How to insert either of the Tilde ~ ∼ symbols into Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook. Both in Office for Windows and Office for Mac.
Tilde ∼ symbol is easy on some keyboards but for other keyboards, there’s no specific key for Tilde.
The two Tilde symbols
There are TWO tilde symbols in the Unicode system. One for regular use and a special one for formulas. For most us the difference doesn’t matter and it’s enough to use the standard ∼ .
What we’ll call the ‘Regular’ tilde ∼ that’s on most keyboards. Unicode U+007E or in Word 7E then Alt + X. The proper name is just Tilde.
And there’s a math version for formulas. ‘Math’ Tilde ∼ is Unicode U+223C or in Word 223C then Alt + X. The proper name is Tilde Operator.
How two Tilde ~ ∼ looks in different fonts.
Here’s some examples of how each Tilde ~ ∼ looks in common Office fonts.
‘Math’ Tilde isn’t available in most fonts. Word will switch to Cambria Math font if the symbol isn’t available in the selected font.
Word and Outlook
The regular Tilde ∼ sign does NOT have an inbuilt shortcut in Word but doesn’t usually need one because it’s on the keyboard. But 7E then Alt + X will work if necessary.
Math tilde, use the standard Word Alt + X symbol shortcut 223C + 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 Tilde symbol.
In Windows there are several shortcuts to enter the Tilde ∼ character into any program, but they use a numeric keypad, not the number row above the letters.
Alt + 8764
Window 11 Emoji Panel
The Windows 11 Emoji Panel has the Tilde symbol ∼. Use Win +. (period/full stop) to open the panel.
Choose the Symbols tab (the fifth of the top row icons), then the Math Symbols section. To find the Tilde symbol, scroll down the list.
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 Tilde ∼ symbol:
- Command + Control + Spacebar shortcut to open the Character Viewer.
- Search for “Tilde “ and the Viewer should find both symbols.
Despite the name Character Viewer, the Apple system tool will also insert characters into any program, including Office for Mac.
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