How to insert micro sign or mu symbol in Word

Word 2016
μ letter is very popular in different domains of science. E.g., μ symbol designates a population mean in statistics, coefficient of friction or magnetic permeability in physics, and micron or micrometer in measurement. There are several ways to quickly insert any Latin or Greek letter into a Word document. This tip proposes some of the most useful techniques for micro sign or mu letter.

There are different methods to insert the micro sign or mu letter (sometimes incorrectly called a mew symbol) in a Word document:

   I.  Using the Symbol font:

This method is very useful when you need to insert symbols rarely and it works only for Latin or Greek letters.

Anytime, when you type the text in the Word document, you can switch to the Symbol font and use the corresponding Latin letters to enter Greek letters:

   1.   Click Ctrl+Shift+Q to switch your current font to the Symbol font.

   2.   Use symbols like normal font (e.g., in Symbol font keyboard button "a" equals Greek letter "α", keyboard button "b" equals Greece letter "β", ..., "l" -> "λ", "m" -> "μ", ..., "w" -> "ω", etc.):

Micro sign, mu letter or mew letter in Word 365

Note: This method works for inserting only one letter. Thus, if you want to insert several symbols, you need to repeat these steps for each insertion.

After entering one letter using the Symbol font, the next character will use the previous font.

If you click Ctrl+Shift+Q twice, Word does not switch to the previous font, and the Symbol font doesn't stop to work after the first entered symbol. Thus, you will need to change the current font and style later.

   II.  Using the Equation:

This way is perfect if you don't need to care about the format and compatibility with previous versions of Microsoft Office (a recommended approach for physical science and mathematics, which require a lot of math in the text with consistent fonts for all equations and symbols):

   1.   In the paragraph where you want to insert the symbol, click Alt+= to insert the equitation block:

Equitation in Word 365

   2.   In the equitation block without any additional efforts, you can enter any letter that you need just by typing \+ Name of the letter:

Micro sign, mu letter or mew letter in equation Word 365

   III.  Using AutoCorrect for Math:

When you work with many documents and often need to paste only one special symbol, you may not want 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 a micro sign or mu letter from the Greek alphabet, or even large pieces of text:

Using this method, you can benefit 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 365 options

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

AutoCorrect Options in Word 365

   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 365

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

Micro sign, mu letter or mew letter in Word 365

Note: If you don't need the last replacement, click Ctrl+Z to cancel it.

   IV.  Using a shortcut key:

Microsoft Word offers pre-defined shortcut key for popular symbols such as micro sign:

  • Type 03bc or 03BC (does not matter, uppercase or lowercase) and immediately press Alt+X to insert the mu symbol: μ

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

   V.  Define a shortcut key:

Microsoft Word provides a way to define the shortcut key for the most often used functions. Thus, you can assign a shortcut for inserting the micro sign:

   1.   On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click the Symbol button:

Symbol in Word 365

Note: If you use the character very often, you will find it in the Symbol dropdown list:

Micro sign, mu letter or mew letter in Symbols Word 365

   2.   Click More Symbols....

   3.   On the Symbol dialog box:

  • To insert the micro sign from the current font (if it exists), from the Subset dropdown list, select the Greek and Coptic:
    Greek and Coptic in Symbols Word 365
  • To insert the micro sign from the Symbol font, from the Font dropdown list, choose the Symbol font:
    Symbol font in Symbols Word 365

   4.   Choose the symbol and click the Shortcut Key... button to open the Customize Keyboard dialog box:

Customize Keyboard in Symbols Word 365

   5.   In the Press new shortcut key field, type the key combination that you want to use for the symbol or character (e.g., for symbol μ used Alt+M) and click Assign.

Note: Be careful, you can reassign the assigned already shortcuts in Word. Be sure, that after Current assign to: there are no active Word commands. In any case, you can reassign any existing function in Word to a different key.

See also this tip in French: Comment insérer un symbole micro ou une lettre mu dans Word.

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