Check marks (✓), also known as tick marks, and cross marks (✗) are simple ways to show if tasks are done or not. These static symbols help keep track of project steps, show what’s approved, and mark items in lists:

Check Mark Vs Checkbox

Check marks and checkboxes might look similar at a glance, but they function quite differently in Excel.

  • Check Marks: A check mark in Excel is a symbol that you insert into a cell, just like typing text. If you copy or delete the cell, the check mark behaves exactly like the text—it copies or deletes along with the cell. You can also change its color and size, just as you would with any text. However, a check mark is static and doesn’t interact with Excel functions.
  • Checkboxes: These are interactive elements that users can click to toggle between checked and unchecked states. Checkboxes in Excel provide a simple TRUE or FALSE output. This makes them ideal for combinations with formulas and conditional formatting in Excel. Checkboxes are ideal for interactive lists, dashboards, or any application where user input is needed to indicate choices or changes. Here is an example for interactive checkboxes:
Excel Checkbox Finished Project

It allows you to track progress by marking off completed objectives, view remaining tasks, instantly recognize achievements with color-coded indicators, and log completion dates for efficient progress monitoring.

Find out how to create such a progress tracker with Excel checkboxes in this step-by-step article here.

Copy and Paste a Check Mark Symbol

A simple way to insert check marks in Excel is to copy them from an existing source. We made a workbook with various symbols in different fonts you can use.

check mark symbol in Excel

Here’s how to do it:

Download the Workbook:

  • Get our Excel workbook filled with check marks and cross marks by clicking here.

Copy the Symbol:

  • Open the XelPlus workbook.
  • Find the symbol you need and copy it by pressing Ctrl+C.

Paste the Check Mark Symbol:

  • Go to your Excel document.
  • Select the cell where the symbol should go.
  • Paste it using Ctrl+V.

These steps make it easier than ever to enhance your documents with these symbols.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Another quick and easy option is to use keyboard shortcuts. This way you can quickly add check marks or cross marks to your Excel sheets. Before you start, make sure your keyboard’s Num Lock is turned on.

Here’s how to do it in a few simple steps:

1. Select the Cell: Click on the cell where you want to add the check mark symbol.

  • Go to the Home tab.
  • In the Font section, click on the font drop-down menu and select ‘Wingdings 2’ or ‘Webdings’ depending on the symbol you want to use.

3. Use the Keyboard Shortcut:

  • Simply type the letter that corresponds to the symbol you want. For example, Shift + P inserts a check mark in Wingdings 2.
  • Shift + O would insert a cross mark in the Wingdings 2 font.

Below, you’ll find an image listing the keyboard shortcuts for inserting check marks in Excel.

💡 Before using these shortcuts, switch the cell’s font to Wingdings or Wingdings 2. Each shortcut produces a symbol unique to these fonts. Using the shortcuts without changing the font first won’t display the right symbols.

Insert Check Mark Using Symbols

You can also easily insert a check mark (also known as a “tick mark”) in Excel by using symbols. Here’s how to do it:

  • Select the Cell: First, click on the cell in Excel where you want the check mark or cross mark to appear.
  • Open the Symbol Dialog: Click on ‘Symbol’ in the far right of the ‘Insert’ tab to open the Symbol dialog box.

Choose the Correct Font: In the Symbol dialog box, click on the ‘Font’ dropdown menu.

  • Select ‘Segoe UI Symbol’ with the subset ‘Dingbats’ for a variety of symbols.
insert check mark with symbols
  • Alternatively, you can choose ‘Wingdings 2’ for more graphical symbol styles.

Inserting Check Mark Using Character Codes

After selecting the desired font in the Symbol dialog box (e.g., ‘Wingdings’), you can simplify the process. Just enter the character code directly to avoid scrolling through a long list of symbols.


  • Open the Symbol dialog by going to ‘Insert’ > ‘Symbol’.
  • Choose ‘Wingdings’ from the font dropdown.
  • Type 252 in the ‘Character code’ box. This will automatically highlight the check mark symbol.
  • Press ‘Insert’.

This inserts a check mark directly into your selected cell.

Insert Check mark with character code

We’ve compiled a handy table of check mark and cross mark symbols, complete with character codes, to save you time. Download our workbook to quickly find and use the symbols you need for your Excel projects.

💡Before typing in the character code, make sure the correct font is selected. Then type the character code into the ‘Character code’ box. This box might not be visible in some Excel versions; in that case, scrolling through is necessary.

Inserting Check Mark Using Functions

The CHAR function lets you quickly put check mark symbols into your Excel cells. You can use it alone or with other Excel functions to show data changes dynamically.

While inserting symbols directly might seem straightforward, the real advantage of using the CHAR function lies in its ability to integrate seamlessly with other Excel functions, creating dynamic and condition-based displays.

To insert a simple check mark:

  • Choose a cell: Click where you want your check mark.
  • Input the function: Type =CHAR(252) and hit Enter.
  • Set the font: On the Home tab, select Wingdings from the font options. This turns the code into a visible check mark.

Here are some other choices for the CHAR function. Make sure to select the corresponding font after entering the formula:

Insert check mark using CHAR function

Combine with Other Excel Functions

Using the CHAR function has another real advantage. You can combine it with other Excel functions. This creates options for dashboard and reports to show changes dynamically.

Let’s look at an example. Suppose you have this list of regions and you want a check mark if sales are above budget, and a cross if not.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Enter this formula in cell D2:
= IF(B2>=C2, CHAR(252), CHAR(251))
  • Set the font in cell D2 to Wingdings to see the symbol.
  • Drag the formula down to cell D6 for the other regions

Improve this even further to easily see if targets are met in your Excel data by adding color coding. Here’s a quick guide to setting up green check marks for achieved targets and red cross marks for missed targets.

  • Highlight the cells D2 to D6 that contain your formulas.
  • Go to the Home tab, click on Conditional Formatting, then New Rule.
  • Choose ‘Use a formula to determine which cells to format’.
  • Enter the formula: To change the color to green when B2 is greater or equal than C2, use the formula: =B2>=C2
  • Click Format, choose the Font tab, select the color you want (e.g., green), and click OK.
check mark excel conditional formatting

Repeat the process to add another rule for the opposite condition (=B2 < C2) and choose a different color (e.g., red).

check mark excel conditional formatting

After setting up your conditions and colors, click OK to apply the rules. Excel will now automatically change the color of the symbols based on the values in the columns B and C.

Check mark in Excel with Conditional Formatting

By using a simple IF statement together with the CHAR function and some Conditional Formatting, you can create a clear visual. This allows you to quickly see who is over or under budget. It’s an excellent way to improve dashboards and reports.

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How to Count Check Symbol in Excel

Counting checkmarks in Excel can be straightforward with the right formula combination. Here’s how to do it step by step:

Formula Setup: Use the COUNTIF function combined with the CHAR function to find and count check marks:

= COUNTIF(D2:D6, CHAR(252))
  • D2:D6 is the cell range where check marks are located.
  • CHAR(252) specifies the check mark symbol based on its character code in the Wingdings font.
How to count check mark in Excel

💡 Notes:

  • This method counts cells that contain only the check mark symbol with the specific character code. Ensure the font of these cells is set to Wingdings to display the check mark correctly.
  • If cells contain additional text or symbols, this formula may not work as expected.
  • For more detailed information about using the COUNTIF function in Excel, click this link to the article.

Download the Workbook

Download the Workbook with all examples, character codes and shortcuts 👉 HERE.

Excel Download Practice file

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Leila Gharani

I'm a 6x Microsoft MVP with over 15 years of experience implementing and professionals on Management Information Systems of different sizes and nature.

My background is Masters in Economics, Economist, Consultant, Oracle HFM Accounting Systems Expert, SAP BW Project Manager. My passion is teaching, experimenting and sharing. I am also addicted to learning and enjoy taking online courses on a variety of topics.