How to Insert a Tilde Above a Letter in Microsoft Word

By Filonia LeChat

Although Microsoft Word's quick menus, toolbars and working area make it a user-friendly piece of software, the program isn't always necessarily so friendly to other languages. When you need to accent certain letters or words, for example, Word has you doing so manually, adding the accents such as tildes, into text boxes and dragging them into place within the text. Without a way to tell Word to insert a tilde above a letter, you're on your own, but it only takes a few steps to put the accent in its place.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word. Type the letter, word or paragraph to be modified by the tilde.

Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab at the top of the screen. Click the "Text Box" button on the ribbon. Click "Simple Text Box" and the text box is added to the Word page. Drag it out of the way of your typing.

Step 3

Click into the text box, where the placeholder text becomes highlighted. Type the tilde by pressing the "Shift" key and pressing the tilde key. The rest of the placeholder text is erased.

Step 4

Drag the right side of the tilde text box so it is small enough to just fit the tilde itself, without any extra room.

Step 5

Click the border of the text box to open the orange "Text Box Tools" tab at the top of the work area. Click the "Shape Fill" button and select "No Fill." Click the "Shape Outline" button and select "No Outline." While the tilde is still in a text box, it now looks like an ordinary character.

Step 6

Drag the tilde over the letter it modifies.

Tips & Warnings

  • Inserting the tilde means wording may look cramped, especially if the letter the tilde is going over is not on the first line under a space. To combat this, and give the text box more room, you may want to experiment with line spacing, such as right-clicking the lines, selecting "Paragraph" and choosing "1.5 spacing" or even "double spacing." While this will look different than traditional text, it will make room for the tilde and make it easier to see.