An ampersand is the "&" symbol on a keyboard and represents the word "and." It began being commonly used in the English language around 1837, according to The Word Detective. Adding an ampersand to a document or email from a PC keyboard is extremely easy to do--the simplest way is by hitting the ampersand key on the keyboard. However, if the key is broken, there are other ways of inserting an ampersand into a document.
Use the PC keyboard to type an ampersand. On all American English PC keyboards, the ampersand is located on the same key as the number "7." It can be accessed by clicking and holding the "Shift" key and then pressing the "7/&" key at the same time. The process is the same as if the user were capitalizing a letter, except this time it is to insert the ampersand symbol. This process works in all word processing and desktop publishing documents, on the Internet and in email.
Use an "ALT" key shortcut. If the method in Step 1 cannot be performed due to a malfunctioning keyboard, then an "ALT" keyboard shortcut can be used. The "ALT" key allows the user to access all the symbols on the computer's character map by pressing "ALT" and a numerical combination. To create the ampersand or "&" symbol, press and hold "ALT" then type "38" and release "ALT." The ampersand symbol should appear on the screen. If it does not, press the "Number Lock" key and try again.
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Use the Windows character map. Go to "Start," "Program Files," then "Accessories" and open "System Tools." Open "Character Map." Navigate to the "&" symbol. Double click it to insert the symbol into an open program or click it and press "CTRL" and "C" at the same time to copy it. Then paste the symbol into a document by pressing "CTRL" and "V" or right-clicking and selecting "Paste."