Stop searching in vain for symbols and special characters on your keyboard

Publié le 06 July 2015
par Sophie Marchand M.Sc.

When I’m giving training courses, it often happens that a learner has trouble finding out how, for example, to write a > sign in a formula. When changing computers or keyboards, it can indeed be difficult to find special characters, especially when settings have been modified. There’s a universal way of getting around this, and it involves the use of codes that make the use of the ALT button on your keyboard. This article includes a reference table with all ALT codes you may need.


Reference table of special characters with ALT

The following tables contain 254 ALT codes.

Special Characters 1

Special Characters 2

Special Characters 3

Special Characters 4

This information comes from the following website:


How to use codes to create special characters

To use ALT codes properly, you must first ensure that the NumLock key on your keyboard is activated. Then, to reproduce the first symbol in the table, you must :

  • Press the ALT key (on the left of your keyboard)
  • While holding down the ALT key, press the number 1 with the right-hand keys on your keyboard.

To reproduce the second symbol in the table, you must:

  • Press the ALT key (on the left of your keyboard)
  • While holding down the ALT key, press the number 2 with the right-hand keys on your keyboard.

And so on.


Inserting special characters as symbols

Of course, another option would be to use symbol insertion. However, you cannot insert a symbol directly into a formula. You must first insert the symbol in a cell and then copy this symbol into your formula. To insert a symbol, go to your Insert menu and choose Symbol. You’ll find plenty of options:

Symbols in Excel


CFO-Masque_Formations-en-ligne_FBLa mission du CFO masqué est de développer les compétences techniques des analystes et des contrôleurs de gestion en informatique décisionnelle avec Excel et Power BI et favoriser l’atteinte de leur plein potentiel, en stimulant leur autonomie, leur curiosité, leur raisonnement logique, leur esprit critique et leur créativité.

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