Microsoft Word: Check this out

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q. I can't seem to find the checkmark symbol in Microsoft Word. Can you direct me?

A. It has always bothered me that Microsoft Word and PowerPoint do not include a decent checkmark symbol among their thousands of characters and symbols. As CPAs, we are accustomed to using checkmarks for many purposes, for example, to mark completed tasks. We also sometimes use double checkmarks to indicate data that have been rechecked and verified. Nonetheless, a simple checkmark symbol or character is not included in Word or PowerPoint.

If you scour Word's and PowerPoint's font sets, you will find a few feeble checkmark options available via the Insert, Symbol tool, as follows. The Symbol font set includes a weird checkmark that resembles a partial square root symbol (√) more than a checkmark, and virtually the same dog-eared character can also be found in the Extended Characters—Plane 14 (√) and the Wide Latin font sets (√). Checkmarks encased in a check box are included in both the Wingdings and Wingdings 2 font sets. Surprisingly, the Wingdings font set includes a spider, a snow skier, and even a motorcycle symbol, but no simple checkmark. How is this possible?

To get around this problem, you can visit copypastecharacter.com and select All characters from the menu located in the top center portion of the webpage. Scroll down near the bottom, and you will find a couple of nice, simple checkmark symbols as highlighted in the screenshot below.

techqa1


To use these checkmarks in Word or PowerPoint, if you have Flash installed (as a browser add-on), simply click the checkmark on the webpage to copy it to your Clipboard, and then paste it into your Word or PowerPoint document (here is an example of the resulting checkmark: ). (If you don't have Flash installed, then select and copy the symbol using Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste.) Thereafter, the copypastecharacter.com symbol behaves like any other standard letter in your paragraph; for example, it will grow or shrink as you increase or decrease the symbol's font size. (Before I discovered copypastecharacter.com, I sometimes copied and pasted the picture of a checkmark into Word and PowerPoint, which then required me to manually reposition the checkmark image(s) as the paragraph changed, and manually resize the checkmark image(s) if the paragraph font was altered.) Therefore, to recap the benefits of copypastecharacter.com checkmarks, and also to demonstrate the usefulness of using this checkmark to create a bullet list:

This method produces a simple checkmark symbol.

Simply paste the checkmark into your document or slideshow.

Thereafter, the checkmark behaves like a standard character in your paragraph.

The checkmark grows or shrinks as you increase or decrease its font size.


About the author

J. Carlton Collins (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.

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