Categories
Device

How to manually create compound characters in word

Create Compound Characters in Word.

One of the questions I am often asked is how to create compound characters in Word. Sometimes folks want a caret in mathematics or scientific equations.

Word, by default, makes certain compound characters available to you straight out of the box. These characters depend on the typefaces you employ in your document. You can very easily insert special compound characters in your document using the Symbol dialog box. Heck, I have a shortcut to the Symbol dialog on my QAT – that’s how often I use it! Just select the character you would like and click to insert it.

If, however, there is not a default compound character that you need included in Word, you can use special fields to make your own synthetic compound Characters.

Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Position your cursor where you would like your compound character to appear. For our example, we will be using an x.
  2. Click CTRL + F9 to insert field braces. You must do it in this manner. If you try to use manual braces it will not work for you.
  3. Inside your field braces, key in EQ\o(X,).
  1. Place your cursor between the comma and the closing parenthesis.
  2. Depress your Alt Key as you use your numeric key pad and key in 0136. This will insert the caret character that is most appropriate to creating the compound character.
  3. Delete any extra spaces appearing in your field.
  4. Click Shift F9 to show the results of the field code.
About the Author

Carol Bratt

Carol holds A+, MCP, and MOS computer certifications and is the resident DCT Office expert. She trains the staffs of small law firms in the use of Microsoft Office applications and has authored many books covering Microsoft Office as well as written articles for Infopackets, TechnoLawyer, and Digital Harbor. For more Microsoft Office tips visit Carol’s Corner Office or follow Carol on FaceBook and Twitter.

Apr 17, 2018
Comment

MS Word has a neat tool called the Format Painter. It lets you select any text, and copy its format. You can then apply it to any other text just by clicking on it. It’s incredibly useful but you have to manually find and apply the format. If the format change you need to apply is to all instances of a word, for example, you want to make all instances of the name NASA bold in a document, there is a much quicker way to do it.

The find and replace feature can be used to apply formatting to a phrase or word. Here’s how it works.

Apply Formatting To A Word

Open the MS Word document and on the Home ribbon, click the Replace button.

How to manually create compound characters in word

This will open the Find & Replace dialog box. Click the More button to reveal additional options. First, check the ‘Match case’ and ‘Find whole words only’ options. This will make sure that the exact instance of the word is chosen.

Next, look at the very bottom and you will see a dropdown labelled Format. Click it and from the dropdown, select Font.

How to manually create compound characters in word

A window called Replace Font will open. Go to the Font tab and select from the various format fields how you want to format the word that you’re replacing. You can change the font, the font style, the size, the color, and more. Click Ok, and then click Replace all on the Find and replace window to replace the word with its formatted version.

How to manually create compound characters in word

This works best for words, but can also be applied to recurring phrases. If you have to apply formatting to text that is all different from each other though, it’s best to use the format painter.

Format Painter

To use the format painter, you need to first select the word, phrase, heading, or paragraph that you want to copy the format of. Then double-click the format painter button. It’s on the Clipboard toolbox, next to the Paste button.

How to manually create compound characters in word

When you double-click the button, your cursor changes so that the same paintbrush icon appears next to it. Next, click the word or paragraph, or heading that you want to apply the formatting to. Sometimes it will be enough to just to click inside a paragraph but it’s best to select the text that you want to apply the formatting to.

When you’re done, just click the format painter button again to turn the feature off, or you can tap the Escape key.

How to manually create compound characters in word

If you occasionally need to use mathematical symbols in your documents that aren’t available in Word’s “Insert Symbol” dialog box, there are a couple of easy methods for entering your own custom compound characters.

The “Arial Unicode MS” font has tons of English characters and symbols (as well as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters), but it does not have statistical symbols. However, it does have a very useful capability called “combining diacritics”, such as p-hat (the letter “p” with a carat over it as pictured in the image above) and y-bar (the letter “y” with a horizontal bar over it, as you’ll see later in this article). Here’s how to easily create these compound characters using the “Insert Symbol” dialog box and then using character codes.

NOTE: We’ve increased the size of the text in these images to 200% in Word for easier viewing.

To insert a custom compound character using the “Insert Symbol” dialog box, type the letter over which you want to add the diacritical mark. Then, click the “Insert” tab.

How to manually create compound characters in word

In “Symbols” section, click the “Symbol” button and then select “More Symbols” from the drop-down menu.

How to manually create compound characters in word

If your Word window is too narrow, you will only see the “Symbols” button. In that case, click the “Symbols” button, then click “Symbol” and select “More Symbols” from the drop-down menu.

How to manually create compound characters in word

In the “Symbol” dialog box, select “Arial Unicode MS” from the “Font” drop-down list.

How to manually create compound characters in word

Make sure “Arial Unicode MS” is selected in the “Font” drop-down list in the upper-left corner, and “Unicode (hex)” is selected in the “from” drop-down list in the lower-right corner, above the “Insert” and “Cancel” buttons. Then, find the diacritical mark you want to use in the chart of symbols and click on it.

If you know the Unicode character code for the diacritical mark, you can type that into the “Character code” edit box, too.

How to manually create compound characters in word

Once you’ve inserted a symbol, the dialog box does not close automatically. It’s a modeless dialog box, which means it can stay open while you perform other actions in the main program window. You can return to the “Symbol” dialog box at any time to insert another symbol. Also, after inserting a symbol, the “Cancel” button becomes the “Close” button. When you’re finished with the dialog box, click “Close”.

How to manually create compound characters in word

You now have a custom compound character and you can continue typing after it.

How to manually create compound characters in word

Here’s a quick and easy way of adding a diacritical mark above a letter if you know the Unicode character code: simply type the code directly after the letter (with no space)…

How to manually create compound characters in word

…and then press “Alt + X”. Word converts the code to a diacritical mark and places it above the previous letter.

How to manually create compound characters in word

There is a situation where this second method doesn’t work, however. If you try to place a diacritical mark over the letter “x”, nothing happens. For example, typing “y0305” and pressing “Alt + X” results in the y-bar symbol displayed in the above image, but typing “x0305” and pressing “Alt + X” does not work. We don’t know why this happens, but we found information online that corroborates this. When we tested it ourselves, it indeed didn’t work. So, if you need to create a compound character using the letter “x”, follow the first method.

There is also a free tool called WinCompose that sits in the system tray and allows you to easily create compound characters using shortcuts. You can download WinCompose here and also find instructions on using the program on the same webpage.

How to manually create compound characters in word

All three methods are easy to use and provide ways to add combining diacritics to your Word documents without having to use the Equation Editor. WinCompose doesn’t require Word, so you can use it to insert symbols into other programs, such as Notepad.

As the Matrix franchise taught us, sometimes computers are a bit too clever for their own good. This isn’t to say we don’t appreciate Microsoft Word’s automatic numbering system: it’s certainly a time saver. It’s just that sometimes we want to do things our own way.

MS Word’s automatic captions, for instance, don’t let you choose a numbering style. Instead, all images get a generic ‘Figure’ caption (e.g. Figure 1) and tables get a generic ‘Table’ caption (e.g. Table 1).

You might, however, want to use a different numbering system, such as chapter-specific numbering (e.g. the images in chapter one would be Figure 1a, Figure 1b). Or you might not want to use numbered captions at all.

Luckily, it’s easy enough to override the automatic numbering as long as you know how to use MS Word’s ‘Styles’ options.

Writing Your Own Captions

The key here is not to use the ‘Insert Caption’ option typically used to label figures and tables. Instead, go to the ‘Home’ tab in MS Word and select the ‘Styles’ menu. In here you will find a style called ‘Caption’ (hint: you might have to select ‘All Styles’ from the options).

How to manually create compound characters in wordThe ‘Style’ options.

Once you’ve selected ‘Caption’, place the cursor where you want your caption to appear and type it using your preferred numbering format.

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

If you want to list tables and figures separately using this method, click the ‘Create a Style’ or ‘New Style’ button in the ‘Styles’ menu and select ‘Caption’ for the ‘Style Based On’.

How to manually create compound characters in wordCreating a new style.

If you name this ‘Caption 2’ or ‘Caption Tables’, you can then use it to distinguish between different caption types.

Adding Lists of Figures/Tables

Once you’ve written your captions, you’ll need to create a list of figures/tables. To do this, find the place you want to insert the table, go to the ‘References’ tab in MS Word and click on ‘Insert Table of Figures’ (n.b., on Mac, go to ‘Insert’, ‘Index and Tables’, then ‘Tables and Figures’).

How to manually create compound characters in wordAdding a table of figures.

Once the ‘Table of Figures’ menu pops up, usually you would select either ‘Tables’ or ‘Figures’ to insert a list of the captions labelled as either ‘Tables’ or ‘Figures’. To use your own captions instead, click on the ‘Options’ button and select your chosen caption style from the ‘Style’ menu in the pop-up dialog box.

Finally, click the ‘OK’ button in the ‘Table of Figures’ dialog box and a list of the selected captions will appear where you placed the cursor. If you make any subsequent changes to the captions, don’t forget to use the ‘Update Table’ option so that your lists of figures/tables remain accurate.

Apr 17, 2018
Comment

MS Word has a neat tool called the Format Painter. It lets you select any text, and copy its format. You can then apply it to any other text just by clicking on it. It’s incredibly useful but you have to manually find and apply the format. If the format change you need to apply is to all instances of a word, for example, you want to make all instances of the name NASA bold in a document, there is a much quicker way to do it.

The find and replace feature can be used to apply formatting to a phrase or word. Here’s how it works.

Apply Formatting To A Word

Open the MS Word document and on the Home ribbon, click the Replace button.

How to manually create compound characters in word

This will open the Find & Replace dialog box. Click the More button to reveal additional options. First, check the ‘Match case’ and ‘Find whole words only’ options. This will make sure that the exact instance of the word is chosen.

Next, look at the very bottom and you will see a dropdown labelled Format. Click it and from the dropdown, select Font.

How to manually create compound characters in word

A window called Replace Font will open. Go to the Font tab and select from the various format fields how you want to format the word that you’re replacing. You can change the font, the font style, the size, the color, and more. Click Ok, and then click Replace all on the Find and replace window to replace the word with its formatted version.

How to manually create compound characters in word

This works best for words, but can also be applied to recurring phrases. If you have to apply formatting to text that is all different from each other though, it’s best to use the format painter.

Format Painter

To use the format painter, you need to first select the word, phrase, heading, or paragraph that you want to copy the format of. Then double-click the format painter button. It’s on the Clipboard toolbox, next to the Paste button.

How to manually create compound characters in word

When you double-click the button, your cursor changes so that the same paintbrush icon appears next to it. Next, click the word or paragraph, or heading that you want to apply the formatting to. Sometimes it will be enough to just to click inside a paragraph but it’s best to select the text that you want to apply the formatting to.

When you’re done, just click the format painter button again to turn the feature off, or you can tap the Escape key.

How to manually create compound characters in word

Standard keyboards don’t have dedicated keys for special punctuation marks, such as an en or em dash, if you want to use them in Google Docs. Here’s how you can create hyphens and dashes in your documents.

As we are a technology website, we won’t go into detail about when and how to use each form of punctuation. Instead, you can check out what a hyphen, en dash, and em dash are if you’re unsure when to use each punctuation mark. Essentially, a hyphen is a dash (-), an en dash is the length of two dashes (–), and an em dash is the length of three dashes (—).

Manually Create Hyphens and Dashes

The first thing you’ll need to do is fire up your browser and open a Google Docs file to get started.

A hyphen is the easiest punctuation mark to create in Google Docs. Likely, your keyboard already has a key just for this purpose. Depending on the layout of the keyboard, the hyphen key is at the top and beside the zero (0) key. All you have to do is press it, and that’s it. Hyphen created.

En and em dashes are a little more tricky to find. Keyboards don’t have keys that are dedicated to these punctuation marks. Unless you’re a professional writer, you probably aren’t going to be using them that often.

Although you could enter the corresponding Alt key code for either en or em dash, you have an easier way to insert them into your document. Docs has a Special Characters tool that lets you add them without having to remember their codes.

Click on your document where you want to insert the dash, open the “Insert” menu, and then click “Special Characters.”

How to manually create compound characters in word

After the tool opens, type “em dash” or “en dash” into the search bar and then click the symbol from the results on the left.

How to manually create compound characters in word

Note: Several types of en and em dashes show up in the search results. To be sure you choose the right one, hover the mouse over each one before you click on it.

How to manually create compound characters in word

When you click on the dash you want, it gets inserted directly into the file where the cursor is in your document.

How to manually create compound characters in word

If you rarely use en and em dashes, this method is excellent. However, if you use them a lot, you can tell Docs to automatically format hyphens into en or em dashes.

Automatically Create Dashes

Microsoft Word has a built-in function—AutoFormat—that automatically converts hyphens into en and em dashes when you type — and — , respectively. Google Docs doesn’t replace them by default. However, you can tell it to convert strings of characters into whatever you want, such as special characters like en and em dashes.

From your Google Docs file, use the method above to insert an en dash or em dash into your document, highlight the dash character, right-click it, and then click “Copy.” Alternatively, press Ctrl+C on Windows or Command+C on macOS to copy the symbol.

How to manually create compound characters in word

Next, select the “Tools” menu and then click “Preferences.”

How to manually create compound characters in word

In the Automatic Substitution section, type either two or three hyphens into the “Replace” field. Next, paste the copied dash into the “With” field by right-clicking the box and selecting “Paste” or by pressing Ctrl+V on Windows or Command+V on macOS. Click “OK” to save the changes and close the window.

How to manually create compound characters in word

Now, repeat these steps for the other type of dash and that’s it. The next time you need to insert a dash, just type either two or three hyphens for an en or em dash. Docs does the rest and automatically converts them without the Special Characters tool.

Words consisting of two separate words are often separated by an intra word dash, as in x-axis. This dash can be placed between two | characters, for example |-|.

When || is typed, the default intra word dash is used, which is . You can configure this with \setuphyphenmark.

Valid values are normal and wide .

The default sign is a combination of two hyphens:

To get a normal sign you could set this with the normal value (ConTeXt 2008.09.16 or later).

The || is also used in word combinations like (intra)word, which is typed as (intra|)|word. The mechanism is not foolproof but it serves most purposes. In case the hyphenation is incorrect you can hyphenate the first word of the composed one by hand: (in\-tra|)|word.

Another use of || is the processing of subsentences. The symbol that surrounds a subsentence varies depending on the current language settings, as controlled by \setuplanguage. When you use | | to indicate the subsentence, the proper symbol will be used automatically.

The main reason behind this mechanism is that TeX doesn’t really know how to hyphenate composed words and how to handle subsentences. TeX know a lot about math, but far less about normal texts. Using this command not only serves consistency, but also makes sure that TeX can break compound words at the right places. It also keeps boundary characters at the right place when a breakpoint is inserted.

The table below is an extended version of the table in the “big manual”. In the third column, you see what the possible line breaks in the word would be, and the output that would come from that.

How to manually create compound characters in word

Enabling hyphenation on hyphens for composed words globally

This is possible in MkIV with the command \setbreakpoints[compound]. This is equivalent to typing each composed-word as composed|-|word . It also sets the characters ‘+’, ‘/’, ‘(‘, and ‘)’ as good breakpoints inside composed words. The slash must be typed verbatim, though, not as \slash or \backslash.

Symbols and special characters are part of both formal and informal work when creating documents with Microsoft Word. Fortunately, Windows users have many ways to insert symbols on documents. Alt codes are one of the easiest ways but have restriction that you need a numeric keypad which is not part of most of the modern laptops. Even though you can use Character Map, it is difficult to navigate every time. Therefore, the easy way is to create custom shortcuts for symbols to use quickly when required.

Follow the below instructions to create custom shortcuts for symbol in Microsoft Word:

Open a new or an existing document in Word. Navigate to ‘Insert > Symbol’ menu and click on the ‘More Symbols…’.

How to manually create compound characters in word

Insert Symbols in Word

Selecting Symbol

You will see the ‘Symbol’ popup like below:

How to manually create compound characters in word

Symbol Dialog Box in Word

  1. First, select the ‘Font’ as Windings, Windings 2, or Windings 3.
  2. Select the symbol you like to use frequently on your document. Let us say, you want to insert ‘windows’ symbol. Scroll down in the list and select ‘windows’ symbol.
  3. As you can see, there is no ‘Shortcut key:’ assigned to this symbol. Click on the ‘Shortcut Key…’ button.

Customize Shortcut

You will see the ‘Customize Keyboard’ dialog box.

Create an easy-to-navigate document in just a few steps

How to manually create compound characters in word

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

What to Know

  • Go to References >Table of Contents and choose a style. The table appears where the cursor is located.
  • Update the table: Choose Update Table from the table drop-down menu. Choose to update page numbers only or the entire table.
  • Customize: Highlight the text and go to the Home tab. Choose More Options for advanced settings, or right-click and select Edit Field.

In Microsoft Word, you can create a table of contents that instantly updates to reflect changes made to a document. The easiest way to build and maintain a table of contents is with styles. In this guide, we show you how to do so using the following versions of Word: Word for Microsoft 365, Word Online, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, Word 2007, Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac, Word 2019 for Mac, and Word 2016 for Mac.

How to Insert a Table of Contents

A table of contents in Microsoft Word is based on the headings in the document. Headings formatted with the H1 style become main topics, while headings formatted with H2 become subtopics.

You may be working with a document that’s already written and needs a table of contents added, but you want to preserve the font and formatting of the document. If you want to customize the automatic headings to match what’s already in the document, format them with the H1 or H2 styles as appropriate.

Once that’s done, follow these steps:

Place your cursor where you want to add the table of contents.

Go to the References tab.

How to manually create compound characters in word

Select Table of Contents and choose one of the automatic styles.

For Word 2003 and earlier, select Insert > Reference > Tables and Indexes, then select the Table of Contents option.

How to manually create compound characters in word

The table of contents appears in the location you selected.

How to Update the Table of Contents

To update the table of contents when you make changes to the document that affect the table of contents, select any place in the table of contents and choose Update Table. Then, choose to either update page numbers only or the entire table of contents.

When applying heading styles that are incorporated automatically, update the entire table to account for any text edits or page changes in the document.

How to manually create compound characters in word

How to Use and Customize the Table of Contents

An automatic table of contents has hyperlinks built in to navigate through the document quickly. To use a hyperlink, hover the mouse over the appropriate entry in the table and Control+Click to follow the link. This is an especially helpful tool for long documents.

There are also many ways to customize a table of contents. To adjust the font and size, highlight the text as you normally would in a Word document, then go to the Home tab to select a font, size, color, or other text format. To access advanced font customization options, select the More Options icon.

Additionally, to find more customization options, right-click the table and select Edit Field. Scroll down and select TOC, then choose Table of Contents. Here, you can choose whether or not to show page numbers, page number alignment, general formatting, and more.