Typing common fractions in Word and Outlook

Fractions like 1/2 1/4 3/4 can look better in Word and Outlook as ½ ¼ ¾ that can be done for other common fractions too ⅘ ⅚ ⅐ ⅛ among many.  Either type directly with a shortcut or using AutoCorrect.  We have a full table of the fractions available as symbols.

As you may know, typing common fractions in Word/Outlook like 1/2 turns into ½,1/4 turns into ¼ and 3/4 into ¾. Word will automatically autoformat it as you type into a single character like this.

But, as you can see, if you type a less common fraction, say 1/5 then Word will leave it as is.

There’s a way to quickly type other common fractions which are available as single characters. 

Or set-up AutoCorrect so that, say, typing 1/5 uses a symbol like ⅕. That way in future you won’t have to worry or look at other methods like inserting an equation into your document.

Fractions as single characters

Common fractions are available as single characters or symbols in the Unicode character system. You can see them at Insert | Symbol in Office apps.  Some fraction symbols can be found under the Number Forms subset but not all of them, see the table below.

Here’s a complete list of all the fractions available as symbols.  The common Office fonts (Times New Roman, Calibri, Courier New etc) all support these characters.  Use the Hex code/number with the old Alt + X trick for Word and Outlook to quickly enter them.

SymbolUnicode nameHex code
(Alt + X in Word)
½Vulgar Fraction One Half 1/2  *00BD
Vulgar Fraction One Third 1/32153
Vulgar Fraction Two Thirds 2/32154
¼Vulgar Fraction One Quarter ¼ *00BC
¾Vulgar Fraction Three Quarters 3/4 *00BE
Vulgar Fraction One Fifth 1/52155
Vulgar Fraction Two Fifths 2/52156
Vulgar Fraction Three Fifths 3/52157
Vulgar Fraction Four Fifths 4/52158
Vulgar Fraction One Sixth 1/62159
Vulgar Fraction Five Sixths 5/6215A
Vulgar Fraction One Seventh 1/72150
Vulgar Fraction One Eighth 1/8215B
Vulgar Fraction Three Eighths 3/8215C
Vulgar Fraction Five Eighths 5/8215D
Vulgar Fraction Seven Eighths 7/8215E
Vulgar Fraction One Ninth 1/92151
Vulgar Fraction One Tenth 1/202152
Fraction Numerator One 1/215F

* these fractions will appear, by default, when typed as text in Word/Outlook.

Setting up AutoCorrect for Fractions

Now you know the symbol number, it can be typed into a document then copied into AutoCorrect.

Type the fraction into a Word document, then copy the symbol into the clipboard.  Go to File | Options | Proofing | AutoCorrect Options…

Once you add the fraction, select Add to include it within the AutoCorrect list. Add all your preferred fractions that you commonly use.

To get the nicely formatted fraction, you will need to paste the symbol you made in Word.

Typing some simple fractions automatically in Word and Outlook
Stacked or vertical fractions with Equation Editor in Word
Make your own fractions in Word and Outlook

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