Word trick: Assign a symbol to a keyboard shortcut

Microsoft Word trick

Recently we taught a Microsoft Word class at the local hospital, and one of the things everyone wanted to know was how to enter a degree symbol after a number – like 98°. Some of the class participants knew how to insert the symbol from the Ribbon, but no one knew how to do it with a keyboard shortcut. In this tutorial I’ll explain how to insert the symbol by typing degree*.

I’m using Word 2016 here, but the basic steps are the same in all recent version of Word.

In the Word Ribbon, navigate to Insert tab > Symbols group > Symbol > More symbols.

Make sure the Font is set to Symbol.

Scroll about half way down the list of symbols and look for the degree symbol.

Select the degree symbol and then click the AutoCorrect button.


The AutoCorrect dialog box opens with the degree symbol shown in the second column under Replace text as you type.

In the first column, to the left of the degree symbol, type degree*. This will be the trigger that inserts the symbol. We include the asterisk so you don’t accidently insert the symbol by typing the word degree in everyday use.

Click OK and then OK your way out of the dialog box. Now you’re ready to test.

You can type degree* anywhere in the document, followed by a space, and the symbol should insert.