The x-bar symbol isn't something you'll often encounter unless you deal with statistics on a regular basis. For word processing programs like Microsoft Word, most people don't need to enter the character, so it isn't easily accessible unless you know where to look. You can produce an x-bar in Word in several different ways. The most familiar method involves the Equation tool in Word, but there are ways to do it through the Symbols section and alt codes.
What Is the X-Bar Symbol?
The x-bar symbol, x̄, is used in statistics to represent the mean of a set of data. This is the arithmetic mean, which is what most people think of when they say "average" – the sum of all the measurements divided by the total number of measurements. The symbol appears in many formulas used in statistics, which is where you'd most likely need to type it.
Producing the Mean Symbol in Word
The easiest method for producing the mean symbol in Word 2007 onward is using the Equation tool. Go to the "Insert" tab at the top of the window and look for the "Equation" tool on the right. You can spot it easily by looking for the pi symbol. Click on the "pi" symbol to add a new equation or click the drop-down arrow and choose "Insert New Equation." Type an "x" in the field that appears in your document and highlight it. Under the Equation Tools "Design" tab, which opens automatically when you add the equation, find "Accent" in the "Structures" section on the upper right side. Click the drop-down arrow and locate the "bar" symbol, which is located second from the left on the third row down. Click the symbol to add it to the "x." You can also click this first and type an "x" into the space that appears below the bar.
Using Alt Codes
A quicker method of creating the symbol for mean in Word uses alt codes. Type an "x" and then hold down the "Alt" key while you type "0772" using the number pad before releasing the "Alt" key. You can produce a longer bar by typing "0773" instead.
Using Arial Unicode MS
Another method of writing the x-bar symbol in Word uses the Arial Unicode MS font. Change the font to Arial Unicode MS, type an "x" where you want the x-bar to go and then navigate to the "Symbol" window. Find it under the "Insert" tab, at the far right of the toolbar, next to the "Equation" section. Click the drop-down arrow and choose "More Symbols." Make sure "Arial Unicode MS" is selected in the "Font" section at the upper left of the screen. Also, ensure that it says "Unicode (Hex)" in the "From" section toward the bottom right of the window. In the "Character code" field next to "From," type "0305" to go to the bar. Now click "Insert" to add it to the "x."