How to Insert Symbols in Open Office

Written by amber viescas
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How to Insert Symbols in Open Office
The copyright symbol is a special character that is not part of the standard keyboard layout. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Word-processing programs such as OpenOffice Writer provide the option of including special characters that cannot be typed on a normal keyboard. These can include letters with accent marks, special punctuation, the copyright symbol and characters that are not part of the English language, such as Cyrillic letters. The special characters available depend on the font that you are using; each font supports a certain number of special characters. You can insert multiple symbols at a time.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the document you want to insert the symbol into by clicking "File" in the menubar at the top and then "Open." Select the document you want to open, and click "OK."

  2. 2

    Click in the document where you want to insert the symbol. Click "Insert" from the menubar, then "Special Characters" from the menu.

  3. 3

    Choose the font you want to use in the Special Characters window. OpenOffice's default font is Nimbus Roman No9 L. However, you may want to switch to a different font if you have difficulty finding the symbol you want.

  4. 4

    Locate the symbol you want, scrolling down to view more symbols. Choosing a character subset from the Subset drop-down menu lets you skip down the subset of symbols you want to find. For instance, if you are looking for a Cyrillic character, you can choose "Cyrillic" from the Subset menu.

  5. 5

    Click on the symbol you want. It will appear in the lower left side of the window after the word "Characters:". It will also be displayed in the lower right-hand side of the window along with its character code.

  6. 6

    Click on any other symbols you want to insert if you want to insert multiple symbols. As you click on each symbol, the phrase will appear in the lower left side of the window after "Characters:".

  7. 7

    Click "OK" to insert the stored characters into the document.

Tips and warnings

  • In the Special Characters window, if you accidentally click a symbol you do not wish to insert, click "Delete" to erase the stored characters.

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