If you teach statistics, you know the pain of typing x_bar, y_bar, etc. You can use Microsoft Equation Editor, but it has two issues: it’s cumbersome, and not all versions of Word handle the equations equally (some as text, some as pictures). You can type “x_bar” but that’s just not pretty. I had not found a way to get around this and was resigned to typing out the variable names.
Until I found this tip.
Microsoft Word does have a way of creating statistical symbols. The key is to use the Arial font and the capability called “combining diacritics” (look that up). Here is how it works.
- Open Microsoft Word. I tested this in 2016 and 2013. The tip should work in older versions as long as it has the Arial font (it should, as it is a common font).
- Choose “Arial” as your font.
- Let’s do p_hat. Type in “p” by itself, like this:
- Next, go to Insert -> Symbol. Look for More Symbols. Make sure the font is Arial. Then look for and select the hat symbol. The character code is 0302. Click Insert, Close.
- You will go back to the editing mode and you will see the p with the hat. You can do the same for the bar. The character code is 0305.
Even if your other text is in a different font, when it comes to typing out statistical symbols, you just go back to Arial and do the steps above, and return the original font.