Many symbols are so common that Word has preset autocorrects based on the way they are usually typed: (C) becomes ©, … becomes …, and 1/2 becomes ½.
For other special characters, you can either type the related ASCII code or open Word’s Symbol Browser (shown below). On a Mac, that is found on the Insert menu under Symbol. Here common symbols are arranged into groups to make them easier to find.
Of course, there are a large number of other symbols in hundreds of fonts. For the fewest slip-ups, stick to the same font as the surrounding text. In the Advanced Symbol window, that means sticking to the normal text set. If the manuscript simply must have a symbol from another font, it’s a good idea to flag this for production, or note it in the transmittal memo.
For symbols you use frequently, create your own Autocorrect entry. Or, set a keyboard shortcut if there isn’t already one noted on the Advanced Symbol window. Both options are easily accessed via buttons there.
To learn shortcuts for a symbol, select the character in the Advanced Symbol window, then check they Keyboard Shortcut area beneath the character grid. In this sample, you’ll note that the keyboard shortcut for the pi symbol (π) is option + p on a Mac. The upper case pi (∏) is keyed by adding the shift key: opt + shift + p.
Tip: To reject an autocorrection after typing, press the backspace key or select “undo” from the Edit menu. (or key ctrl + z; cmd + z on a Mac)