How to Make an X-Bar Symbol in Word

How to Make an X-Bar Symbol in Word

Make an X-Bar Symbol in Word: The x-bar symbol isn’t something that you will often find unless you frequently deal with statistics. Many people don’t need to enter the character for word processing applications.

What is the X-Bar Symbol?

The x-bar symbol, x̄, is used in statistics to represent the mean of a set of data. This is the arithmetic mean, which is what most people think of when they say “average” – the sum of all the measurements divided by the total number of measurements.

The symbol appears in many formulas used in statistics, which is where you’d most likely need to type it.

X-Bar in Word

Producing the Mean or X-Bar Symbol in Word

The easiest method for producing the mean symbol in Word 2007 onward is using the Equation tool. Go to the “Insert” tab at the top of the window and look for the “Equation” tool on the right.

You can spot it easily by looking for the pi symbol. Click on the “pi” symbol to add a new equation or click the drop-down arrow and choose “Insert New Equation.” Type an “x” in the field that appears in your document and highlight it.

Under the Equation Tools “Design” tab, which opens automatically when you add the equation, find “Accent” in the “Structures” section on the upper right side.

Click the drop-down arrow and locate the “bar” symbol, which is located second from the left on the third row down. Click the symbol to add it to the “x.” You can also click this first and type an “x” into the space that appears below the bar.

Using Alt Codes

A quicker method of creating the symbol for mean in Word uses alt codes. Type an “x” and then hold down the “Alt” key while you type “0772” using the number pad before releasing the “Alt” key. You can produce a longer bar by typing “0773” instead.

Using Arial Unicode MS

Another method of writing the x-bar symbol in Word uses the Arial Unicode MS font. Change the font to Arial Unicode MS, type an “x” where you want the x-bar to go and then navigate to the “Symbol” window. Find it under the “Insert” tab, at the far right of the toolbar, next to the “Equation” section.

Click the drop-down arrow and choose “More Symbols.” Make sure “Arial Unicode MS” is selected in the “Font” section at the upper left of the screen. Also, ensure that it says “Unicode (Hex)” in the “From” section toward the bottom right of the window.

In the “Character code” field next to “From,” type “0305” to go to the bar. Now click “Insert” to add it to the “x.”

Step by Step Methods Using Windows or macOS

Using Windows

  1. Open Microsoft Word. You’ll find it in the Microsoft Office area of your Start menu.
  2. Click Insert. It’s at the top of the screen.
  3. Click Equation. It’s the icon with a pi symbol at the top-right area of the toolbar.
  4. Type x into the equation box.
  5. Highlight the “x” in the equation box. Click and drag your mouse cursor over the “x” to highlight it.
  6. Click Accent. It’s in the toolbar at the top-right area of the screen. Its icon looks like a lowercase “a” with umlauts. Doing so will bring up a menu of accent symbols.
  7. Scroll down and click the first box under “Overbars and Underbars.” The icon looks like a square with the bar icon over top of it. This places a bar above your “x,” creating an X-bar.


Using macOS

  1. Open Word. It’s a blue icon with a white “W.” You’ll typically find it on the Dock or in the Applications menu.
  2. Type x where you want the X-bar to appear. You can type it anywhere in your document.
  3. Press Ctrl+ Command+Space. This opens the Character Viewer.
  4. Type combining overline into the Search box. It’s at the top of the Character Viewer. You’ll see a solid black line appear just beneath the search bar. That’s called a Combining Overline.
  5. Click the Combining Overline. The “x” you typed will now appear as an X-bar.

Next time you open the Character Viewer, you can find the Combining Overline quickly by clicking “Recently Used” at the top of the left panel.

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