How to Insert a Check Mark (Tick ✓) Symbol in Excel [Quick Guide] - KING OF EXCEL

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

How to Insert a Check Mark (Tick ✓) Symbol in Excel [Quick Guide]

How to Insert a Check Mark (Tick ✓) Symbol in Excel [Quick Guide]

Check Mark Vs Check Box

While a check mark and a checkbox may look somewhat similar, these two are very different in the way it can be inserted and used in Excel.
check mark is a symbol that you can insert in a cell (just like any text that you type). This means that when you copy the cell, you also copy the check mark and when you delete the cell, you also delete the check mark. Just like regular text, you can format it by changing the color and font size.
checkbox, on the other hand, is an object that sits above the worksheet. So when you place a checkbox above a cell, it’s not a part of the cell but is an object that is over it. This means that if you delete the cell, the checkbox may not get deleted. Also, you can select a checkbox and drag it anywhere in the worksheet (as it’s not bound to the cell).
Check Mark vs Checkbox in Excel
You will find checkboxes being used in interactive reports and dashboards, while a checkmark is a symbol that you may want to include as a part of the report.

A check mark is a symbol in the cell and a checkbox (which is literally in a box) is an object that is placed above the cells.
In this article, I will only be covering check marks. If you want to learn more about checkbox, here is a detailed tutorial.
There are quite a few ways that you can use to insert a check mark symbol in Excel.

Inserting Check Mark Symbol in Excel

In this article, I will show you all the methods I know.
The method you use would be dependent on how you want to use the check mark in your work (as you’ll see later in this tutorial).
Let’s get started!

Copy and Paste the Check Mark

Starting with the easiest one.
Since you’re already reading this article, you can copy the below check mark and paste it in Excel.
To do this, copy the check mark and go to the cell where you want to copy it. Now either double-click on the cell or press the F2 key. This will take you to the edit mode.
Simply paste the check mark (Control + V).
Once you have the check mark in Excel, you can copy it and paste it as many times as you want.
This method is suited when you want to copy paste the check mark in a few places. Since this involves doing it manually, it’s not meant for huge reports where you have to insert check marks for hundreds or thousands of cells based on criteria. In such a case, it’s better to use a formula (as shown later in this tutorial).

Use the Keyboard Shortcuts

For using the keyboard shortcuts, you will have to change the font of the cells to Wingdings 2 (or Wingdings based on the keyboard shortcut you’re using).
Below are the shortcuts for inserting a check mark or a cross symbol in cells. To use the below shortcuts, you need to change the font to Wingdings 2.
Check mark keyboard shortcut Windings2
Below are some more keyboard shortcuts that you can use to insert check mark and cross symbols. To use the below shortcuts, you need to change the font to Wingdings (without the 2).
Check mark keyboard shortcut Windings
This method is best suited when you only want a check mark in the cell. Since this method requires you to change the font to Wingdings or Wingdings 2, it will not be useful if you want to have any other text or numbers in the same cell with the check mark or the cross mark.

Using the Symbols Dialog Box

Another way to insert a check mark symbol (or any symbol for that matter) in Excel is using the Symbol dialog box.
Here are the steps to insert the check mark (tick mark) using the Symbol dialog box:
  1. Select the cell in which you want the check mark symbol.
  2. Click the Insert tab in the ribbon.Click the insert tab in the ribbon
  3. Click on the Symbol the symbol icon
  4. In the Symbol dialog box that opens, select ‘Segoe UI Symbol’ as the font.Select Segoe Symbol in symbol dialog box
  5. Scroll down till you find the check mark symbol and the double click on it (or click on Insert).Select the check mark symbol that you want to insert
The above steps would insert one check mark in the selected cell.
If you want more, simply copy the already inserted one and use it.
Note that using ‘Segoe UI Symbol’ allows you to use the check mark in any regularly used font in Excel (such as Arial, Time Now, Calibri, or Verdana). The shape and size may adjust a little based on the font. This also means that you can have text/number along with the check mark in the same cell.
This method is a bit longer but doesn’t require you to know any shortcut or CHAR code. Once you have used it to insert the symbol, you can reuse that one by copy pasting it.

Using the CHAR Formula

You can use the CHAR function to return a check mark (or a cross mark).
The below formula would return a check mark symbol in the cell.
For this to work, you need to convert the font to Wingdings
Because when you use the CHAR(252) formula, it would give you the ANSI character (ü), and then when you change the font to Wingdings, it is converted to a check mark.
You can use similar CHAR formulas (with different code number) to get another format of the check mark or the cross mark.
CHAR Formula to insert chek mark and cross mark
The real benefit of using a formula is when you use it with other formulas and return the check mark or the cross mark as the result.
For example, suppose you have a dataset as shown below:
sales data set where you need to get the checkmark
You can use the below IF formula to get a check mark if the sale value is more than 5000 and a cross mark if it’s less than 5000.
Formula to get check mark based on the cell value
Remember, you need to convert the column font to Wingdings.
This helps you make your reports a little more visual. It also works well with printed reports.
If you want to remove the formula and only keep the values, copy the cell and paste it as value (right-click and choose the Paste Special and then click on Paste and Values icon).
This method is suited when you want the check mark insertion to be dependent on cell values. Since this uses a formula, you can use it even when you have hundreds or thousands of cells. Also, since you need to change the font of the cells to Wingdings, you can’t have anything else in the cells except the symbols.

Using Autocorrect

Excel has a feature where it can autocorrect misspelled words automatically.
For example, type the word ‘bcak’ in a cell in Excel and see what happens. It will automatically correct it to the word ‘back’.
This happens as there is already a pre-made list of expected misspelled words you’re likely to type and Excel automatically corrects it for you.
Here are the steps to use autocorrect to insert the delta symbol:
  1. Click on the File tab.File Tab in Ribbon
  2. Click on Options.Click on Options
  3. In the Options dialogue box, select Proofing.Click on Proofing option
  4. Click on the ‘AutoCorrect Options’ button.Click on the Autocorect Button
  5. In the Autocorrect dialogue box, enter the following:
    • Replace: CMARK
    • With: ✔ (you can copy and paste this)Autocorrect dilaog box to give check mark a code
  6. Click Add and then OK.
Now whenever you type the words CMARK in a cell in Excel, it will automatically change it to a check mark.
Here are a few things you need to know when using the Autocorrect method:
  • This is case sensitive. So if you enter ‘cmark’, it will not get converted into the check mark symbol. You need to enter CMARK.
  • This change also gets applied to all the other Microsoft applications (MS Word, PowerPoint, etc.). So be cautious and choose the keyword that you are highly unlikely to use in any other application.
  • If there is any text/number before/after CMARK, it will not be converted to the check mark symbol. For example, ‘38%CMARK’ will not get converted, however, ‘38% CMARK’ will get converted to ‘38% ✔’
Related Tutorial: Excel Autocorrect
This method is suited when you want a ready reference for the check mark and you use it regularly in your work. So instead of remembering the shortcuts or using the symbols dialog box, you can quickly use the shortcode name that you have created for check mark (or any other symbol for that matter).

Using Conditional Formatting to Insert Check Mark

You can use conditional formatting to insert a check mark or a cross mark based on the cell value.
For example, suppose you have the data set as shown below and you want to insert a check mark if the value is more than 5000 and a cross mark if it’s less than 5000.
Data where I need to insert check mark based on the value
Here are the steps to do this using conditional formatting:
  1. In cell B2, enter =A2, and then copy this formula for all cells. This will make sure that now you have the same value in the adjacent cell and if you change the value in column A, it’s automatically changed in column B.Get Data in Adjacent column with a formula
  2. Select all the cells in column B (in which you want to insert the check mark).
  3. Click the Home tab.
  4. Click on Conditional Formatting.
  5. Click on New Rule.Click on New rule in conditional formatting
  6. In the ‘New Formatting Rule’ dialog box, click on the ‘Format Style’ drop down and click on ‘Icon Sets’.Click on Icon Sets in New Formatting Rule Dialog box
  7. In the ‘Icon Style’ drop-down, select the style with the check mark and cross mark.Select check mark icon sets
  8. Check the ‘Show Icon only’ box. This will ensure that only the icons are visible and the numbers are hidden.Check show icons only option
  9. In the Icon settings. change the ‘percent’ to the ‘number’ and make the settings as shown below.Settings for show icons based on the values
  10. Click OK.
The above steps will insert a green check mark whenever the value is more than or equal to 5000 and a red cross mark whenever the value is less than 5000.
Getting tick marks and cross marks with conditional formatting
In this case, I have only used these two icons, but you can also use the yellow exclamation mark as well if you want.

Using a Double-Click (uses VBA)

With a little bit of VBA code, you can create an awesome functionality – where it inserts a check mark as soon as you double click on a cell, and removes it if you double click again.
Something as shown below (the red ripple indicates a double click):
Insert check mark with a double click
To do this, you need to use the VBA double-click event and a simple VBA code.
But before I give you the full code to enable double click, let me quickly explain what how VBA can insert a check mark. The below code would insert a check mark in cell A1 and change the font to Wingdings to make sure you see the check symbol.
Sub InsertCheckMark()
Range("A1").Font.Name = "Wingdings"
Range("A1").Value = "ü"
End Sub
Now I will use the same concept to insert a check mark on double click.
Below is the code to do this:
Private Sub Worksheet_BeforeDoubleClick(ByVal Target As Range, Cancel As Boolean)
If Target.Column = 2 Then
Cancel = True
Target.Font.Name = "Wingdings"
    If Target.Value = "" Then
        Target.Value = "ü"
        Target.Value = ""
    End If
End If
End Sub
You need to copy and paste this code in the code window of the worksheet in which you need this functionality. To open the worksheet code window, left-click on the sheet name in the tabs and click on ‘View Code’
View code option for a worksheet
This is a good method when you need to manually scan a list and insert check marks. You can easily do this with a double click. The best use case of this is when you’re going through a list of tasks and have to mark it as done or not.

Formatting the Check Mark Symbol

A check mark is just like any other text or symbol that you use.
This means that you can easily change its color and size.
All you need to do is select the cells that have the symbol and apply the formatting such as font size, font color, and bold etc.
Change Formatting manually
This way of formatting symbols is manual and suited only when you have a couple of symbols to format. If you have a lot of these, it’s better to use conditional formatting to format these (as shown in the next section).

Format Check Mark / Cross Mark Using Conditional Formatting

With conditional formatting, you can format the cells based on what type of symbol it has.
Below is an example:Formatting of cells with check mark
Column B uses the CHAR function to return a check mark if the value is more than 5000 and a cross mark if the value is less than 5000.
The ones in column C and D uses conditional formatting and look way better as it improves visual representation using colors.
Let’s see how you can do this.
Below is a dataset where I have used the CHAR function to get the check mark or cross mark based on the cell value.
formula to get check and cross symbols
Below are the steps to color the cells based on the symbol it has:
  1. Select the cells that have the check-mark/cross-mark symbols.
  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. Click on Conditional Formatting.
  4. Click on ‘New Rule’.Click on New rule in conditional formatting
  5. In the New Formatting Rule dialog box, select ‘Use a formula to determine which cells to format’Select Use a formula to determine which cells to format
  6. In the formula field, enter the following formula: =B2=CHAR(252)Enter formula in the field
  7. Click the Format button.Click the Format button
  8. In the ‘Format Cells’ dialog box, go to the Fill tab and select the green color.Select the green color to fill
  9. Go to the Font tab and select color as white (this is to make sure your checkmark looks nice when the cell has a green background color).make the font color white
  10. Click OK.
After the above steps, the data is going to look as shown below. All the cells that have the check mark will be colored in green with white font.
Resulting Data set after formatting check mark cells in green
You need to repeat the same steps to now format the cells with a cross mark. Change the formula to =B2=char(251) in step 6 and formatting in step 9.

Count Check Marks

If you want to count the total number of check marks (or cross marks), you can do that using a combination of COUNTIF and CHAR.
For example, suppose you have the data set as shown below and you want to find out the total number of stores that have achieved the sales target.
Data to count the number of check marks
Below is the formula that will give you the total number of check marks in column C
Count of cells with check mark
Note that this formula relies on you using the ANSI code 252 to get the check mark. This would work if you have used the keyboard shortcut ALT 0252, or have used the formula =Char(252) or have copied and pasted the check mark that is the created using these methods. If this is not the case, then the above COUNTIF function is not going to work.
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