When you're writing about anything involving math using a word processing program, you need to get comfortable with using a wide range of symbols that don't come up in everyday writing. Along with the multiplication and division signs, the squared symbol (2) is one of the most common symbols you need. The symbol is easy to attain if you use the copy and paste method, but you can raise a number to any power with the use of the superscript function included with word processing programs. You can also use an alt code to create the symbol if you prefer.
Copy and Paste Symbols: Squared
Creating the math symbol for squared using the familiar copy and paste procedure is easy. You need to locate an example of the symbol you're looking for, such as this squared symbol: 2. Highlight it with your mouse and press Control and C at the same time to copy it, or right-click and choose Copy from the menu that appears. Then, go to the place in the document you want the squared symbol to appear and press Control and V simultaneously, or right-click and choose Paste from the options.
Squared Symbol With Superscript
Although using the copy and paste approach is the easiest way to create the squared symbol, using the superscript feature on your word processing program is a much more versatile way to achieve the same thing. As well as creating the squared symbol, you can use this same approach to type the cubed symbol (3) or to raise a number to any other power.
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In Microsoft Word, the superscript symbol x2 is located in the Font group of the Home tab or by pressing Control, Shift and +. Click the superscript symbol and then type a 2 to create a squared symbol. Alternatively, you can type the 2 first, highlight it and then click the superscript symbol to turn it into the squared symbol. You can type anything – including letters, symbols and other numbers – and make it superscript using this same approach.
The approach for other word processing programs is similar. For example, in Google Docs, you access the superscript option through the menus at the top of the screen by going to Format, Text and then clicking Superscript. Alternatively, you can activate the option by pressing Control and period (.) together. In Pages for macOS, go to Format in the menu bar, and select Font, Baseline and Superscript to access the feature.
Alt Code for Squared Symbol
Alt codes are often a simpler way of writing out symbols, and there is an alt code if you want to type the squared symbol. The main requirement of using this method is that your keyboard has to have a separate number pad, and Num Lock must be on so you can type numbers using it.
To create the squared symbol using alt codes, press Alt and type 0178 on the number pad. This displays a squared symbol on Windows platforms and web browsers. There is also an alt code for a cubed symbol, 0179, which you type in after holding Alt in the same way as the squared symbol.
Creating a Box Symbol
What if you're looking for an actual square symbol (□) rather than a squared symbol? In other words, what if you want to type a box in the text? You can do this in Microsoft Word by going to Symbol, which is in the Symbols group of the Insert tab, and clicking More Symbols to open the Symbol window.
Navigate to Geometric Shapes in the Subset field and then search for the square you want. Choose from a black square, a white square, a square with rounded corners and several other complex options.