How to Add Symbol in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Modified: January 30, 2024 - 3 min read

Julian Alvarado

Need to add symbols in Google Sheets? Whether it’s currency symbols or mathematical notations, this guide shows you how. 

Inserting Symbols in Google Sheets

In Google Sheets, adding symbols and special characters to your spreadsheet can be accomplished via different methods. 

This section details various intuitive techniques that enable users to enhance their data with ease.

Using the Insert Menu

The Insert menu in Google Sheets provides a straightforward way to add symbols. Users can simply click on “Insert” followed by “Special characters” to access a panel with a variety of symbols ranging from arrows to math and currency symbols. 

The panel includes a search bar, enabling users to find specific symbols quickly.

Leveraging the Special Characters Tool

Google Sheets offers a Special Characters tool, which can be found under the same “Insert” tab. This tool displays a library of symbols categorized for convenient access. Whether one needs to find emojis or geometric shapes, the categories section assists users in locating what they need swiftly. After selecting the desired symbol, it only takes a single click to insert it into the spreadsheet.

Keyboard Shortcuts and Alt Codes

For those familiar with keyboard shortcuts and Alt codes, Google Sheets supports these methods as well. 

To insert symbols in edit mode, users can apply these shortcuts to quickly copy and paste special characters without leaving their keyboards. This is especially useful for inserting frequently used symbols efficiently.

Users can rely on these options to efficiently insert symbols in Google Sheets, whether they need to add visual flare with icons or clarify data with mathematical notations.

Formatting and Managing Symbols

When adding symbols to Google Sheets, it’s important to not only know the methods of insertion but also how to effectively format and manage these symbols for clarity and visual consistency.

Applying Text Styles and Fonts

In Google Sheets, symbols and special characters inserted into cells can be further customized using various text styles and fonts. 

To change the text style, users can enter edit mode in a cell with the desired symbol and select the formatting options for bold, italic, or underline. 

Adjusting the font involves selecting the cell and choosing a preferred font style from the toolbar; this can be particularly useful when working with an array of symbols like Greek letters, which may render better in certain fonts.

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Advanced Techniques and Troubleshooting

For users looking to apply advanced formatting, such as inserting multiple symbols or utilizing the fill handle technique to copy symbols across cells, methodical steps must be followed. 

Method 1: Insert symbols individually by copying from sources like Google Docs, which provides a wide array of special characters

Method 2: Use extensions that allow for additional symbols or checkboxes to be inserted into spreadsheets. 

When troubleshooting common issues, ensure that any added extension is compatible with Google Sheets and that the symbols are being inserted while in edit mode to avoid errors.

 If issues persist, re-evaluating the format and ensuring that the cells are formatted as plain text can often resolve common insertion problems.


Adding symbols in Google Sheets enhances your data’s clarity and visual appeal.

For more efficient data management and analysis, consider Coefficient, a data connector software that integrates seamlessly with Google Sheets.

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Julian Alvarado Content Marketing
Julian is a dynamic B2B marketer with 8+ years of experience creating full-funnel marketing journeys, leveraging an analytical background in biological sciences to examine customer needs.
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