How to insert a symbol in Google Sheets

You can watch a video tutorial here.

In Google Sheets, inserting a symbol means adding a character or image to a cell or range of cells to represent a specific value or enhance the spreadsheet’s visual appeal. Symbols can include special characters, mathematical symbols, currency symbols, arrows, and more.

Our data set above consists of the names of different forces. To indicate the direction of various forces in our dataset, we can use special characters. To achieve this, we have two methods, the first is to insert a symbol in Google Docs and copy and paste it into Google Sheets and the second is to use Alt + Number keys. The following steps will guide you to use these methods. 

Method 1: Insert symbols in Google Docs

Step 1 – Open Google docs

  • Open a new sheet of Google Docs

Step 2 – Click on the Insert tab

  • Click on the Insert tab and a dropdown menu will appear 

Step 3 – Click on the Special Characters  option

  •  From the dropdown menu, Click on the Special Characters option and a dialog box will appear

Step 4 – Select the Symbol

  • From the dialog box click on the symbol you want to show and it will appear on the sheet of google docs

Step 5 – Copy the Symbol 

  • Select the symbol shown on the screen
  • Right-click it and a context menu will appear
  • From this menu, click on Copy option 

Step 6 – Open Google Sheets

  • Open the sheet (where you want to show the symbol) of  google sheets

Step 7 – Select the Cell

  • Click on the Cell where you want to show the symbol

Step 8 – Paste the symbol

  • Right-click on the selected cell and the context menu will appear
  • From this menu click on the Paste option to get the required result

Method 2: Insert Symbols using Keys 

Alt codeSymbolDescription
ALT + 2Smiley
ALT + 3Heart
ALT + 4Diamond
ALT + 5Club
ALT + 6Spades
ALT + 7Ball
ALT + 8Bullet
ALT + 9Bullet
ALT + 1 + 6Start
ALT + 1 + 7Back
ALT + 1 + 8Double arrow (up/down)
ALT + 1 + 9Double exclamation mark
ALT + 2 + 4Down arrow
ALT+2+5Arrow up
ALT + 2 + 6Arrow right
ALT + 2 + 7Left arrow
ALT + 2 + 9Double arrow (left/right)
ALT + 3 + 0Triangle

Step 1 – Select the Cell

  • Click on the Cell where you want to show the Symbol 

Step 2 – Press Alt + Number keys

  • After selecting the cell, press the Alt + 2 + 6  key, and right arrow symbol will appear in the cell as shown above.
  • You may use different combinations of the Alt key and numbers to get different symbols as per your requirements.