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Checkmarks in Excel


July 19, 2018 - by Bill Jelen

Checkmarks in Excel

Creating checkmarks in Excel is usually a hassle. Yes, you could type a capital letter P and change the font to Wingdings 2, but who can remember that combination?

I was discussing Icon Sets in my Power Excel seminar in Atlanta and a fellow named Jack Whipple explained how he uses icon sets to create checkmarks in Excel.

Jack has a list of things that have to be completed during month-end close. He adds a symbol next to each item:

Three symbols to indicate if an item is done
Three symbols to indicate if an item is done

Here is the system in action. Jack explains that he uses the empty circle to indicate things that are not done. If he prints the list and carries it around on a clipboard, he can add a checkbox inside the circle to manually mark things as he walks around.


Use a pencil or pen to add a checkmark inside the circle as you complete tasks
Use a pencil or pen to add a checkmark inside the circle as you complete tasks

Here is a look at the Excel worksheet without conditional formatting applied. Every task starts as a zero. For the items that do not apply this month, Jack types -1. As items get completed, Jack types a 1.

You only have to remember to type a 1 when you need a checkmark
You only have to remember to type a 1 when you need a checkmark

How do you convert the 1's and 0's to circles and checkmarks? It is a special use of icon sets:

Customize the 3 Symbols icon set
Customize the 3 Symbols icon set

To read all of the steps, see my article in Strategic Finance magazine.

Watch Video

Note

For the strikethrough in the task list, I used this awesome idea from Debra Dalgleish at Contextures.com. Be sure to sign up for Debra's awesome weekly newsletter.

Download Excel File

To download the excel file: checkmarks-in-excel.xlsx

Excel Thought Of the Day

I've asked my Excel Master friends for their advice about Excel. Today's thought to ponder:

"Don’t hide your data in formatting noise."

Title Photo: Joanna Nix on Unsplash


Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
Excel Insights – A Microsoft MVP Guide to the Best Parts of Excel

There are fewer than 100 Excel MVPs worldwide. 24 of them have contributed to this book. Written, edited, reviewed and printed by Excel MVPs, this is practical Excel passion undiluted, with each MVP highlighting some of their favorite topics.