The Approximately Equal symbol (≈) is a mathematical operator used to indicate that two expressions or statements are similar but not exactly equal to each other.  Visually, the symbol is a squiggly equals sign.

Approximately Equal to sign

In today’s article, you’ll learn all the available ways you can use to type the Approximately Equal Symbol in Microsoft Word and Excel using either Windows or Mac.

Without any further ado, let’s get to work.

Approximately Equal Quick Guide (≈)

The table below contains quick information about how to type the Approximately Equal to Symbol into your Mac or Windows PC. You can also copy and paste the symbol into your document to save you some time of typing.

Approximately Equal to symbol Details
Symbol NameAlmost Equal to Sign
Symbol Name 2Approximately Equal to
Symbol
Alt Code247
Shortcut for Windows2248, Alt+X
Shortcut for MacOption+X

To type the Approximately Equal to symbol on Mac, press Option+X on your keyboard. For Windows users, whilst you press and hold the Alt key, press the Approximately Equal symbol alt code which is 247 on the numeric keypad, then release the alt key.

Note: There are several symbols including the tilde ( ~ ) that are sometimes used to represent the approximately equal to operator. However, the most widely used symbol is the almost equal to sign ( ≈ ).

The above quick guide provides some useful information about the ‘Approximately Equal to symbol. However, below are some detailed options you can also use to insert this symbol into your Word or Excel document.

How to type Approximately Equal sign (≈) in Word/Excel/PowerPoint

There are several options that you can use to type any symbol in Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

In this section, I will make available for you the different methods you can use to type or insert the Approximately Equal to symbol in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Without any further ado, let’s get to work.

Option 1: Using the Approximately Equal Alt Code for Windows

The Approximately Equal to symbol alt code is 247.

The ‘Approximately Equal to‘ sign or symbol does not have a dedicated key on the keyboard. However, if you are using a Windows PC, you can easily type this symbol using the Alt Numpad input method also known as the Alt code method. You can do this by pressing and holding the Alt key while typing the number (247) that identifies the Approximately Equal symbol on the numeric keypad.

NOTE: This method can be used anywhere on the Windows OS including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Though, your PC must have the numeric keypad. Thus, this won’t work for you if your keyboard doesn’t have the numeric keypad.

Obey the following instructions to type this symbol using the alt code method:

  • Place the insertion pointer where you need the symbol.
  • Press and hold the Alt key on your keyboard.
  • Whilst holding on to the Alt key, press the symbol’s alt code (247). You must use the numeric keypad to type the alt code. If you are using a laptop without the numeric keypad, this method may not work for you. On some laptops, there’s a hidden numeric keypad which you can enable by pressing Fn+NmLk keystrokes on the keyboard.
  • Release the Alt key after pressing the numbers on the numeric keypad to insert the Symbol into your document.

This is how you may type the Approximately Equal symbol on Windows using the Alt Code method.

Option 2: Using the Approximately Equal Shortcut for Mac

The keyboard shortcut for the Approximately Equal symbol is Option+X.

Approximately Equal to shortcut for Mac

Obey the following instructions to type this symbol on Mac using the keyboard shortcut stated above:

  • First of all, place the insertion pointer where you need to type this symbol.
  • Press and hold the Option and hit the X key once on your keyboard.

With this keyboard shortcut, you can type the Approximately Equal symbol anywhere on your Mac computer.

Option 3: Copy and Paste Approximately Equal

Another easy way to insert Almost Equal to Sign on any PC is to use my favorite method: copy and paste. This option works everywhere, whether in Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

All you have to do is to copy the symbol from somewhere like a web page or the character map for Windows users, and then head over to where you need the symbol and hit Ctrl+V to paste.

Below is the symbol for you to copy and paste into your document. Just select it and press Ctrl+C to copy, switch over to where you need it and press Ctrl+V to paste.

For windows users, obey the following instructions to copy and paste the Approximately equal symbol using the character map dialog.

  • Click on the Start button and search for Character Map.
  • The Character Map app should appear in the search results, click on it or press Enter to open.
Searching for Character Map
  • The Character Map dialog will Open. Click on the Advanced view check box to expand the dialog box for more options.
Advanced view of the Character map dialog box
  • On the advanced view, type Almost Equal.
  • You should now see only the Approximately Equal to sign on the character map dialog. Double click on the symbol to select it. Alternatively, click on the Select button.
  • After you select the symbol, hit on the Copy button to copy.
  • Now switch to where ever you need it (Whether in Word, Excel or PowerPoint) and press Ctrl+V to paste.

This is how you may use the Character Map dialog to copy and paste any symbol on Windows PC.

Option 4: Using insert Symbol dialog box

The insert symbol dialog box is a library of symbols from where you can insert any symbol into your Word document with just a couple of mouse clicks.

NOTE: This option can be used to insert this symbol on Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Obey the following steps to insert the Approximately Equal symbol in Word using the insert symbol dialog box.

  • Click to place the insertion pointer where you wish to insert the symbol.
  • Go to the Insert tab.
Click the Insert tab
  • In the Symbols category, click on the Symbol drop-down and select More Symbols.
Go to Insert>Symbols>More Symbols
  • The Symbol dialog box will appear. In the Subset drop-down list, select Mathematical Operators to display symbols in this category which includes the Approximately Equal sign.
  • Select the symbol and click on the Insert button. Alternatively, double click on the symbol to insert it into your document.
Insert Approximately equal sign
  • Close the dialog.

The symbol will then be inserted exactly where you place the insertion pointer.

These are the steps you may use to insert the Approximately Equals in your Word document.

Option 5: Using AutoCorrect to type Approximately Equal Symbol in Word

Another way to obtain the Approximately Equal is through the AutoCorrect feature in Word.

AutoCorrect in MS Word is a facility designed for correcting spelling mistakes like thsi to this.

This feature allows you to assign your own shortcuts to symbols you type regularly in your document. For instance, if you happen to frequently type the Approximately Equal symbol, you can assign a shortcode like APROX= to this symbol. This way, whenever you type the text APROX=, Word will think that you actually wanted to type ≈ and will convert it into the Approximately Equal symbol automatically.

What I like about the AutoCorrect tool is that you can assign any code you want to the symbol and Word will be more than glad to insert it for you whenever you type the code.

Without any further ado, below are the steps.

  • Go to the insert tab. In the Symbols category, click on the Symbol drop-down and select More Symbols.
Go to Insert>Symbols>More Symbols
  • The Symbol dialog box will appear. In the Subset drop-down list, select Mathematical Operators from the list to display all the Mathematical Operators symbols which include the Approximately Equal symbol.
  • Select the symbol and click the AutoCorrect button.
How to type Approximately Equal symbol
  • The AutoCorrect dialog box will appear. In the Replace: field, enter the shortcode or text you wish to assign to the symbol. Ensure that the Approximately Equal is in the With: field.
How to type Approximately Equal symbol
  • Click on the Add button and hit on OK.

At this point, whenever you type the text APROX= in your Word document, it’ll convert to the Approximately Equal symbol.

However, below are some few things to note when you are using the AutoCorrect Method to type Approximately Equal in Word.

  • AutoCorrect is case sensitive. Meaning if you type APROX= (in lowercase), Word will not autocorrect it for you unless you type APROX= (in uppercase). Whatever case you used to assign the AutoCorrect text is what Word will recognize.
  • If there is any text before or after the AutoCorrect text, Word will consider the AutoCorrect text as part of the text and hence will not do any autocorrection. For example, XAPROX= will not get converted since the APROX= is joining with another character X.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a variety of different options you can use to type the Approximately Equal symbol on any PC or Laptop using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Using the shortcuts for both Windows and Mac make the fastest option for this task.

If you have anything thing to say or questions to ask concerning this symbol, please drop it in the comments below.

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