Picturesque labels

When we make charts in most cases we’ll use text labels, numbers, dates, percentages etc. to display categories on the x axis. Sometimes descriptions are too long, so we have to work in different ways to display them in an adequate manner. Could we use something that describes them more closely such as a currency symbol, an envelope, a smiley face? In this “recipe” you will learn how to add different symbols to a table or chart.

Imagine the following scenario: we need to make a report that will show how we got in touch with potential customers. This can be: a phone call, an email, a form on a website etc. One way to create a report is to write a textual description in the first column, and another is to add symbols instead.

Symbols are added using the Symbol option found in the Insert ribbon. After launching, a dialog box with two tabs will appear: Symbols and Special Characters. To add common symbols, we will use the options in the first one. Adding a symbol is done first by selecting the font, Wingdings or similar font is a most common choice, and then by clicking on the symbol in the list of all or most frequently used, further on the Insert button, we add it to the cell. Also, at the bottom of dialog box you can see a code of the symbol. If we know the code we can add it later manually, by combining the left ALT key and the code numbers that we’ll type on the numeric keypad. E.g. ALT + 0169 displays the copyright sign ©. The second tab contains special characters that can display a symbol or achieve an effect, such as a line break. This option is less commonly used.

After adding all the symbols to the table, and then filling in the number of contacts, we can easily create a Column Chart in which is presented how we reached potential customers. Just make sure you select the same font on the x-axis as the one used to display the symbols.