How to Make a Check Mark in Excel: Techniques and Importance

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Excel, the ubiquitous spreadsheet software developed by Microsoft, is a powerful tool for organizing, analyzing, and presenting data. While Excel is primarily used for numerical and text data, it can also be used for creating checklists, to-do lists, and other forms of task management. One of the common features used in these lists is the check mark. In this article, we will explore the importance of using check marks in Excel and provide techniques on how to create them.

Importance of Check Marks in Excel

Check marks play a crucial role in Excel for various purposes, such as tracking completed tasks, indicating approvals or rejections, and maintaining organized records. Here are some key reasons why using check marks in Excel is important:

  1. Visual Clarity: Check marks provide a clear visual indication of completed or approved items. This can make it easier for users to quickly understand the status of various tasks or items in a list.
  2. Efficient Task Management: Check marks allow for efficient task management. You can easily mark tasks as completed, making it easier to track progress and prioritize work.
  3. Professional Presentation: When used in business reports or presentations, check marks can enhance the professionalism of your documents. They help in conveying information succinctly and effectively.
  4. Data Validation: Check marks can also be used for data validation. For example, they can indicate whether certain conditions or requirements have been met in a dataset.

Now that we understand the importance of using check marks in Excel, let’s dive into the techniques for creating them.

Techniques for Creating Check Marks in Excel

Excel provides several methods to insert check marks into your spreadsheets. The choice of method depends on your preferences and requirements. Here are four common techniques to create check marks in Excel:

Using Symbols and Wingdings Font:

This method is suitable for inserting check marks as symbols within your cells. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Select the cell where you want to insert a check mark.
  2. Go to the “Insert” tab on the Excel ribbon.
  3. Click on “Symbol” in the “Symbols” group.
  4. In the Symbol dialog box, choose “Wingdings” or “Wingdings 2” as the font.
  5. Scroll through the available symbols to find the check mark (✓) and click on it.
  6. Click the “Insert” button to place the check mark in your cell.

Using Conditional Formatting:

Conditional formatting allows you to automatically add check marks to cells based on specific conditions. For example, you can make Excel display a check mark when a task is marked as complete. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Select the range of cells where you want to apply conditional formatting.
  2. Go to the “Home” tab on the Excel ribbon.
  3. Click on “Conditional Formatting” in the “Styles” group.
  4. Choose “New Rule.”
  5. In the “New Formatting Rule” dialog, select “Use a formula to determine which cells to format.”
  6. In the “Format values where this formula is true” field, enter a formula that evaluates to TRUE when a check mark should be displayed. For example, if you want to display a check mark when the value in the adjacent cell is “Complete,” you can use a formula like =A1=”Complete”.
  7. Click the “Format” button to define the format you want, including setting the font to Wingdings and choosing the check mark symbol.
  8. Click “OK” to close the format settings.
  9. Click “OK” again in the “New Formatting Rule” dialog to apply the conditional formatting.

Using Custom Number Formatting:

You can also use custom number formatting to create check marks in Excel. This technique is handy if you want to add check marks without affecting the actual cell values. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Select the cell where you want to add a check mark.
  2. Right-click the cell and choose “Format Cells.”
  3. In the “Format Cells” dialog, go to the “Number” tab.
  4. Select “Custom” from the category list.
  5. In the “Type” field, enter the custom number format for a check mark. Use the Wingdings font and the corresponding character code for the check mark symbol, which is usually “P” (for Wingdings) or “ü” (for Wingdings 2).
  6. Click “OK” to apply the custom number formatting, and a check mark will appear in the cell.

Using Excel’s “Insert” Function:

Excel provides a built-in function called “INSERT” that allows you to insert various symbols, including check marks. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Select the cell where you want to insert a check mark.
  2. In the formula bar, type =CHAR(252) and press Enter. This formula will insert a check mark using the CHAR function with the character code 252, which corresponds to the Wingdings font’s check mark symbol.
  3. The check mark will appear in the selected cell.

Additional Tips:

  • To resize a check mark, you can adjust the cell’s font size.
  • You can copy and paste check marks to multiple cells once you’ve created one successfully.
  • Be cautious when using custom number formatting, as it doesn’t store the actual value but only displays the check mark symbol.


In conclusion, check marks in Excel are a versatile tool for enhancing the clarity, efficiency, and professionalism of your spreadsheets. You can choose from various techniques to create check marks, depending on your specific needs. Whether you’re managing tasks, tracking data, or creating reports, the ability to insert check marks in Excel can help you present and manage your information effectively. 

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