How to Type Fractions in MS Word

Microsoft Word is a word processing application used to perform typing tasks. It has many unique features and tools that offer a specific service to the user.

When we say typing, it includes everything from alphabets to numbers, special characters and symbols. You can type all these simply from the keyboard. However, there are characters which are not available on the keyboard. They are to be typed either using a combination of keys from the keyboard or are available in the application itself. 

Typing a number in fractional format also requires either a combination of keys or sometimes gets autoformatted when you type using simple key (/) available on the keyboard.

Learning how to type fractions is a useful skill that is required for numerous purposes. People in the education sector like teachers and students can use it for their assignments and research work especially in subjects like mathematics and science. Hotel industry uses it in their recipe cards. Statistical reports and financial documents also use fractional representation.

For easy typing, fractions can be converted to decimals. However, some fractional numbers have to stay in the numerator/denominator form to represent accurate data.

Whether you’re doing complex configurations using fractions, or simply trying to express the fractional value in a recipe or business report, you will need to insert special characters for the result to be correctly formatted.

In this blog post, we will discuss several approaches to creating fractions:

Typing Fractions on a PC

Use the auto-formatting feature in MS Word

Sometimes, typing a fractional number using Division Symbol shown as forward-slash (/) on the keyboard, will auto-format and express the number in the right form.

This is usually done by typing the numerator before the forward-slash followed by the denominator.

The standard one-half (½), one-fourth (¼) or three-fourths (¾), generally, automatically formats itself into a neatly pre-formatted version of the equation – (½) (¼) (¾).

Auto-format function is usually ON by default. If it is not, you can switch it ON by clicking the Office button on the top left corner.


In the dropdown, click Word Options. 


Clicking the Word Option will open the Word Option box


Click Proofing from the option on the left.


Click AutoCorrect Options…


AutoCorrect: English (United States) dialogue box will open.


Select AutoFormat As You Type option


Check the Fractions (1/2) with fraction character (½) box and click OK.

However, the above method does not work for all fractions.


Inserting a Fraction From Symbols

To insert a fraction character Click “Insert” from the ribbon


Select “Symbol” and “More Symbols”


A Symbol box will open.


In this, click on the down arrow of the Subset: box

From the dropdown, select Number Forms



Select the fraction that you want. 

Click Insert.

These are some of the basic ways to write numbers in fractional form.

If you want to learn more about Mircosoft Word and its tools and functions, check out the MS Word Basic and MS Word Advanced courses offered by Elearno.

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