How to Insert a Square Root Symbol in Word

If you often include a lot of math-related content in your Word documents, then you may be wondering how to insert a square root symbol in Word without resorting to complex or inconvenient options.

Creating and editing documents in Microsoft Word will require you to type and replace different characters in your document. These are typically just letters and numbers, but can also include some other symbols and shapes depending on the type of document you are creating.

One such symbol that you may have a need to add to your document is the square root symbol. This is pretty common when your document is math-based, but you may be having trouble finding the square root symbol in Word so that you can add it to your document.

How to Insert a Square Root Symbol in Word

  1. Click Insert.
  2. Click Symbols, then More Symbols.
  3. Choose Normal text, then Mathematical Operators.
  4. Select the square root symbol, then click Insert.

This method is discussed with additional information as Option 3 below. You can click here to jump directly to that section.

Our article continues below with a couple of other options on inserting a square root symbol in Microsoft Word, including pictures for each of the methods we discuss.

How to Get a Square Root Symbol in Microsoft Word (3 Methods)

The steps in this article were performed in Microsoft Word 2013, but will also work in most other versions of Word. There are several different ways that you can insert a square root symbol in Word, and we will cover three of those options below.

Option 1 – Using a Keyboard Shortcut to Add a Square Root Symbol in Word

This method lets you simply press a sequence of keys on your keyboard to add the square root symbol.

Step 1: Click at the point in the document where you want to add the symbol.

Step 2: Hold down the Alt key on your keyboard, then press 8730.

Note that this needs to be done on the number pad at the right side of the keyboard, and you need to have Num Lock enabled. This won’t work if you use the number keys above the letter keys.

add square root symbol in word with keyboard shortcut

Option 2 – Using AutoCorrect to Add a Square Root Symbol in Word

This method is going to rely on the way that Word’s autocorrect feature works. By typing a specific string of characters, Word will automatically replace those characters with a square root symbol. Note that you will need to have Math AutoCorrect enabled for this to work. This can be enabled with the following steps:

  1. Open the File menu in Word.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Choose the Proofing tab.
  4. Click on AutoCorrect Options.
  5. Select the Math AutoCorrect tab.
  6. Check the box to the left of Use Math AutoCorrect rules outside of math regions, then click OK.
use math autocorrect rules outside of math regions

You can then return to your document where you can perform the following steps.

Step 1: Click at the point where you wish to add the square root symbol.

Step 2: Type \sqrt with a space after the “t”.

insert a square root symbol in microsoft word with autocorrect

Option 3 – Inserting a Square Root Symbol from the Symbols Menu

This final option will have you searching through a menu of symbols and selecting the square root symbol.

Step 1: Click the Insert tab at the top of the window.

click the insert tab

Step 2: Click the Symbols button at the right end of the ribbon, then choose More Symbols.

open the symbols menu

Step 3: Select (normal text) from the Font dropdown menu, then choose Mathematical Operators from the Subset dropdown menu.

mathematical operators symbols

Step 4: Click the square root symbol, then click the Insert button. You can then click Close to close this window.

how to insert a square root symbol in microsoft word

Our tutorial continues below with additional discussion on using the Insert Symbol dialog box to include different symbols in your Word document.

More Information on How to Insert Square Root Symbol in a Document

As you saw on that last option, there are a ton of other math symbols that you can add in Word from the symbols dialog box. For example, find out how to add a check mark in Word if you have need for that symbol as well.

Adding a square root in Word will allow you to show the symbol for the purposes of display but, like other mathematical operators that you can add to Word, it doesn’t allow you to perform any calculations. So while any of the methods above allow you to get that sqrt symbol in Word, you aren’t going to be able to determine its value.

There is also an alt code shortcut for the Word square root sign that might be better if you are going to be adding these a lot. The square root symbol shortcut is Alt + 251. Note that you need to press these numbers on the numeric keypad, not the row of numbers above the letter keys. It should insert the square root a second after you press those keys.

There are character code combinations for other select mathematical operators if you are looking to insert symbols in your MS Word document for more mathematical symbols. If you go to the Insert tab, click Symbol, then More Symbols you will see a Shortcut key combination at the bottom of the window when you click on the symbol that you want to add.

If you want to determine the square root value of a number, then Microsoft Excel is much better suited for that purpose.

There is an option on the Word Options menu that lets you use autocorrect for math symbols. You can find this by going to File > Options > Proofing > then click the AutoCorrect Options button, which opens the AutoCorrect dialog box. You can then choose the Math AutoCorrect tab and enable the setting to Use Math AutoCorrect rules outside of the math regions.

While we can show a square root symbol in Microsoft Word, we can actually calculate a square root in Microsoft Excel. Simply type the formula =SQRT(XX) into a cell where you want to display the square root value. You would just need to replace the XX part of the formula with the cell containing the value for which to determine the square root.

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