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Excel: Display specific symbol based on cell value

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2022-08-24

As we know, we can format cells with background color, and font color based on the given condition by using the Conditional Formatting feature in Excel. But how to display specific symbols based on cell value as the below screenshot shows?
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Note: the methods provided in this tutorial are tested in Excel 2021, there may be some different in different Excel verisions.

Display symbol based on cell value

Firstly, you should know the font style and character code of the symbol you want to insert. Take thumb up and thumb down as an instance, thumb up is in Wingdings font style, and the code is 67, while thumb down is in Wingdings font style, and code is 68.

You can find the code of the symbol by the steps below:

1. Click Insert > Symbol, and in the Symbol dialog, select the font you use from the Font drop-down list, then choose the symbol in the list, and go down to see its code number in Character code textbox.

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2. After identifying the font style and character code, go to a blank cell where you want to insert a symbol based on the cell value, and select the cell or the column, choose the font style you have identified in the above step by clicking Home > Font.
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3. Then type the formula that is used to check values if meet the condition. Here wants to show the thumb up symbol if the value in cell B2 is greater than 75, vice versa, show thumb down symbol, the formula is:
then drag the autofill handle down to fill this formula for other cells.
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Now the symbol is displayed based on the cell value.

If you want to format the symbol with different color based on cell value, please continue the steps below:

4. Select the formula cells, click Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule....
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5. In the New Formatting Rule dialog, select Use a formula to determine which cells to format, and type the formula to set conditional formatting as you need in the textbox, here instance use formula =B2>75 since in step 3, the formula show thumb up symbol when values in B2 is greater than 75, then click Format to display Format Cells dialog, under Font tab, choose a font color. Click OK > OK.
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6. Repeat steps 4 and 5, change the formula to set another formatting for the thumb down symbol, here is =B2<=75.
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And you can change the font size or bold to show the symbol more outstanding as you need.

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