Automatically insert an arrow, face, or other symbol

When AutoCorrect is turned on, you can use the list of predefined AutoCorrect entries to automatically insert symbols—for example, arrows and faces (facial expressions or emoticons).

Note: If text isn't replaced with a symbol, you may need to turn on the AutoCorrect feature.

The following procedures explain how to insert a symbol that is available in Outlook, turn on AutoCorrect, and set up your own AutoCorrect entry. For information about how to manually insert a symbol by using Unicode character codes, see Insert a symbol or special character.

Insert a predefined symbol by using AutoCorrect

Type a predefined AutoCorrect entry that is in the following list, and watch Outlook automatically replace it with the appropriate symbol. For example, type --> to insert Right arrow .


To insert


Copyright symbol


Registration mark


trademark symbol


:) or :-)

happy face

:| or :-|

straight face

:( or :-(

unhappy face


Right arrow


left arrow


bold left arrow


double-headed arrow


bold right arrow

Turn on AutoCorrect

  1. On the File tab, choose Options.

  2. Choose Mail in the column on the left.

  3. Under Compose messages, choose Spelling and Autocorrect.

  4. For Proofing, under AutoCorrect options, choose Auto Correct options.

  5. In the AutoCorrect in Email dialog box, on the AutoCorrect tab, make sure to select the Replace text as you type check box.

  6. Go to Set up your own AutoCorrect entry.

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click Editor Options.

  2. Click Proofing.

  3. Under AutoCorrect options, click AutoCorrect Options, and then click the AutoCorrect tab.

  4. Select the Replace text as you type check box.

  5. Go to Set up your own AutoCorrect entry.

Set up your own AutoCorrect entry

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click Symbol, and then click More Symbols.

    Word Ribbon Image

  2. Click the Symbols tab or the Special Characters tab.

  3. Select the symbol or special character that you want to set up as an AutoCorrect entry.

  4. Click AutoCorrect.

    Note: The symbol or character appears in the With box.

  5. In the Replace box, type the text sequence that you want Word to automatically change to the symbol or character—for example, \alpha—you selected.

  6. Click Add > OK, and then close the Symbol dialog box.

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