How to insert Angle brackets or chevrons in Word

Word 365
Angle brackets ⟨ ⟩, also known as pointy brackets, triangular brackets, diamond brackets, tuples, chevrons, guillemets, broken brackets, brokets, (often substituted informally by less-than < and greater-than signs >) are used in different areas, for example:
  • In mathematics, angle brackets denote a dot product in the pre-Hilbert space, for example:
    Equitation with angle brackets in Word 2016
  • In quantum mechanics, angle brackets (also called Dirac notation or bra–ket notation) denote quantum states (vectors) and matrix elements, e.g., Equitation 2 with angle brackets in Word 2016.
  • In physics, angle brackets denote averaging (overtime or another continuous argument); for example, Equitation 3 with angle brackets in Word 2016 is a time average of f.
  • In textual criticism, and hence in many editions of pre-modern works, chevrons denote gaps in the text - ⟨...⟩.
  • In linguistics, angle brackets identify graphemes (i.e., letters of an alphabet) or orthography, e.g., phoneme /a/ is conveyed by the letter ⟨a⟩.

Note: This tip is about inserting the angle brackets into the text without using the Equation tools; see more about Word equations.

   I.  Using AutoCorrect for Math:

When you work with many documents and often need to paste just one special symbol, you don't need to insert an equation each time. Microsoft Word offers a helpful feature named AutoCorrect. The AutoCorrect options in Microsoft Word propose two different ways to quickly add any special character, such as angle brackets, or even large pieces of text:

Using this method, you can benefit from the Math AutoCorrect options without inserting an equation. To turn on or turn off the AutoCorrect of the Math symbols, do the following:

   1.   On the File tab, click Options:

Word 2016 Options button

   2.   In the Word Options dialog box, on the Proofing tab, click the AutoCorrect Options... button:

AutoCorrect Options in Word 2016

   3.   In the AutoCorrect dialog box, on the Math AutoCorrect tab, select the Use Math AutoCorrect rules outside of the math regions option:

Use Math AutoCorrect rules outside of the math regions in Word 2016

After clicking OK, you can use any of the listed Names of symbols, and Microsoft Word will replace them with the appropriate symbols:

Left angle symbol in Word 2016  and   Right angle symbol in Word 2016,   or   Bra symbol in Word 2016  and   Ket symbol in Word 2016.

Note: If you do not need the last replacement, click Ctrl+Z to cancel it.

   II.  Using a shortcut key:

Microsoft Word offers a pre-defined shortcut key for some symbols such as chevrons:

  • Type 2329, or 27e8, 27E8 (does not matter, uppercase or lowercase) and immediately press Alt+X to insert the Left-Pointing Angle Bracket symbol:
  • Type 232a, 232A, or 27e9, 27E9 and press Alt+X to insert the Right-Pointing Angle Bracket symbol:

Note: You can see the combination in the Character code field in the Symbol dialog box (see below).

   III.  Using a Symbol dialog box:

To open the Symbol dialog box, on the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, select the Symbol button, and then click More Symbols...:

More Symbols in Word 2016

On the Symbol dialog box:

  • In the Font list, select the Cambria Math font,
  • Optionally, to find symbols faster, in the Subset list, select the Miscellaneous Technical subset,
  • Select the symbol:
    Bra symbol in Symbols Word 2016
  • Click the Insert button to insert the symbol,
  • Click the OK button to close the Symbol dialog box.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

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