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How to type Backward or Backslash symbol (\) in Word or Excel (on Keyboard)

This is a very thorough guide with several options you can use to insert or type the Backslash Symbol or Backward Sign (\) on any software such as Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint, whether you are using the Windows or on Mac keyboard. You’ll learn all the easy methods including the Backslash Alt code shortcuts.

Without wasting much time, let’s get started.

Quick Guide for typing the Backslash symbol (\)

To type the Backslash Symbol anywhere on your PC or Laptop keyboard (like in Microsoft Word or Excel), press Option+7 or Option+Shift+7 shortcut for Mac. And if you are using Windows, simply press down the Alt key and type 92 using the numeric keypad on the right side of your keyboard.

However, to type the Backslash sign for Microsoft Word users, type 005C and then press Alt + X to get the backward slash \ sign.

The table below contains everything you need to know to be able to type this symbol on both Windows and Mac.

Name of SymbolReverse Solidus
Symbol Text\
Alt Code92
Windows ShortcutAlt + 92
Mac ShortcutOption+7 or Option+Shift+7
Shortcut in Word005C, Alt+X
Backslash Symbol Shortcuts for Windows and Mac

Details about typing the Backward Slash Symbol

Whether you are using Windows or Mac, the above information is enough for you to write the \ sign anywhere including your Word/Excel document.

However, if you are not satisfied with this quick help, keep reading below as I will explain in detail, how to get the Backslash symbol or any other symbol anywhere on your Mac or Windows PC like in MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint.

As you may already know, there are several dual-purpose keys on the keyboard for both Windows and Mac. That is to say that there are symbols readily available as second keys on the keyboard. Just by pressing two or more keys simultaneously, you can easily insert such symbols into your work. For instance, pressing Shift + 6 keys give you the Caret (^) sign.

However, other symbols aren’t printed on the keyboard as second keys. This makes it difficult to type. One of these symbols is the Backslash symbol (\).

But on some keyboards, the backslash symbol has a dedicated key which you can simply press to type it into your Word.

If your keyboard doesn’t come with this backslash key, typing becomes very difficult for you if you need to add this symbol regularly into your work.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Especially now that you are reading this step-by-step guide.

How to Insert Backslash symbol in Word/Excel

In the following sections, I will show you all the easy ways to type or insert this symbol (\) anywhere on your Windows or Mac PC (such as Word or Excel or PowerPoint).

As a quick guide, press 005C, Alt+X on your keyboard to type the Backslash symbol in Microsoft Word. This shortcut works in MS Word only. For Windows users outside MS Word, press down the Alt key and type 92 alt code on your numeric keypad. You can also press Option+7 or Option+Shift+7 on Mac.

However, without any further ado, below are the methods explained in detail.

1. Using the Backslash Symbol Key on your Keyboard

There is a dedicated key for the backward slash symbol on some keyboards. Whether you see it on yours or not, completely depends on the keyboard manufacturer. This key is present on most keyboards though.

If you are sure that your keyboard doesn’t come with this key, then jump to the next section to learn the shortcut you can use to type the backslash symbol on both Windows and Mac.

If you are not sure about this key on your keyboard, I’ll show you how to look for it.

So, where is the Backslash key?

On most keyboards, the backslash symbol key is located close to the Enter or Return key. In some cases, it is located directly to the left of the Enter or Return key and in other cases, it is also placed below or above the Enter key. On Mac Keyboards, it is placed directly above the Return or Enter key.

Backslash key on Mac keyboard
Backslash key above the Return key – Mac Keyboard
Backslash key on Windows keyboard
Backward slash key placed above the Enter key – Windows Keyboard
Backslash key on Windows keyboard
Backslash key before the Enter Key – Windows Keyboard

These are some of the various places you can spot the backslash symbol on your keyboard.

If you can’t still find it, keep reading below for some other simply shortcuts.

2. Backslash Symbol Shortcuts (Windows and Mac)

The Backslash Symbol Shortcut for Mac is Option+7 or Option+Shift+7.

Windows has several shortcuts, some of which works only in Microsoft Word.

However, there’s a Window shortcut for this symbol that works across all applications. It is the alt code shortcut which is Alt + 92 (will be discussed in the next section).

Backslash Symbol Shortcuts for Windows and Mac

The Backslash Symbol shortcut for Microsoft Word is 005C, Alt+X.

These shortcuts work in Microsoft Word and Windows only.

To use this shortcut, obey the following instructions:

  • Place the insertion pointer in the right place.
  • Type 005C on your keyboard, then press Alt + X. This will convert the code (005C) into the Backslash symbol at where you place the insertion pointer.

Below is a breakdown on how to use the Backslash symbol shortcut for Mac:

  • First of all, place the insertion pointer where you need to insert the symbol.
  • Now, using the Mac keyboard, Press Option+7 or Option+Shift+7 simultaneously.
Backslash symbol shortcut Mac

This shortcut should insert the symbol for you on your Mac PC.

In the next section, I’ll show you how to use the Backslash Symbol Alt Code to type the symbol on your keyboard.

3. Backward Slash Symbol Alt Code (Windows)

The Backslash () Symbol Alt Code is 92.

Every symbol in Word has a unique code that you can use to insert the symbol into your document. This code is well known as “Alt code”.

Below are the steps to type this symbol on your keyboard (using the Alt code provided above:

  • Press the num lock key to enable the numeric keypad. Use Fn key + NumLk keys to turn on Num Lock on laptops without the numeric keypad.
  • Press and hold the Alt key and type 92 using the numeric keypad.
  • After typing the Alt code (i.e. 92), release the [Alt] key you pressed down.
backward slash symbol Alt Code

As soon as you release the Alt Key, the Backslash (\) symbol should appear in your document.

4. Copy and paste the Backslash symbol

Use the button below to copy and paste the Backslash symbol for your work.

My favorite method for inserting symbols I can’t easily type is copy and paste.

With this method, all you need to do is google the symbol you need to type, then copy it from one of the search results provided. Once you get the symbol into your document, you can always recopy and paste it as and when the need arises.

Use the button above to get this symbol on your clipboard.

There is another way to copy this and any other symbol on Windows. It involved using the Windows Character Map.

Obey the steps below to copy and paste any symbol using the character map.

  • Search for the Character map app by clicking on the Start button.
  • The Character map app will show up in the search results. Click on it to launch.
searching for character map to copy and paste symbols
  • After the Character Map window opens up, click to check the Advance View checkbox to expand the window for more advanced options.
Advanced view of the Character map dialog box
  • On the Advanced View section, type Reverse Solidus in the search box.
  • The symbol you searched for (Backward Slash symbol) will now appear on the Character map. Double click on it to select it. You’ll see that the symbol appears in the Characters to copy text box. This allows you to select and copy several symbols at the same time.
Copy and paste backslash symbol
  • After selecting the symbol, you wish to copy, click on the Copy button.
  • Switch over to wherever you need the symbol, whether in MS Word, Excel, or PowerPoint and press Ctrl + V to paste.

This is how you may copy and paste the Backward Slash sign using the Character Map on Windows.

5. Using Insert Symbol Dialog

This approach isn’t as straight forward as the shortcut methods. But it’s fairly simple.

And once you get the symbol into your document, you can always copy and paste it again as and when you need it in your work.

Below are the steps to insert the Backslash Sign in Word using the insert symbol dialog.

  • Go to the Insert tab.
Go to the Insert tab
  • On the Insert tab, click the Symbol button and choose More Symbols…
More Symbols

These few clicks will bring up the Symbol dialog box.

  • Locate the Symbol you want to insert.

To easily find the Backslash symbol on the Symbols window, look at the top right area of the dialog and select Latin-1 Supplement in the Subset: drop-down list. The Backslash symbol you want to insert is in this category and should appear.

  • Select the symbol, and then click on the Insert button.
Inserting Backward slash symbol in Word or Excel

Alternatively, double-clicking on the symbol will also insert the symbol into your document.

  • Click the Close button.

This is how you may insert a Backslash symbol in Word using the insert symbol dialog.

6. Word’s AutoCorrect for the Backslash Sign

You can also type the Backslash Symbol using the AutoCorrect feature in Word.

It is a feature in MS Word designed for correcting spelling mistakes like thsi to this.

Using this AutoCorrect Feature, you can assign a short code to the Backslash symbol (such as BKSL).

This way, whenever you type the text BKSL, Word will think that you actually wanted to type \ and will convert it into the Backslash symbol for you automatically.

See illustration below:

Creating a custom backward slash shortcut in Word

What makes this method interesting is that you can assign your own custom shortcut or short code to the symbol and Word will automatically insert the symbol whenever you type the code.

Without further ado, below are the steps you can use to type Backslash symbol in Word using AutoCorrect.

  • Go to the Insert tab.
Go to the Insert tab
  • On the Insert tab, go to Symbol and then click More Symbols… The Symbol windows will appear.
More Symbols
  • Locate the Backslash symbol, then click to select it.
  • Click on the AutoCorrect… button to display the AutoCorrect window.
Creating a custom backward slash shortcut in Word
  • In the AutoCorrect dialog box, enter the following:

Replace: BKSL

With: \

Creating a custom backward slash shortcut in Word
  • Click Add, and then then hit the OK button.

Now, word will automatically insert the Backslash symbol into your document whenever you type BKSL.

Creating a custom backward slash shortcut in Word

However, below are some few things to note when you are using the AutoCorrect Method to insert the Backslash sign.

  • AutoCorrect is case sensitive. Meaning if you type bksl (in lowercase), Word will not convert it into the Backslash sign unless you type BKSL (in uppercase).
  • 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 convert it to the Backward slash symbol. For example, XBKSL (without space) will not get converted, but X BKSL (with space) will get converted to X \.


As you can see, these are the various ways you may insert or type the Backslash symbol in Word/Excel with or without using the keyboard.

My favorite method is using the copy and paste method followed by the shortcut in Word for both Windows and Mac. The Alt Code method also comes simple.

For any comments or questions about this guide, please let me know in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading this blog.