How do I add music symbols to my Word document?

I’m a music teacher who uses Microsoft Word a lot. I sometimes need to add musical symbols (specifically sharp, flat and natural symbols in my document. I’ve tried looking for these characters in the Special Characters window, but most fonts don’t have them. Is there any way I can do this?

Here’s a small trick that will help you. Word uses a system called Unicode to represent characters in a document and will automatically figure out how to display characters if they don’t exist in the current font. If you want the 3 characters you mentioned here’s how to do it:

  • For a flat note: Type 266d and then press Alt-X
  • For a natural note: Type 266e and then press Alt-X
  • For a sharp note: Type 266f and then press Alt-X

It works very nicely, all you need to do is remember the Unicode values of the characters you want to display.

32 thoughts on “How do I add music symbols to my Word document?”

  1. NO NEVERMIND! I DID IT AGAIN AND NOW THEY WORK…THIS SITE IS AWESOME!!! ROCK ON MUSICAL PLAYERS, ROCK ON!!!!!!

  2. Hi Owen…

    I’m sure I’m doing something wrong…all I get is a square shape…can you tell me what I’m doing wrong?

    Thanks so much!

  3. Hi,

    I’d like to be able to add half notes, quarter notes, and whole notes, etc, to word docs. Is this possible?

    Thanks,
    Mary

  4. Wow, that is the coolest thing ever!! Thanks, Owen! I just wonder why Word doesn’t make it at all clear how to going about doing this.

    Katie

  5. Hi Owen

    Great information, but I can’t get it to work – I don’t get anything at all.

    Is it possible that my PC is ignoring the instruction because of a setting somewhere?

    Thanks

  6. just so the mac users out there know, if you use microsoft : word for macintosh if you go to the font “opus chords” the option button plus the “u” the “g” and I blieve the “c” will give you the flat, sharp and natural symbols. took me FOREVER to figure it out, so i thought i’d share the info with others.

  7. Hey, I’m doing my GCSE music coursework and I need a 4/4 time signature symbol. Anyone know how to get it in a word doc?

  8. I have a laptop, and to follow your instructions was a hard task. I consulted it with the Words Help box (Words 2000) and the instructiions given were to turn On the NUM LOCK and by pressing alt the numbers, a symbol will appear. It also said to press “0” before the numbers. I found out that pressing “0” wasn’t necessary.

    I had trouble following the instructions as well, because when you turn On the NUM LOCK in the laptop (fn NUM LOCK) the keyboard changes. So, for to have the ♪ symbol (I’ll hope it will show up here as a symbol) you must press alt 269, and if you want this other musical symbol ♫ you must press alt 270.

    But, you cannot use the regular numbers of the keyboard in a laptop as you do in a desktop computer, instead you must need to use their letter values, so, you must press alt ko9, and alt k7m in order to have those symbols. I don’t know if all the laptops are set the same, but this is how this it works in mine which is a Compaq.

    I am an amateur in this, I was doing it because I also needed to write musical symbols in my writings. And I really thank you a lot for your advice.

    Oh, I also noticed that by using the code numbers (alt xxx), the spaces between the lines won’t be affected, something which is great. You can use the unicode with Times News Roman and the lines will keep their same distance.

    The spaces between lines, however, will be affected if you write words with Times News Roman and the symbols using Lucida Sans Unicode.

    Only a shareware called Bach promises to keep words and symbols in the text without affecting the spaces between lines, but I tried to install it yesterday and it didn’t work. I was also disappointed that most of the fonts online were made for to write music or as decoration only. And the music symbol fonts do affect the spaces betweeen lines if you combine them with regular words. In my case, I need them to write about music in a text mode presentation, and what I learned here was more than I ever expected.

    Still, I only have found two musical symbols. I’m just a beginner.

    Thank you again, now, I must go…I talk to much…

  9. In the directions on microsoft help it says to make sure NUM LOCK is on
    There is nothing on my HP laptop keyboard or in the toolbars that says
    NUM LOCK
    What am I not getting?

  10. Should be to the right of F12 and part of the scroll key. So press the Fn key and the scroll key to turn on num lk.

  11. So how do I add the manu other symbols used in music such as the ‘Pause’ symbol, or the ‘Crescendo’ elongated V shape etc.?

    If they’re in Unicode symbols where do we find these?

  12. I’ve written a million music papers….I have found finale/ google image search and print screen to be very helpful…but also ..download the maestro font and then it is really easy to do symbols,notes and rests in the text of a paper.

  13. The keycode for the quarter note is 2669, then Alt-X. You can also find all these symbols in Word if you use the Insert/Symbol menu command. On the Symbols tab, change the font to a Unicode font such as Arial Unicode. Change the subset to “Dingbats” and you will see the four available notes plus flat, natural and sharp symbols. Of course this is too limited for doing a score, but it’s handy when you just need a few notes.

  14. John: Thanks so much! you got me , and it appears, everybody else(!)…..there!
    Best regards to all for your attempts along the way!

  15. hey,Omen
    it didnt work! so is there another way to do it except on gmail because i want to post a music sign kind of stuff plzzzzz reply soon!!!!!!! 🙂

  16. Please, does anyone know how to put sharps, flats, etc. into a Word document without affecting the line spacing?

  17. Ok, so I read the 226d alt-x and attempted it in office 07. This worked the first time, and the fist time only, with each consecutive attempt giving me this foolish thing ?. I am using Lucida Sans Unicode, as per your instructions. Any suggestions?

  18. Hello.

    I’m having some big problems with the pedal sign. I’m using the maestro font, but I keep having trouble finding pedal sign on my keyboard. I tried holding down alt and than typing 0161, but it doesn’t work for me.
    Is there perhaps any list with all the maestro font signs, so I could just pick the pedal sign from list?
    Thank you very much in advance,

    Diana

  19. THANK YOU!!! I was pulling my hair out, digging through list after list of wingdings and webdings and zbatdings and God knows what all. You rock!

  20. I am an excel person so in excel you can make your own symbols by using the drawing feature. For a 1/4 note example: using basic shapes make an oval, then (format Fill In) to darken in the center. Zoom in to mag 400. Add a line to the side of the oval. Widen the line (weight). And group the two symbols together and you have a note. For your rest you need to draw it with a Freeform line, then fill it in. You can draw more stuff and group it together to create any symbol you want.

  21. You can always go open Microsoft Word and click on “Insert Symbol”. Once you find the symbol that you are looking for, the shortcut will be listed on the bottom (not sure if new versions are on the left or right). You can always make yourself a personalized key.

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