The degree symbol is commonly used in our lives.
The degree symbol is often used together with a number. It is used to represent temperatures like 5° C or 95° F or to represent angles or arcs, for example, 10°, 45°, 90°, etc.
Excel users may find the need to insert a degree symbol in their worksheet. You may want to insert the daily recorded temperature, or if you are recording the results from an experiment involving angles, you may want to insert the degree symbol.
Beginner Excel users often struggle to find the right way to insert the degree symbol in Excel.
While you wouldn’t find a straightforward method to insert the degree symbol in a cell in Excel quickly, in this tutorial, I will show you a couple of easy ways you can use to do that.
Each method will have its pros and cons. By itself, the degree symbol is not a numeric value character. Therefore, if you insert the degree symbol as a character along with a number in excel, the number will be converted to a text value.
Method 1: Copying and Pasting the Degree Symbol from a Website into Excel
This is the easiest method to insert a degree symbol in Excel.
As an example, we will write 45° in cell A1.
- Go to the following website: degreesymbol.net
- The webpage will appear as shown.
- Click on the Copy button. This will copy the degree symbol to the clipboard of your system
- Go to your Excel worksheet and select cell A1 (where you want to insert the degree symbol).
- On your keyboard, type 45 and then press Ctrl + V.
- Press Enter, and you will get the result as shown below.
This method will only work if you have access to the Internet. If you don’t, you can use the other methods I cover in this tutorial.
Once you have copied the degree symbol (°) and inserted it in any cell in your worksheet, you don’t need to go back to the website repeatedly. You can also copy the degree symbol from any existing cells that already have it and use it in other cells.
As soon as you add a degree symbol after a number in a cell, Excel will start treating it as text. This means you won’t be able to use the number in calculations.
If you want to get a degree symbol in front of a number and still want that number to be treated as a number in calculations, check out Method 5 in this tutorial.
Method 2: Type the Degree Symbol Using the Numeric Keypad
While you do not have the degree symbol on your numeric keypad, there is a specific sequence of keys, which, when entered through your numeric keypad, would turn into the ° in a cell in Excel.
In this method, we will look at how to insert the degree symbol using the Numeric Keypad on your keyboard. As an example, we will write 45° in cell A1.
- Select cell A1 on your Excel worksheet
- Type in the value 45.
- Press and hold down the ALT key on your keyboard.
- Keep the ALT key pressed and then type the following number sequence on the numeric keypad of your keyboard: 0176 (one after the other)
- Press Enter, and the result will be as shown.
So in this method, we have seen how to insert the degree symbol using the numeric keypad.
If your keyboard does not have a numeric keypad (most laptops do not have a numeric keypad), then this method is not helpful and you may want to look into other methods.
Method 3: Using the Symbol Dialog Box to Insert Degree Symbol in Excel
In this method, we will see Excel’s built-in Symbol option to insert a degree symbol.
The Symbol option is an excellent feature for inserting special characters and symbols, including mathematical operators and greek symbols.
The number of symbols available is vast and also includes the degree symbol.
As an example, and as we have done in previous methods, we will write 45° in cell A1 of the Excel worksheet.
- Select cell A1 of your excel worksheet.
- Type in the value 45.
- Go to the Insert tab.
- Under the Symbols section, click on the Symbol button. (All other options in the Insert tab will be grayed out)
- The Symbol dialog box will appear as shown.
- There are a lot of symbols in the Symbol dialog box. You can scroll through the list to find the degree symbol, but we will use a shortcut.
- In the Character code field, type 00B0.
- As you finish typing, you will see that the selection will automatically jump to the degree symbol.
- Click on Insert.
- Click the Close button.
- Press Enter, and the final result will look as shown below.
So in this method, we have seen how to insert the degree symbol using the built-in Symbol option in Excel.
This is the foolproof method as it doesn’t require an Internet connection or a numeric keypad (as needed in the previous methods). Once you have inserted the degree symbol in any of the cells in your worksheet, you can then reuse it by copying it and then pasting it with a simple Control C and Control V
Method 4: Insert Degree Symbol Using the CHAR Function
In this method, we will see how to insert the degree symbol using the CHAR function.
The CHAR function returns a character based on the number code provided in the input.
The number code for the degree symbol is 176. As an example, and as we have done in previous methods, we will write 45° in cell A1 of the excel worksheet.
- Select cell A1 of your excel worksheet.
To insert a character in a given cell, the following formula is used:
For the degree symbol, the number code is 176. The formula will then be:
To append the degree symbol to the end of a number or alphabet, the above formula is written in front of that number or alphabet, preceded by the ampersand symbol.
So in our case, to append the degree symbol after the value 45, the formula will be:
- Write the formula in excel as shown in the screenshot.
So in this method, we have seen how to insert the degree symbol using the CHAR function.
This function will insert the number as text.
One good thing about this method is that you can use the CHAR formula and other formulas in the same cell. For example, if you have a value 45 in cell A1, and you want to get the text Temperature – 45°, you can use the below formula:
="Temperature - "&A1&Char(176)
Method 5: Insert Degree Symbol Using the Custom Number Format
In all the methods covered above, as soon as we added the degree symbol to the number in the cell, the cell’s content became text.
But what if you want to have the degree symbol in front of a number and still use the value in the cell as a number in calculations?
You can do that using this method.
As an example, we will see how we can insert 45° in cell A1.
- Copy the degree symbol from the external website as we did in Method 1.
- Select cell A1 on your excel worksheet.
- Go to the Home tab.
- Under the Number section, click on the dialog box launcher. (This is the little arrow at the bottom-right of the Number section). You can also use the keyboard shortcut Control + 1
- The Format Cells dialog box will appear as shown.
- In the Number group, under Category, select the Custom option.
- The Custom option panel will appear as shown.
- Select the General option from the list.
- In the text field, place your cursor at the end of General.
- Press Ctrl + V on your keyboard to paste the degree symbol we copied in Step 1. (Alternately, you can use Method 2 to insert the degree symbol here)
- Click on OK.
- Type 45 in cell A1 and press Enter.
- You will see a degree symbol appear after 45, as shown.
You can see that the degree symbol is not appearing in the formula bar.
This means that the 45 value entered is being considered as a number instead of text. This is important if you want to use this value in a formula further.
So in this method, we have seen how to insert the degree symbol after a value using the custom number format option.
This number formatting can be pasted to other cells as well using the format painter.
In this article, we have seen multiple ways of inserting the degree symbol in Excel.
Method 1 is the simplest but requires the help of an external website. If you are working offline, this method is not useful.
Method 2 inserts the degree symbol using the Numeric Keypad on your keyboard. If your keyboard does not have a numeric keypad, this method is not useful.
Method 3 uses the built-in Symbol feature inside excel to insert the degree symbol. This method is an excellent alternative to Methods 1 and 2 if you are working offline and do not have a Numeric Keypad on your keyboard.
Method 4 uses the CHAR function to insert the degree symbol. If you insert the degree symbol after a value using Methods 1 to 4, the value will be converted to text.
If you do not want to have your value converted to a text and want to keep it as a number for use further in formulas or calculations, use Method 5.
The degree symbol will appear beside your value, but it will be treated as a number.
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