How to Type the Section Symbol in Microsoft Word

242118 How to Type the Section Symbol in Microsoft Word

The section symbol (§) is commonly used in legal documents, reports, articles, and books to refer to specific sections or chapters. While this symbol may not be present on a standard keyboard, it can be easily inserted into Microsoft Word on both Windows and Mac operating systems.

What is the Section Symbol

The section symbol, technically called the section sign, is represented by a double S character (§). It resembles two letter S’s stacked on top of each other, with the bottom S rotated 180 degrees.

Some common uses of the section symbol include:

  • Referencing sections or chapters in legal documents, contracts, and books
  • Citing specific provisions within legal codes
  • Separating numbered lists or outlines
  • Marking divided content in documents

Why Use the Section Symbol

Using a section symbol helps organize documents that are divided into parts or chapters. It allows you to conveniently refer readers to a specific passage. For example, you may write “see §3” to refer your reader to Section 3.

The section symbol is also commonly used when citing statutes or regulations. For instance, §501 of Title 17 refers to Section 501 in Title 17 of the US Code.

Overall, the section symbol improves clarity and readability by clearly separating numbered sections.

How to Insert the Section Symbol in Word

There are a few easy ways to insert a section symbol into your Word documents:

Use the Keyboard Shortcut

The fastest way is to use the keyboard shortcut:

On Windows:

  • Place your cursor where you want the symbol
  • Hold down the ALT key
  • Type 0167 using the numeric keypad
  • Release the ALT key

On Mac:

  • Place your cursor where you want the symbol
  • Press Option+6

A § symbol will appear where you placed the text cursor.

Use the Insert Menu

You can also use the Insert tab:

  • Place your cursor where you want the symbol
  • Go to Insert > Symbol > More Symbols
  • Select the Special Characters tab
  • Find and select the Section symbol
  • Click Insert

Create a Custom Keyboard Shortcut

For frequent use, you may want to create a custom keyboard shortcut:

  • Go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon
  • Under “Keyboard shortcuts” select Customize
  • Under “Categories” select Symbols
  • Find the Section symbol, click in the “Press new shortcut key” box and press your custom keys
  • Click Assign, then click Close and OK

Now your custom shortcut will insert the section symbol.

Tips for Using the Section Symbol

When using the section symbol, keep these tips in mind:

  • Add spaces around it – Insert non-breaking spaces before and after the symbol so it stands alone if a line break occurs
  • Use a consistent style – Format the symbol the same way throughout your document for consistency
  • Reference sections accurately – Double check that your section symbols correctly refer to the intended sections
  • Use headings to complement – Use section symbols alongside headings to clearly separate document sections

Conclusion

The section symbol is a useful way to divide and organize documents of all kinds. By mastering the keyboard shortcuts in Word, you can conveniently insert this symbol on both Windows and Mac.

Referring to sections, codes, statutes, chapters and more is made simpler with the section symbol. Use it alongside headings and titles to improve clarity and readability.

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