Broken Vertical Bar ¦ symbol in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook

Type the Broken Vertical Bar ¦ in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook.  Both in Office for Windows and Office for Mac.

Broken Vertical Bar ¦ symbol was sometimes used in computing.  These days there’s no specific use for the broken vertical bar but it’s good to keep in mind as a design alternative to the vertical bar.

Old dot-matrix printers made a vertical bar that looked broken.  After some switches in the ASCII and other formats last century, broken vertical bar finally settled with a place in the Unicode character set.

The solid vertical bar |  is on most, if not all, modern keyboards, usually above the \ backslash or escape character.

How Broken Vertical Bar ¦ looks in different fonts.

Here’s some examples of how Broken Vertical Bar ¦ looks in common Office fonts.

Broken Vertical Bar ¦ codes

These are the important code numbers or values you’ll need to enter the Broken Vertical Bar or ¦

Decimal:  166  Hex:   00A6

Web:  ¦ or ¦ or ¦

(web codes aren’t used in Microsoft Office, we’ve included them for the sake of completeness.)

Word and Outlook

The Broken Vertical Bar ¦  sign does NOT have an inbuilt shortcut in Word.

Use the standard Word Alt + X symbol shortcut 00A6  + Alt + X

Once in a document you can copy it to AutoCorrect and make your own shortcut.

Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook

Insert | Symbols | Symbol and look for the Broken Vertical Bar symbol.


In Windows there are several shortcuts to enter the Broken Vertical Bar ¦  character into any program, but they use a numeric keypad, not the number row above the letters.

Alt + 166  

Emoji Panel

Broken Vertical Bar is in the Emoji Panel under Symbols | General Punctuation .

See Emoji Panel is part of Windows 10 that totally sucks

Windows Character Map

The Windows Character Map accessory in all Windows releases

Character Map has a search feature, something missing from the Insert | Symbol in Office.

MacOS and Office for Mac inserting characters

On a Mac, to enter the Broken Vertical Bar ¦ symbol:

  • Command + Control + Spacebar shortcut to open the Character Viewer.  
  • Search for “ Broken “ and the Viewer should find the symbol you need.

Despite the name Character Viewer, the Apple system tool will also insert characters into any program, including Office for Mac.

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