Prefix keys for Microsoft Word

In Dan Gookin’s Word 2016 for Dummies (Wiley, 2016), he provides a good deal of helpful guidance for beginning Word users. One particularly helpful resource that may be of interest more broadly is his nicely condensed presentation of prefix keys for producing diacritical marks (pg. 256, reproduced below).

Table of prefix keys for Word 2016

As the name suggests, the prefix key combination gets typed first, then the letter to which the diacritic should attach, and voila—the appropriate combined character is produced.


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Overlining text in Microsoft Word

Overlining is comparatively straightforward in Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice. But, for Microsoft Word users, overlining still isn’t a default formatting feature, as is its companion underlining.

Sometimes inserting a symbol or special character will work if you can find one that matches the overlined character you need. In other cases, Word’s cache of symbols and special characters simply isn’t large enough to cover everything (e.g., when discussing nomina sacra). Sometimes, creating a character image might work, but inserting an image can create issues with text flow and line spacing.

Another option Word users have is to use field codes or the formula editor to insert the term that involves the overlining.

In this case, vertical line spacing seems like it isn’t easily disturbed, but you may notice a bit of extra horizontal spacing between what’s inserted via the field code or formula editor and the rest of the surrounding text. Having overlining as a built-in text format would still be preferable, but using this work-around seems to yield pretty reasonable results.


Tired of fighting with Word? Want to be done with frustrated hours fussing over how to get the formatting you need?

My new guide shows you how to bypass all of this so you can let Word work for you while you focus on your research.

Garrett Thompson (PhD)

For students in any graduate program, mastering the full range of available research tools is crucial for efficient and consistent productivity. Dr. Stark has mastered these tools—the most important of which is Microsoft Word…. Students eager to take their work to the next level would do well to follow Dr. Stark’s in-depth guidance.

(Update: HT to Andrew Kinsey via Facebook for correctly noting that I hadn’t previously simply collapsed the field code option into the use of the formula editor. The two methods achieve the same results but do deserve to be noted separately since one might be more convenient than the other.)