How to Get the Square Root Symbol in Word

By Paul Higgins

Learn how to insert mathematical operators such as the square root symbol in a Microsoft Word document.

Add a square root symbol — also known as a radical sign — to a Microsoft Word document by using the program's AutoCorrect feature, inserting a symbol or typing an Alt code.

Type an AutoCorrect Keyword

Word, like all other Microsoft Office programs, comes with a spell checker called AutoCorrect. In addition to checking for typos, AutoCorrect can also turn a series of predefined keywords into math symbols. For example, insert a square root symbol in Word by typing \sqrt in the document, followed by a space. Upon pressing the space bar, Word automatically turns \sqrt into a square root symbol.

Tip

  • If your default font does not include the square root symbol, switch to the Cambria Math font before inserting the root square symbol by selecting Cambria Math from the Font drop-down menu in the Ribbon's Home tab.

  • AutoCorrect keywords are case-sensitive.

  • By default, AutoCorrect only recognizes math keywords when typed inside an equation. To insert a math symbol such as a radical sign outside of an equation, open the File tab and click Options. Select Proofing from the sidebar and click the AutoCorrect Options button. Tick the check box next to Use Math AutoCorrect rules outside of math regions.

Insert a Square Root Symbol

Step 1

Open the Insert tab and click the Symbol button. Select More Symbols.

Step 2

Select Mathematical Operators from the Subset drop-down menu and double-click the radical sign in the list of available symbols to insert it in your document.

Word 2013.

Type an Alt Code

By typing specific codes known as Alt Codes on your keypad, you can insert mathematical symbols into your Office documents.

Tip

  • You can only use Alt codes for mathematical symbols in Office applications.

  • If your computer does not have a keypad, you cannot type Alt codes.

Step 1

Press the Alt key and hold it down.

Step 2

Type 8730 on your keypad and release the Alt key. Word then inserts a radical sign in your document.

Tip

Use the 8731 and 8732 Alt codes, respectively, to insert a cube root or fourth root symbol.