To show a checkmark when a task is complete, you can use a formula based on the IF and CHAR functions. In the example shown, the formula in D5, copied down, is:


where D5:D11 is formatted with the "Wingdings" font.

Generic formula



This formula uses the IF function to check for "complete" in column C. When a cell contains "complete", IF returns


which displays a checkmark when the font is "Wingdings". When a cell contains any other value, IF returns an empty string (""). Note the IF functions is not case-sensitive.

Important: cells in column D must be formatted with the "Wingdings" font for this to work.

Excel's CODE and CHAR functions allow you to work with ASCII codes for characters directly in a formula.

You can use this same approach to display any symbol or character you like with a formula.

On a Mac

On a Mac, use 159 to get a checkmark with Wingdings:


Plain text checkmark

You can also try just a plain text checkmark like this: ✓

=IF(A1="complete","✓","") // plain text

The display on Windows and Mac versions of Excel is more primitive, but it gets the job done without using Wingdings.

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.

For a complete run-down on conditional formatting with formulas, with many examples, see this page.

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.