How to Get the Mean Symbol in a Word Document

Image Credit: seb_ra/iStock/GettyImages

When most people think of the average of a set of data, they're really referring to the mean. Whenever you're writing about statistics using Microsoft Word, there's a good chance you'll need to know how to create the mean symbol, which is x̄. It is sometimes called an x-bar, for obvious reasons, and it's one of the most important math symbols to know how to create. Microsoft Word makes it easy to use this symbol in your documents.

Mean Symbol in Word: Equations

The "Equations" tool in Word, which is included in all versions from 2007 onward, makes it easy to create the symbol for average in a document. Go to the "Insert" tab and find the group labeled "Symbols." Click on the drop-down arrow under "Equation" and click on "Insert New Equation." You can also open the "Equation Tools" tab by holding the "Alt" key and pressing "Enter."

Toward the right of the row of options, click "Accent." This brings up all the available accents, including the "bar" symbol, which is usually second from the left on the third row of options, although that may change depending on your Word version. Click the symbol, and a box with a bar over it appears. In the box, type "x" to create the mean symbol. The x-bar symbol is commonly used for a sample mean, but you can also use this approach to create a y-bar symbol or add the bar to any other symbol.

Mean Symbol With Alt Codes

You can also use Alt codes to get the sample mean symbol into your Word document if your keyboard has a number pad in addition to the row above the letters. Ensure the "Num Lock" key is activated so you can use the numbers on the pad. Type the letter "x," hold the Alt key and type "0772" into the number pad. This adds the bar symbol to the x. The code "0773" creates a longer bar.

Other Statistical Symbols in Word

The "Equations" and "Symbols" features, both located under the "Insert" tab, allow you to add many math symbols used in statistics. These include the symbol for population mean, 𝜇, and the symbol for population standard deviation, σ. You can add these to an equation as described in the first section, but both are Greek letters – mu and sigma, specifically – and you can find them in the "Greek and Coptic" subset of the "Symbols" dialogue box.

references