit the registry to enable it. After changing the registry and rebooting you can hold ALT, press + on the number pad, then your 4 digit hex code (2264) and receive the correct symbol.

Open regedit.exe
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method and add a string or REG_SZ value EnableHexNumpad.
Set the value to 1.
Log out and log in.
Now you can use ALT <numpad +> 2264

Found this info here:

RE: Symbols in Excel.

nice thread!
looking for perpendicular symbol if anyone knows offhand....

RE: Symbols in Excel.

Perpendicular symbol is 22A5 in Hex unicode. You will have to edit the registry or use one of the other methods mentioned above to use it.

Here is a nice site that lists them all by name. There are three different perpendicular symbols.

Alternatively you could just copy and paste the symbol from that website into your excel cell.

RE: Symbols in Excel.

Norm.  I'm not sure whether to classify this as interesting or weird.  Maybe both.  When I enter [Alt]243 I get the "three-quarters" symbol.  This is Arial font in Excel-2010, running under Windows-7 Professional.

I also tried changing font to a few randomly selected ones from the gigantic font list.  This made no difference (apart from the expected changes when using Symbol, WingDings etc).

RE: Symbols in Excel.

Do you have your computer set to a language/region other than US English? Windows has different "code pages" that control what the alt codes do based on the language and country/region you set.

You can run the windows built in command line tool Chcp to see which code page is active on your system.
This is what mine returns:
Active code page: 437
You can then reference that number on this wikipedia page
chcp can also be used to change the active code page.


RE: Symbols in Excel.

JG.  I think you've nailed it.  My machine is set on "English (Australia)", and CHCP tells me my active code page is 850.  You've added to my education.  Thanks.

RE: Symbols in Excel.


RE: Symbols in Excel.

Star for that. It never occurred to me that there could be that sort of difference.


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