In this section: General guidance on symbols  Guidance on spacing around commonly used symbols  Selecting and adding symbols and characters  Symbols to avoid
General guidance on using symbols and special characters
In general symbols should be avoided in text, with use reserved for within brackets or tables or wherever brevity is important. Symbols should be used when expressing dosages (e.g. 5 mg/kg/day) or in mathematical equations. See also guidance on usage of common symbols.
Special characters should be used, where available, to represent names or words accurately (e.g. Marušić 2010).
Only symbols and special characters available in RevMan 5 can be used in a Cochrane Review. Some symbols and special characters should be avoidedReview. Some symbols and special characters should be avoided (See Symbols to avoid.)
Guidance on usage and presentation of commonly used symbols
Symbol  Description  Usage  Spacing 
+ 
plus, and 
One space either side 

− 
minus Note: the minus symbol is different to the dash available on most keyboards. The minus sign is available as a symbol in RevMan 5 (Unicode decimal code: 2212). 
One space either side in mathematical equations, but no space between the minus sign and the number for a negative number e.g. Standard negative pressure rates range from −50 mmHg to −125 mmHg. Note: for equations, see Statistical and mathematical presentation. 

/ 
per or divided by 
Use '/' instead of 'per' where 'per' is otherwise cumbersome 10 mg/kg (not 10 mg per kg) 
No space on either side, e.g. 10 g/L 
< 
less than (e.g. for percentages) fewer than (e.g. for people) 
One space either side 

> 
greater than more than 
One space either side 

= 
equals 
One space either side 

& 
and 
The ampersand symbol should only be used if it is part of a brand name (e.g. Procter & Gamble) or the title of a publication (e.g. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism). 
One space either side 
% 
percentage 
The percentage sign can be used in a block of text when it is used with a numeral. e.g. Fewer than 90% of the participants completed the study. Use 'per cent' instead of '%' when starting a sentence and when the number is written in full (i.e. not a numeral). e.g. Three per cent of people . . . 
There is no space between the number and the percentage sign, e.g. 15%. 
™, ® 
Trademark (® for registered; ™ for unregistered) 
The trademark symbols are not normally used in Cochrane Reviews. 
If used, the symbols should be written immediately after the brand name they apply to, with no separating space, e.g. Nexium®, Backup Exec™ software. 
°  degree symbol 
Use to indicate degrees of arc, e.g. when measuring joint flexibility, or temperature. 
For degrees of arc, the degree symbol follows the number without any intervening space, e.g. 43°. For temperature, there is a space between the number and the degree symbol, but no space between the degree symbol and the letter that indicates the scale being used, e.g. 100 °C, 212 °F. Note: degree symbols are not used for temperatures measured on the Kelvin scale, e.g. 373.15 K. 
Selecting and adding symbols and special characters
Many different symbols and special characters are available for use in Review Manager 5 (RevMan 5). They may be inserted using the 'Insert symbol...' option from the 'Edit' menu or by using codes.
Selecting symbols using the RevMan 5 'Insert Symbol' tool:
The table below includes the codes for most commonly used symbols in RevMan 5. How these codes are entered in RevMan 5 will depend whether you use a PC or a Mac and which operating system you are using. For more information see Wikipedia: Unicode input.
Symbol  Code (decimal)  Code (hex) 

≤ 
8804 
2264 
≥ 
8805 
2265 
µ 
0181 
03BC 
° (degree symbol) 
0176 
00B0 
² (superscript 2) 
0178 
00B2 
³ (superscript 3) 
0179 
00B3 
± 
0177 
00B1 
Symbols and characters to avoid
Some symbols and characters should be avoided, because they do not render correctly in PDFs.
Code (decimal)  Symbol 

64257  ﬁ 
351  ş 
369  ű 
8776  ≈ 
8260  ⁄ 
8764  ∼ 
8734  ∞ 
8197  (four per em space) 
9674  ◊ 
8595  ↓ 
8203  (zero width space) 
8201  (thin space) 
8593  ↑ 
934  Φ 
8206  (lefttoright mark) 
9201  〈 
923  Λ 
8218  ‚ 
8592  ← 
8202  (hair space) 
710  ˆ 
9827  ♣ 
127  (delete mark) 
978  ϒ 
8250  › 
8773  ≅ 
8222  „ 
8727  ∗ 
402  ƒ 
8200  (punctuation space) 
8240  ‰ 
8706  ∂ 
8800  ≠ 
928  Π 
8207  (righttoleft mark) 
8719  ∏ 
8733  ∝ 
8736  ∠ 
376  Ÿ 
8596  ↔ 
8660  ⇔ 
8709  ∅ 
8721  ∑ 
8743  ∧ 