## Explanation

The goal is to display a checkmark (also called a "tick mark" in British English) when a task is marked complete. The easiest way to do this is with the IF function and the mark you would like to display. The article below explains several options.

### IF with a plain checkmark

The simplest approach, and the one that appears in the example shown, is to use a plain text checkmark like this:

`=IF(C5="complete","✓","")`

This formula uses the IF function to check for "complete" in column C. When the value is "complete", IF returns a checkmark (✓). When the value in column C is anything else, IF returns an empty string (""), which looks like a blank cell in Excel. Notice the checkmark itself must be enclosed in double quotes ("") since it is text.

### IF with UNICHAR

A more flexible way to display a checkmark is to use the IF function with the UNICHAR function like this:

`=IF(C5="complete",UNICHAR(10003),"")`

The logic of this formula is the same as the original formula above. However, instead of hardcoding a plain text version of a checkmark into the formula, the UNICHAR function is used to return the Unicode character 10003. The benefit of this approach is that you can easily change the number to display a different character. Here are a few examples of Unicode characters related to check and tick marks:

To use a different symbol, change the number in the formula. For example, use 10007 for an "X":

`=IF(C5="complete",UNICHAR(10007),"")`

For more useful Unicode symbols, see: How to use the UNICHAR function.

### IF with CHAR

An older way to display a checkmark in a formula is to use IF with the CHAR function, then format the result with the Wingdings font:

`=IF(C5="complete",CHAR(252),"")`

*Note: with this option, you must format the range D4:D12 with the Wingdings font. If you skip this step, you will not see a checkmark. Instead, you will see a character like "ü" or similar.*

### With conditional formatting

You can also use Excel's built-in conditional formatting icons to show a checkmark, but you don't have much flexibility. Visit this page for a comprehensive guide on conditional formatting with formulas, featuring many practical examples.