The equal sign is used for Maths, in coding, editing basic HTML, and sometimes during chat. If you’re using a spreadsheet app like Google Sheets or Excel, you will likely use the equal sign to create formulas.
The equal sign is popular and has its own dedicated key on the keyboard making it easy to enter. The does not equal sign ” ≠ ” is used less often, and is even harder to type.
Type the does not equal sign
The ≠ sign is fairly obscure which is why typing it differs from OS to OS, and from one app to the other.
Not Equal on Microsoft 365 apps [Word, PowerPoint]
Microsoft 365 apps all support the ALT code for entering the ≠ symbol.
- Open a Word or PowerPoint file.
- Click where you want to insert the ≠ symbol.
- Hold down the ALT key and press 8800.
- Release the ALT key.
- The ≠ sign will be entered.
- You can copy and paste this sign anywhere you need to.
Not Equal in Excel
Entering the does not equal sign in Excel is again different because it’s a spreadsheet app that deals with numerical input and will not respond to the ALT code the way Word and PowerPoint will. This method will work in Excel and also in Word and PowerPoint.
- Open an Excel file.
- Go to the Insert tab.
- Click the Symbol button.
- In the Subset, select Mathematical Operators.
- Look through the list and you will find the Does not equal to character.
- Click Insert to add it.
Note: the Does not equal to symbol does not work in formulas entered in Excel. In Excel, the Does not equal to function is written as <>. If you want to write 2 does not equal to 10, you will enter =2<>10.
Does Not Equal on Windows 10
The ALT code that works in Microsoft 365 apps will not work in all Windows 10 apps or even the stock text editor Notepad. There simply isn’t support for it. If you want to enter the ≠ symbol but do not have Microsoft 365 apps installed, try the methods listed below.
Windows 10 has a utility called Character Map. It is basically a list of obscure characters of all sorts that you can copy and paste anywhere.
- Open Windows Search and enter Character Map.
- Select the app to open it.
- Click Advanced view.
- In the search field enter, ‘not equal’, and click Search.
- Select the not equal character and click Select and then Copy.
- Paste it wherever you like.
The Character Map app works but if you don’t like searching for the ≠ sign, you can use the ALT code in Wordpad to enter it. Wordpad is a stock app on Windows 10 that supports ALT code characters.
- Search for Wordpad in Windows Search.
- Open the app.
- Hold the ALT key and tap 8800.
- Release the ALT key and the ≠ sign will be entered.
- Copy and paste it wherever you like.
Not Equal Symbol on macOS
Entering the Does not equal to sign in macOS is simple. Use the Option + = keyboard shortcut and the symbol will be entered.
If all else fails, or the listed options do not work for you, you can always copy the Does not equal to symbol from a simple Google search result.
- Open your browser.
- Search for Does not equal sign on Google.
- Copy the symbol shown in the search results’ snippet.
- Paste it wherever you want.
The Does not equal sign is obscure but it is still supported across different operating systems and apps. It’s not well-known how it’s entered but once you know the code, the keyboard shortcut, or where to look, you will find it’s simple to enter.