Insert Symbol Not Working Right in Word?

I recently discovered that if Windows 7’s “Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse” feature is enabled, it can affect the ability to insert symbols using the Symbol dropdown (sometimes) and Symbol dialog box (always) in Word 2007 and Word 2010.

So, if you have activated this setting and suddenly notice that you can no longer insert Symbols, this is probably the reason.

One work-around is to use the keyboard to navigate the Symbol dialog. Use the arrow keys to move around, and use Enter or Alt+I to insert the selected symbol.

When using the Symbol dropdown, click the symbol you want to insert, and then click back in the document to complete the action (if the symbol doesn’t appear immediately when you click on it). I find that I encounter this issue less often than when using the Symbol dialog box.

My own work-around was to abandon the feature. I found that it was more annoying than useful. But, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

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2 Responses to Insert Symbol Not Working Right in Word?

  1. Christa Michaelis says:

    Hi, thank you for shedding light on this issue! I am one of those people who simply can’t rest until they have found out why something doesn’t work. I tried for two hours to get the “insert symbol” feature working and would have spent many more without ever getting to the bottom of it. Deactivating the mouse hover tick box in Ease of Access Centre did the trick, as you suggested.
    Many thanks for helping people like me who get annoyed by all the useless Windows 7 features, -in fact, there seem to be more useless features in every successive Windows version… I’m just about ready to spend big bucks and buy a MAC!
    Best regards,

  2. Paul says:

    Thanks very much for your solution to this annoying problem. I tried for days to get it working again (in my case I coul not even navigate with the cursor keys!) op to deleting normal.dotm (fortunately only after backing it up) all to no avail.
    Your simple trick saved the day for me.

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