Office hacks: input faster in Word to efficiently enter special characters

In our daily work, we inevitably need to enter a variety of special characters in Word, such as similar to m² (square meters), O₂ (oxygen) and other characters containing superscript and subscript characters. So how do we quickly enter such characters in Word? The following I will share several methods for you to choose from. The following is an example of Word 2019 operation.

○Autocorrect Change as you go

Word comes with “auto-correct” function, we often need to enter special characters, we can use common characters to achieve automatic replacement. Click “File → Options → Proofreading → AutoCorrect” in turn, in the window that opens to add the need to replace the option, such as “sulfur dioxide” replaced by “SO₂”, so that later In Word, type “sulfur dioxide” will be automatically replaced by the above molecular formula. Similarly, we can often need to enter the usual special characters are replaced using common characters (Figure 1).


Figure 1 AutoCorrect Settings

○Shortcut key input Special character input is faster

Word has provided default shortcut key combinations for the input of some special characters, click the menu bar in turn, “Insert → Symbol → Other Symbols”, in the window that opens you can see, for example, “Alt + Ctrl + T” shortcut key corresponds to The character “TM” (Figure 2).


Figure 2 Default shortcut keys

Some characters have complicated default shortcut keys, for example, the default shortcut key for the Celsius symbol is “Alt+X” after entering 2103, which is not easy to remember, we can change it to a new shortcut key according to our own habits. Select the symbol in “Other Symbols”, click “Shortcut”, and then press “Ctrl+Shift+C” under “Please press new shortcut” in the window. Ctrl+Shift+C”, so that you can use this new shortcut to enter the Celsius symbol later (Figure 3).


Figure 3 Customized shortcut keys

○Simplify and use the symbol field

If you often need to enter a variety of formulas in the document or specify the format of the characters, such as with the root of the equation, then you can use Word’s symbols domain fast input. In the need to enter the formula or character place press “Ctrl + F9” shortcut key to insert a domain symbol, the document will appear a { } symbol, follow the prompts in which you can enter the specified domain code. Such as entering “eq f (r (3,2),2)” (Note: the characters need to be entered in the English half-angle state, eq after a half-angle space), in the domain code, “f” that the input fraction, ” r” means enter the root sign (Figure 4).


Figure 4 Domain code input

After inputting the code, select it and press “Shift+F9”, the domain code will be automatically converted to a fractional formula with a root sign (Figure 5). Using the same method, we can also enter other formulas or special characters, for example, enter “eq o(sup5 (mountain),Sdo2 (ghost))” in the domain to enter the word “wei”. For more information about the code, you can check the support page of Microsoft Office.


Figure 5 Domain code conversion

○Batch replacement with good VBA script

In one or more documents if there are many special characters need to be replaced, the methods described above have their own shortcomings. Such as Word itself “Find and Replace” component can only replace a character, for example, in order to write standard, now need to replace the document “wifi” for “Wi-Fi “, “win10” replaced by “Windows 10”, the use of Word components need to perform multiple replacement operations. “AutoCorrect” can only take effect after setting the text, before writing the text of the characters can not be automatically corrected. At this point we can use VBA scripts for batch replacement.

Click “File→Options→Customize Ribbon” and check “Development Tools” in the right pane. Then switch to the “Trust Center”, the “Macro Settings” set to “Enable all macros”. Finally return to the Word window, press “Alt + F11” shortcut to open the design window, click “Insert → Module” in turn, enter the following code (Figure 6).

Sub Batch Replace()

Set myRange = ActiveDocument.Content

myRange.Find.Execute FindText:=”wifi”, ReplaceWith:=”Wi-Fi”, Replace:=wdReplaceAll

Set myRange = ActiveDocument.Content

myRange.Find.Execute FindText:=”win10″, ReplaceWith:=”Windows 10″, Replace:=wdReplaceAll

End Sub


Figure 6 Enter the code

FindText:” and “ReplaceWith:” in the code refer to the characters to be found and replaced respectively, you can add them in bulk according to your actual needs in this format.

After entering the code to return to the document editing window, click on the “Development Tools → Macro” in the list, select “Batch Replacement”, and then click the right-hand side of the “Run” button, so that the document in the specified characters will be replaced by all (Figure 7).


Figure 7 Run macro for batch replacement

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