How to insert symbols on Windows 11

These are the quickest ways to insert symbols on Windows 11.

Windows 11 insert symbols
Windows 11 insert symbols

On Windows 11, you have two easy ways to insert symbols when writing a document, email, text message, or social media post, and in this guide, you will learn how. If you ever wrote anything on your computer, you probably had to use the “ALT” key plus code or search online to insert a symbol (for example, em dash, more than and less than, arrows, and many others), which is very inconvenient for something so simple.

However, Windows 11 comes with an emoji panel that lets you quickly insert symbols and kaomoji (face characters) in addition to emojis, so you don’t have to remember any “ALT” codes or use extra steps. Windows still comes with “Character Map,” a legacy application that includes all the symbols you will ever need to insert. 

This guide will teach you the easy steps to insert symbols and kaomoji in documents, text files, emails, and social media posts on Windows 11 (or 10).

Insert symbols from emoji panel

To insert symbols or kaomoji on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open an app on Windows 11.

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

  3. Click the Symbols tab. (Or the character face button to access the available kaomoji.)

    Symbols tab

  4. Select the symbols you want to insert.

    Emoji Panel insert symbols

    Quick tip: If you can’t find the symbol, you can switch between the tabs to look into the available symbols on Windows 11, including punctuation, currency, geometry, math, Latin, and language.

Once you complete the steps, the symbol will appear in the document, and you use them, the most frequently used will appear in the “most recently used” tab to make it even easier to select them the next time. 

Insert symbols from Character Map

To use the legacy Character Map app to insert symbols on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

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

  3. Select the symbol you want to use.

    Character Map on Windows 11

  4. Click the Copy button.

After you complete the steps, you can insert the symbol by right-clicking and selecting the “Paste” option (or using the “Ctrl + V” keyboard shortcut).

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].