Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Fonts and Color
The Symbol dialog box lets you
insert one or more special
characters. You can choose extended
characters that are supported by
most fonts (like currency symbols,
non-English letters, arrows, and so
on). Alternatively, you can use a
font that’s all about fancy
characters, like the Wingdings font that’s
chock full of tiny graphical icons.
If you want funkier alternatives, choose a fancy font from the Font box on the
left. You should be able to find at least one version of the Wingdings font in the
list. Wingdings has the most interesting symbols to use. It’s also the most likely
to be on other people’s computers, which makes a difference if you’re planning
to email your worksheet to other people. If you get your symbols from a really
bizarre font that other people don’t have, they won’t be able to see your symbols.
Note: Wingdings is a special font included with Windows that’s made up entirely of symbols like happy
faces and stars, none of which you find in standard fonts. You can try to apply the Wingdings font on your
own (by picking it from the font list), but you won’t know which character to press on your keyboard to
get the symbol you want. You’re better off using Excel’s Symbol dialog box.
Alternatively, if you need to insert multiple special characters, just double-click
each one; doing so inserts each symbol right next to each other in the same cell
without having to close the window.
Tip: If you’re looking for an extremely common special character (like the copyright symbol), you can
shorten this whole process. Instead of using the Symbols tab, just click over to the Special Characters tab
in the Symbol dialog box. Then, look through the small list of commonly used symbols. If you find what
you want, just select it, and then click Insert.