Insert a check mark or other symbol

You can easily insert a check mark (also known as a "tick mark"), fraction, or other symbol in your Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and Excel workbooks.

What do you want to insert?

If you're going to insert the same symbol often, consider setting up AutoCorrect to insert it for you. You can find more info about that here: Insert a check mark or other symbol using AutoCorrect.

Symbol such as currency (¥), music (♫), or check marks

  1. Make sure your cursor is at the place in the file where you want to insert the symbol.

  2. On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click Symbol.

    Symbol command on the Insert tab
  3. If you see the symbol you want listed on that gallery, just click it to insert. If not, click More symbols to open the Symbol dialog box

    List of the special characters available as part of the Wingdings font.
  4. Scroll up or down to find the symbol you want to insert.

    Tip: To quickly narrow your search use the Font drop down to select a font to search within. The most commonly wanted symbols are in the Wingdings font collections.

  5. When you find the symbol you want double-click it. The symbol will be inserted in your file. You can click Close now unless you want to insert additional symbols.

Tip: If you want to make your symbol larger or smaller, select it and use the Font Size setting.

These marks are static symbols. If you're looking for a more interactive check box see: Add a check box or option button (Excel) or Make a checklist in Word.

A special character like em dashes or section marks (§)

  1. Click where you want to insert the special character.

  2. Click Insert > Symbol > More Symbols.

  3. In the Symbol dialog box, click the Special Characters tab.

    On the "Special Characters" tab, click the "Nonbreaking Space" row to highlight it, and then click "Insert."
  4. Double-click the character that you want to insert.

  5. Click Close.

Fractions (1/3, 2/5)

Some fractions (1/4, 1/2, and 3/4) automatically switch to a fraction character when you type them (¼, ½, ¾). But others do not (1/3, 2/3, 1/5, etc.).

  1. Click where you want to insert the fraction.

  2. Click Insert > Symbol > More Symbols.

  3. In the Subset dropdown, choose Number Forms.

    Select Number Forms in the Subset dialog to show fractions and other math symbols
  4. Double-click the fraction that you want to insert.

  5. Click Close.

International Characters like ¿ or ü

If you plan to type in other languages often you should consider switching your keyboard layout to that language. You can find more information about that at Enable or change a keyboard layout language.

For one-off characters there are almost always keyboard shortcuts in Office to do that. For example:

  • CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+? inserts a ¿

  • CTRL+SHIFT+~ followed immediately by "a" will insert ã.

  • CTRL+SHIFT+: followed immediately by "u" will insert ü.

For the complete guide to using the keyboard to insert international characters see: Keyboard shortcuts for international characters.

You can also use the character code of the symbol as a keyboard shortcut. Symbols and special characters are either inserted using ASCII or Unicode codes. You can tell which is which when you look up the code for the character.

  1. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click Symbol > More Symbols just like you were going to insert the symbol using the dialog box.

  2. Scroll up or down the list to find the symbol you want; note that you might have to change the font or the subset to locate it.

  3. Towards the bottom right you'll see boxes for Character code and a from:. The character code is what you'll enter to insert this symbol from the keyboard and the from: tells you what kind of character it is. If from: says "Unicode (hex)" it's a Unicode character. If from: says "Symbol (Decimal)" then it's an ASCII character.

The from field tells you that this is a Unicode symbol
Unicode
The from field tells you that this is an ASCII symbol
ASCII

Inserting ASCII Characters

Notes: 

  • You need to use the numeric keypad on your keyboard to type the numbers; this won't work if you use the numbers across the top of your keyboard. Make sure that Num Lock is on when you type the numbers.

  • All ASCII character codes are four digits long. If the code for the character you want is shorter than four digits you need to add zeroes to the beginning to get the right length. For example: 249 is entered as 0249. 85 is entered as 0085, and so on.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Font group, change the font to Wingdings.

  2. Press and hold the ALT key and type the character code on the numeric keypad. Remember to add any leading zeroes you need to get to four digits of length. For example: ALT+0252 will insert a checkmark symbol.

Important: Don't skip step #1 otherwise you probably won't get the right character when you enter the code.

Make sure you change the font to your previous font after inserting the symbol.

Inserting Unicode Characters

  1. Type the character code where you want to insert the Unicode symbol.

  2. Press ALT+X to convert the code to the symbol.

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