Whether you’re a musician drafting sheet music, a teacher making a music theory worksheet, or a student studying music, inserting music symbols into Word or Excel can help communicate musical ideas more clearly. Fortunately, both programs make inserting a wide variety of music symbols simple.
In this article, you’ll learn step-by-step how to:
Insert Music Symbols in Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word has a Music Symbols font that contains over 200 music characters for notes, rests, dynamics, accents, codas, and more. Here’s how to access and insert these music symbols:
Enable the Music Symbols Font
- Click the Home tab
- Open the Font dialog box
- Check the box next to Music Symbols to enable this font
You only need to do this once. Now the Music Symbols font will be available going forward.
Insert a Music Symbol
- Position the text cursor where you want the symbol
- Click the Insert tab
- Click Symbol
- Select Music Symbols from the font dropdown
- Browse for the desired music symbol
- Select the symbol and click Insert
You can repeat steps 1-6 to continue inserting music symbols as needed in your document.
Tips When Using Music Symbols
- Use a text box to contain music symbols so you can move them together easily
- Increase font size (e.g. 18-24 pt) for better readability
- Decrease line spacing (e.g. 1.0) to properly align symbols
- Use Tab to precisely space out notes and rests
Insert Music Symbols in Excel
Excel doesn’t have a Music Symbols font. But you can insert any music symbol by finding and entering its Unicode hexadecimal code point. Here’s how:
Identify the Music Symbol’s Hex Code
- Search for “music symbol Unicode” on the web
- Find the desired music symbol and note its 4-digit to 6-digit hex code after “U+”
For example, the quarter note has a hex code of U+1D15F.
Type the Hex Code in Excel
- Select the cell where you want the symbol
- Press Alt+X (Hold down Alt and press X)
- Type the hex code
- Press Alt+X again
- The music symbol will appear in the cell
You’ll need to repeat this process to insert each music symbol. While more work than using Word, this method lets you insert music symbols Excel lacks.
Tips for Using Hex Codes
- Increase row height to improve symbol visibility
- Use wingdings font for simple symbols like half/whole notes
- Create a legend if readers may not understand the symbols
- Use borders and coloring to organize complex sheets
Recap and Next Steps
And that’s it! You should now feel comfortable inserting a music note, rest, time signature, clef, or other music symbol into Word or Excel documents.
Some next steps to consider:
- Explore more advanced music notation software like Sibelius or Finale if creating complex sheet music
- Use shapes and text boxes for notation in PowerPoint presentations
- Practice entering hex codes to memorize your most-used music symbols
- Download a music symbol Unicode reference chart for quick access to hex codes