Excel Symbols and Everything About Them: 8 Methods

List of All Symbols in Excel

This section lists all kinds of symbols, including those used in Excel formulas, characters, mathematical symbols, text and notation symbols, units and measurement symbols, and Greek letter symbols. The symbols are arranged in the table below.

Method 1 – Symbols Used in Excel Formula

In the table below, all the symbols used in the Excel formula are listed as follows.

Name Symbol Description Example Explanation
AutoSum Symbol Automatically calculates the sum of selected cells or a range of numbers. ∑ A1:A5 Calculates the sum of values in A1 to A5.
Fill Handle + A small square in the bottom-right corner of a cell used for copying data. Drag down + Fill Handle Copy data down by dragging the handle.
Function Wizard fx Opens the Insert Function dialog for selecting and using Excel functions. Click fx + SUM Use the SUM function via Function Wizard.
Borders Square Adds various border styles around cells or a range. Apply Borders Put borders around selected cells.
Format Painter Paintbrush Copies formatting from one cell/range to apply to another. Copy Format Copy formatting using Format Painter.
Insert Comment Red Tri. Adds comments to cells for additional information. Insert Comment Add a comment to explain cell content.
Page Break Preview Page w/ — Displays a preview of page breaks and layout for printing. View Print Layout Check how the worksheet will print.
Dollar Sign $ Formats numbers as currency using the dollar sign. Format as Currency Display numbers in currency format.
Percentage Sign % Formats numbers as percentages by multiplying by 100. Format as Percentage Display numbers in percentage format.
Number Sign # Represents a placeholder for a digit in a number format. Custom Format “#,##0” Customize number format with placeholders.
Comma , Separates thousands in numbers for improved readability. Format as “#,##0” Use commas to improve number readability.
Decimal Point . Separates whole numbers from decimals in numeric values. Format as “0.00” Use decimal points in number formatting.
Exponent (E) E Represents “times 10 to the power of” in scientific notation. Format as “0.00E+00” Display numbers in scientific notation.
Greater Than > Conditional formatting operator to compare values. Highlight > 100 Highlight values greater than 100.
Less Than < Conditional formatting operator to compare values. Highlight < 50 Highlight values less than 50.
Equals Sign = Operator for formulas and equations in cells. =A1 + B1 Perform addition in a formula.
Plus Sign + Operator for addition in formulas and calculations. =A1 + B1 Add values in a formula.
Minus Sign Used for subtraction in formulas and calculations. =A1 – B1 Subtract values in a formula.
Asterisk * Used for multiplication in formulas and calculations. =A1 * B1 Multiply values in a formula.
Forward Slash / Used for division in formulas and calculations. =A1 / B1 Divide values in a formula.
Caret (^) ^ Symbol for exponentiation in formulas and calculations. =A1^B1 Raise A1 to the power of B1.
Ampersand (&) & Concatenates text or values in formulas and cells. =A1 & ” ” & B1 Combine text from A1 and B1 with a space.
Parentheses () Groups expressions in formulas and calculations. =(A1 + B1) * C1 Calculate (A1 + B1) and then multiply by C1.
Dollar Function $ Locks a cell reference in a formula to a fixed row or column. =$A$1 Refer to cell A1 as an absolute reference.
Absolute Cell Reference $A$1 Specifies an exact cell reference that doesn’t change when copied. =$A$1 Always refers to cell A1.
Relative Cell Reference A1 Specifies a cell reference that adjusts when copied to new cells. =A1 Adjusts when copied to different cells.
Mixed Cell Reference $A1 or A$1 Specifies a reference where either the row or column is fixed. =$A1 or A$1 Either the row or column is fixed.

Method 2 – Excel Characters Symbol

All possible characters used in Excel are listed in the table below.

Character Description Example
~ Tilde ~ before a special character
& Ampersand Text & Text
Quotation Marks (Double Quotes) “Text”
* Asterisk Part*
? Question Mark Charac?er
[ ] Square Brackets [Category]
{ } Curly Braces {Array}
( ) Parentheses SUM(A1:A10)
+ Plus Sign =A1 + B1
Minus Sign =A1 – B1
/ Forward Slash =A1 / B1
% Percentage Sign 20%
$ Dollar Sign $50
# Number Sign #,##0
= Equals Sign =A1 + B1
, Comma 1,000
; Semicolon A1;B1
: Colon A1:B1
_ (underscore) Underscore First_Name
^ Caret A1^2
< Less Than =A1 < B1
> Greater Than =A1 > B1

Method 3 – Mathematical Symbols in Excel

Mathematical symbols are used in the calculation of Excel. All possible mathematical symbols are listed in the table below.

Symbol Description Example
Not Equal to symbol 5 ≠ 7
Less Than or Equal to symbol 5 ≤ 10
Greater Than or Equal to symbol 20 ≥ 10
Infinity symbol
Summation symbol ∑ i=1 to n
Delta symbol (change) ∆x = 5
Square Root symbol √25
π Pi symbol πr² (circle)
± Plus-Minus symbol ±5

Method 4 – Text and Notation Symbols in Excel

Text and notation symbols are widely used in various contexts to convey information, represent concepts, and enhance communication. Here’s a list of commonly used text and notation symbols, along with their meanings:

Symbol Description Example
© Copyright symbol © Exceldemy
® Registered trademark symbol Exceldemy®
Trademark symbol Exceldemy™
§ Section symbol Refer to §3.2
Paragraph symbol End of a ¶
£ Pound Sterling symbol £50
$ Dollar symbol $100
Euro symbol €75
¥ Yen symbol ¥5000
¢ Cent symbol 50¢
° Degree symbol 90°C
µ Micro symbol 1 µm

Method 5 – Excel Units and Measures Symbols

Excel provides a variety of units and measures symbols that you can use within cells, formulas, and text. Symbols are helpful in representing different types of measurements and units. Here are some standard units and measures symbols in Excel:]

Symbol Description Example
°F Fahrenheit symbol 98.6°F
°C Celsius symbol 37°C
K Kelvin symbol 273 K
Å Angstrom symbol 1 Ångström
Angstrom symbol (Alt) 1 Ångström
Square Meter symbol 10 m²
cm³ Cubic Centimeter symbol 5 cm³
L Liter symbol 2 L
ml Milliliter symbol 150 ml
kg Kilogram symbol 5 kg
g Gram symbol 200 g
mg Milligram symbol 10 mg

Method 6 – Greek Letters Symbol Used in Excel

Greek letters are characters from the Greek alphabet, used in the Greek language and adopted for various scientific, mathematical, and technical purposes.

These letters are often used as symbols to represent mathematical constants, variables, and concepts, among other things.

In Microsoft Excel and other applications, you can insert Greek letter symbols to enhance the visual representation of your content.

Symbol Description Example
α Alpha symbol α particles
β Beta symbol β decay
γ Gamma symbol γ radiation
δ Delta symbol Δx (change)
ε Epsilon symbol ε value
ζ Zeta symbol ζ function
η Eta symbol η parameter
θ Theta symbol θ angle
ι Iota symbol ι index
κ Kappa symbol κ constant
λ Lambda symbol λ wavelength
μ Mu symbol μ coefficient
ν Nu symbol ν frequency
ξ Xi symbol ξ variable
ο Omicron symbol ο particle
π Pi symbol π value
ρ Rho symbol ρ density
σ Sigma symbol σ standard dev.
τ Tau symbol τ time constant
υ Upsilon symbol υ parameter
φ Phi symbol φ angle
χ Chi symbol χ function
ψ Psi symbol ψ wave function
ω Omega symbol ω angular freq.

How to Insert Special Characters and Symbols in Excel

In this section we will learn how to insert those symbols and special characters in Excel.

Method 1 – Using Symbols Menu

We can use the Symbols Menu to insert Excel symbols. To insert a symbol, follow these steps.

  • Go to the Insert tab and select Symbol from the Symbols

Clicking on Symbol

  • A dialogue box named Symbol will appear. Click on Symbols.
  • Click on the desired symbol and click on Insert.
  • Get other symbols by choosing different symbol categories in the Subset

Choosing the Symbol in the Dialogue box

  • The selected symbol is added as follows.

Symbols in the Excel Sheet

Method 2 – CHAR Function to Insert Excel Symbols

Another easiest way to use the CHAR function is to insert Excel symbols. But you just need to know the code of that character or symbol. We are providing a list of symbols and their CHAR function code.



To use the function:

  • Select the cell where you want to insert the symbol.
  • Write the formula and press Enter.


This formula will add a Dollar symbol ($) in the selected cell.

Adding Dollar Sign by CHAR Function

Symbol Description CHAR Function Code
Space =CHAR(32)
! Exclamation Mark =CHAR(33)
Double Quotation Mark =CHAR(34)
# Hash / Number Sign =CHAR(35)
$ Dollar Sign =CHAR(36)
% Percent Sign =CHAR(37)
& Ampersand =CHAR(38)
Apostrophe =CHAR(39)
( Left Parenthesis =CHAR(40)
) Right Parenthesis =CHAR(41)
* Asterisk =CHAR(42)
+ Plus Sign =CHAR(43)
, Comma =CHAR(44)
Hyphen / Minus Sign =CHAR(45)
. Period / Full Stop =CHAR(46)
/ Slash =CHAR(47)
: Colon =CHAR(58)
; Semicolon =CHAR(59)
< Less Than Sign =CHAR(60)
= Equal Sign =CHAR(61)
\ Backslash =CHAR(92)
] Right Square Bracket =CHAR(93)
^ Caret / Circumflex =CHAR(94)
_ Underscore =CHAR(95)
` Grave Accent =CHAR(96)
{ Left Curly Brace =CHAR(123)
| Vertical Bar =CHAR(124)
} Right Curly Brace =CHAR(125)
~ Tilde =CHAR(126)

Method 3 – Utilizing ‘Alt codes’

IBM created a way to show special characters on screens when they can’t be typed using a keyboard. You’d hold down the “Alt” key, type a code on the number pad, and a unique character would appear where you’re typing.

These codes became popular. Microsoft made new codes (ANSI) but kept the old ones (OEM) because they were widely used. The old codes have three digits, while the new ones start with 0.

Some Useful Tips:

  • The characters generated can differ based on the OEM Code Page setting.
  • For accurate Alt Code typing, ensure Num Lock is active to avoid unexpected outcomes.
  • Note that not all laptops have a numeric keypad; activate Numpad by holding the Fn key to use them effectively.

To Use Alt Code:

  • Select the cell, where you want to add the symbol.
  • Hold the Alt key on the keyboard.
  • Type the numeric code. You can use the numeric code mentioned in the table below.
  • Release the Alt key, this will add the desired symbol.
Symbol Description Alt Code
Smiley Face Alt + 1
Black Smiley Face Alt + 2
Heart Alt + 3
Diamond Alt + 4
Club Alt + 5
Spade Alt + 6
Bullet Point Alt + 7
Bullet Point (Alt) Alt + 8
Circle Alt + 9
Square Alt + 10
Male Symbol Alt + 11
Female Symbol Alt + 12
Eighth Note Alt + 13
Beamed Eighth Notes Alt + 14
Sun Alt + 15
Right-Pointing Arrow Alt + 16
Left-Pointing Arrow Alt + 17
Up-Down Arrow Alt + 18
Double Exclamation Alt + 19
Pilcrow (Paragraph) Alt + 20
§ Section Symbol Alt + 21
Horizontal Line Alt + 22
Up-Down Arrow with Base Alt + 23
Upwards Arrow Alt + 24
Downwards Arrow Alt + 25
Rightwards Arrow Alt + 26
Leftwards Arrow Alt + 27
Right Angle Alt + 28
Left-Right Arrow Alt + 29
Upwards Triangle Alt + 30
Downwards Triangle Alt + 31
House Alt + 127
Infinity Alt + 236
Approximately Equal Alt + 247
Euro Symbol Alt + 0128
¥ Yen Symbol Alt + 0165
£ Pound Sterling Alt + 0163
¢ Cent Symbol Alt + 0162
ƒ Dutch Florin Alt + 0131
¿ Inverted Question Mark Alt + 0191
¡ Inverted Exclamation Alt + 0161
Not Equal Alt + 8800
Less Than or Equal Alt + 8804
Greater Than or Equal Alt + 8805
Integral Alt + 8747
Increment Alt + 8710


If your physical keyboard is not working, don’t worry. You can use your computer’s on-screen keyboard. Press Windows Key+Ctrl+O to open the on-screen keyboard. Press Shift 5 times to enable the sticky Alt key. Press Alt, followed by the numeric code. Later, press Alt again, which will enable the symbol.

Method 4 – Using Run Command Box

  • Press “Windows key + R”. A dialogue box will appear.
  • Type “charmap” in the Open

Inserting charmap in the Open box

  • A dialogue box named Character Map will appear.
  • Select your preferred symbol. We selected the copyright symbol. Click Advanced View. In the bottom left corner, it will show the Alt code of the symbol.

Selecting the Character in the Character Map Dialogue Box

  • Now press the Alt code using the keyboard to insert the symbol.

5. Copy And Paste Special Characters

If you somehow think all the methods mentioned above to insert symbols seem boring and tedious. We have another easy-peasy solution for you. You can visit Wikipedia and it shows almost all kinds of symbols in it.

You can copy your desired symbol from there, and paste it into the cell in Excel.

Other Types of Special Characters in Excel

Insert Section Marks (§)

  • Click the Insert tab > select the Symbols group > choose Symbol.

Clicking on Symbol

  • Click on Special Characters in the Symbol dialogue box.
  • Select Section in the symbol.
  • Click Insert.

Selecting the Section Symbol

  • Section symbol is added to the cell as follows.

Section Symbol

Add Fractions (1/3, 2/5)

Learn how to add fractions from symbol options. Add the fractions, and follow the steps ahead.

  • Click on Symbol from the Symbols option in the Insert
  • A Symbol dialogue box will appear as follows. In the Subset box, select the Number Forms on the drop-down menu.
  • Select your preferred fraction and click on Insert.

Inserting the Fractions

  • Fractions will appear as follows.

Adding Fractions

International Characters (¿ or ü)

“International characters,” such as “¿” (inverted question mark) and “ü” (u with an umlaut), are special characters used in languages other than English. These characters convey unique sounds or meanings and are common in languages like Spanish, German, and French. To add these symbols, follow these keyboard shortcuts.

  • CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+? inserts a ¿
  • CTRL+SHIFT+~ followed immediately by “a” will insert ã.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+: followed immediately by “u” will insert ü.


These shortcuts are often associated with the Microsoft Office suite and specific language settings. If these shortcuts are not working for you, it’s possible that your keyboard layout or software environment does not support them


Using ASCII or Unicode Character Codes

  • Click on Insert > Symbols Menu >
  • In the Character Code box, type the code as follows. It will show the desired character.
  • Click Insert and this will add the character.

Inserting the Symbol

Things to Remember

  • Symbols should fit cells without making them too small.
  • Pick a font everyone has to avoid symbol display problems.
  • Keep a copy of your file before adding symbols.
  • Symbols might not sort properly, so double-check.
  • If symbols have meanings, add a legend for others to understand.
  • Symbols can look like data, be careful.
  • Stick to common symbols to ensure compatibility.
  • Symbols might not print or show when shared, so test before finalizing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. What is the @ symbol in the Excel formula?

The “@” symbol in Excel formulas signifies an external reference to another worksheet within the same workbook. When you use it, you’re indicating that you want to pull information from a different sheet. For instance, if you have a workbook with “Sheet1” and “Sheet2,” and you want to use a value from cell A1 in “Sheet2” within a formula in “Sheet1,” you’d write:


Q2. What is ‘#’ in Excel?

In Excel, the ‘#’ symbol is often used to represent cell error values. These error values indicate that there’s an issue with the cell’s content, formula, or reference. Each error type has its own code that follows the ‘#’ symbol. For instance:

  • #DIV/0!: Division by zero error.
  • #N/A: Value, not available error.
  • #VALUE!: Incorrect data type error.
  • #REF!: Invalid cell reference error.
  • #NAME?: Unrecognized function or name error.
  • #NUM!: Invalid numeric value error.

When you encounter a cell displaying a value starting with ‘#’, it means an error occurred, helping you identify and resolve the problem in your Excel worksheet.

Q3. How many symbols are there in Excel?

Excel has many symbols, like plus (+) or minus (-). There are many different types of math, money, and more. It’s hard to count them all exactly because there are so many fonts and versions of Excel. But you can find them in the “Symbol” menu or use keyboard shortcuts to put them in your work.

Excel Symbols: Knowledge Hub

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Zahid Shuvo
Zahid Shuvo

Zahid Hasan Shuvo, a Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering graduate from BUET, Bangladesh, has contributed nearly a year to the Exceldemy Project as an Excel and VBA Content Developer. Within this timeframe, he has crafted over 8 tutorial articles, and besides offering valuable solutions to aid users effectively. Zahid also expresses keen interests in Excel & VBA, Data Analysis, Machine Learning, AI Engines, and Prompt Engineering, showcasing a diverse skill set and contributing to the dynamic environment of... Read Full Bio

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