How to quickly insert symbols on Windows 10

Can't remember the Alt key code? Or you keep using the internet just to copy and paste a symbol? Then here are two quick ways to insert symbols on Windows 10.

Inserting symbols on Windows 10
Inserting symbols on Windows 10

On Windows 10, if you ever wrote an email or document, you know how inconvenient can be to remember the Alt key codes or having to search online to insert symbols (such as em dash, more than and less than, arrows, etc.) into your text or social media post.

Starting with version 1903, May 2019 Update, Windows 10 is updating the emoji panel to include symbols and kaomoji (face characters), so you no longer have to remember Alt key codes or use extra steps.

In this guide, you’ll learn the easy steps to insert symbols and kaomoji into your documents, text files, emails, and social media posts on Windows 10.

How to insert symbols using emoji panel

To insert symbols or kaomoji on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open a text file, document, or email.

  2. Use the Windows key + (period) or Windows key + (semicolon) keyboard shortcut to open the emoji panel.

  3. Click the Omega button to access the symbols. (Or the character face button to access the available kaomoji.)

    Emoji panel with symbols on WIndows 10
    Emoji panel with symbols on WIndows 10
  4. Select the symbols you want to insert.

    Quick Tip: If you don’t find the symbol that you need, at the bottom of the picker, you can switch between the different types of symbols available, including punctuation, currency, geometric, math, Latin, and language.

After completing the steps, the symbols you use more frequently will appear in the most recently used tab to make it even easier to select them the next time. 

How to insert symbols using Character Map

Alternatively, you can still use the old Character Map app to insert symbols on any text file or social media post using these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Character Map and click the top result to open the experience.

  3. Select the symbol that you want to use.

    Character Map app on Windows 10
    Character Map app on Windows 10
  4. Click the Select button.

  5. Click the Copy button.

Once you’ve completed the steps, you can insert the symbol by right-clicking and selecting the Paste option (or using the Ctrl + V keyboard shortcut).

If you don’t see the symbol or kaomoji sections using the emoji panel, it’s because you’re not running the version that supports this feature. Symbols and face characters are available starting with Windows 10 version 1903, May 2019 Update, more specifically with build 18305 and later.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].