If you’re a mathematician, there will come a point where you need to type fractions (¼). In mathematics, a fraction is a numerical quantity that isn’t a whole number. It’s also used to show a small or tiny part or proportion of something – so it’s not only used it maths.

Modern keyboards and US keyboards don’t have fractions on the key so you can’t type it using your keyboard. If you’re in Word, there are many ways you can type it – if not, you can use different codes or the character map on your Windows or Mac PC.

Microsoft Programs

If you’re in Word, when you type fractions, some will come up automatically. For example, if you type 1/2 it will come up as 1/2. This is the same for 1/4 and 3/4. This doesn’t word for fractions like 1/3, 2/3, and 1/5 etc.

If you’ve typed out a fraction and it hasn’t switch automatically, then you can go to Insert > Symbols > More Symbols. In Subset, select the fraction you want to use then select Close.

Another way to type out fractions in Word is by using Equations. To do this, go to Insert > Equation > select Fraction > choose which style you want > type the numbers into the fraction boxes.

If you’re on Microsoft programs such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, you can type fractions using an Alt + X code. This can be used if you have a keyboard that doesn’t have a number keyboard and you’re on a Microsoft program like Word. To type 1/2, press bd + Alt + X. 1/3 = 215x, 1/4 = bc. If you want to get more Unicode for fractions, you can go to unicodefractions and find the Unicode under Hex.

Windows

If your keyboard has a number keyboard, then you can type fractions using an Alt code – this consists of you pressing a few numbers whilst holding the Alt key. The numerical keyboard is on the right-hand side of your keyboard – most desktop keyboards have a numerical keyboard. If you’re using a laptop, you’ll only see the numbers in the top row of your keyboard and not on the right. To type fractions on your keyboard, type 0189 whilst holding Alt for the ½ fraction. ¼ = 0188, ¾ = 0190.

If you have a laptop or keyboard without a numeric keypad, then you’ll need to use keyboard 7, 8, 0, U, I, O, J, K, L, and M. These keys are alternatives to 0-9 when Num Lock is activated. M=0, J=1, K=2, L=3, U=4, I=5, O=6, 7=7, 8=8, 9=9. If you haven’t got a numeric keypad:

1. Hold Fn + NumLk to enable Num Lock.

2. Hold the Alt key and type 0189. Remember which number corresponds to regular keypads without a numeric keypad. So 0=M, 1=U, 8=8, 9=9.

3. Let go of all the keys and you should see the ½ fraction in your text. You can repeat this for other basic fractions.

Windows Character Map

If you’re confused by the Alt code, then you can just use the Map installed on your computer.

Character Map

1. Open the Start menu and open the Character Map.

2. In Search for, fraction and double-click a fraction to make it appear in Characters to copy.

3. Select Copy to copy the fraction and then you can paste it within your text.

Mac

1. Go to the Finder > Emoji & Symbols.

Emoji

2. In the Search bar, search for fraction.

3. Right-click the fraction and select Copy Character Info. This will add it to the keyboard.

4. Paste the fraction within your text.