Microsoft Word – How to Insert Peak Symbol

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Using MS Word 2010, I need to print a 'peak' symbol, which is a circumflex accent on top of any letter (not only vowels), something like this :


Is there a way to do it without using the equation editor ?

Best Answer

Type first the letter, then type U+302 and hit Alt X (i.e. press X while keeping the Alt key pressed down). The part U+ may be omitted if the letter is not in the range A–F or X.

This will put U+0302 COMBINING CIRCUMFLEX ACCENT after the letter. In rendering, it will appear as a character placed above the preceding character, something like this (I’m assuming your browser can deal with this): v̂.

Word 2007 can handle such situations mostly OK, selecting the placement of the circumflex according to the height of the base letter. I expect Word 2010 to do even better. But there are still potential problems. Perhaps most importantly, you should make sure that the font you are using contains U+0302. Support is rather wide, but not universal, see

For example, if your text font is Palatino Linotype, the results will be very bad: since the font does not contain U+0302, Word will pick it up from a different font, and both the shape and the placement of the circumflex can be all wrong then.

Even for some non-vowel characters, a “precombined” character with the circumflex accent is available. For example, instead of ŝ (s followed by U+0302), you can enter U+15D Alt X and get ŝ (= U+015D). In modern versions of Word, the appearance is normally the same as with the one using U+0302, but the renderings might work, so it is probably safest to use U+0302 for all combinations, if you cannot use precombined characters for all combinations that you need.

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