Lambda upper Λ or lower case λ in Word and Office

Type the Lambda upper case Λ, and Lambda lower case λ symbols (aka Lamda) in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook.  Both in Office for Windows and Office for Mac. 

Lambda/Lamda (uppercase Λ / lowercase λ) is the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet. The uppercase symbol has various uses, it is used for the likelihood ratio in statistics, and was even a pattern used on shields during the Peloponnesian War by the Spartan Army. The lowercase symbol indicates any wavelength of any wave, and the radioactivity decay constant in nuclear physics.

Lambda or Lamda?

Finding the Lambda symbols can be tricky because the Unicode standard uses a slightly different name – Lamda.

Lambda is the usual spelling however the Unicode people decided to use Lamda because it was the name already used for a previous character standard and the Greek authorities preferred ‘Lamda’. It matters if you’re trying tofind a symbol by name – if you search for ‘Lambda’ in a Unicode based list (like macOS Character Viewer) nothing will show up unless you look for ‘lamda’ instead.

Lamda is usually marked as a spelling error in Microsoft Word / Microsoft Editor.

How Lambda upper case and Lambda lower case look in different fonts.

Here’s some examples of how the Lambda/Lamda upper case and Lambda/Lamda lower case symbols look in common Office fonts in Word 365. 

Lambda uppercase and lowercase symbol codes

These are the important code numbers or values you’ll need to enter the two symbols.

Use the Alt + X shortcut in Word for Windows, for example type 039B then Alt + X to enter Λ.  

Or enter the value into Character Code fields in Symbol dialog boxes to jump to that symbol. 

Lambda / Lamda uppercase symbol Λ                              U+ 039B  

Lambda / Lamda lowercase symbol  λ                              U+ 03BB

Quick access for commonly used symbols. 

If you use a symbol often, a fast way to enter it is AutoCorrect. 

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 Lambda symbol using Character Code 039B or 03BB.

Window 11/10 Emoji Panel has Lambda

The Windows 11/10 Emoji Panel has the Lambda symbol Λ.  Use Win + . (period/fullstop) to open the panel.

Choose the Symbols tab (the third of the top row icons), then the Language Symbols section which is marked by the capital Ω.  The Lambda / Lamda symbols are located within the second row.

Windows Character Map

Similarly, the Windows Character Map accessory in all Windows releases. Character Map has a search feature, something missing from the Insert | Symbol in Office. 

Or use one of the hex character codes to jump to the right part of the list. 

MacOS and Office for Mac inserting Lamda or Lambda 

This is where the name difference Lambda vs Lamda is important. The macOS character list mostly uses the Unicode labelling, meaning Lamda is the word to search by.

  • Command + Control + Spacebar shortcut to open the Character Viewer.    
  • Search for “Lambda“ and you’ll only find one symbol. 
  • Search for ‘Lamda‘ and alĺ the Lambda symbols appear.

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

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