Create a checklist graphic in PowerPoint

I often create a slide that talks about x number of items:

  • 6 tips for stunning slides
  • 10 ways to organize your time
  • 5 steps to a slide makeoverpowerpoint-tips-checklist-graphic-2a

When I think how to visualize the concept of such a slide, I often (perhaps lamely) come up with a checklist. Finally, I created my own and thought you might like a similar one for your own slides.

1. Get the Post-it® note


I started with a Post-it note. You could certainly take your own photo, but I found a good photo from here. I’ve also used images from Fuzzimo, which you can get here. The Fuzzimo images contain a number of Post-it notes, so duplicate the file and then crop to the one you want. Here you see the two options — the photo is on the left and the Fuzzimo option is on the right.

I used the Fuzzimo image and cropped it to eliminate some extra white space around the edges.

2. Add the checkboxes

A checklist has to have checkboxes. Although you can search for a text symbol that fits the bill, it’s easier to insert a rectangle. Here are the steps:

  1. From the Home tab, in the Drawing group, choose the rectangle from the gallery of shapes.
  2. Press and hold the Shift key as you drag it on the slide to ensure a perfect square.
  3. To resize it, again hold down the Shift key and resize from one of the corner handles.
  4. Note that the Post-it note image is slightly rotated. This is how the image comes; I didn’t rotate it.
  5. Move the square onto the Post-it note image.
  6. powerpoint-tips-checklist-graphic-3Rotate the square to match the Post-it note using the selected square’s green rotation handle.
  7. On the Drawing Tools Format tab, expand the Shape Styles gallery and choose the option with the black outline and white fill. If you want, you can omit the fill by choosing Shape Fill, No Fill. That’s probably more realistic but I found that the white fill provided more contrast for the graphic as a whole.

Here’s my first checkbox.

After that, it’s just a matter of making duplicates:

  1. Select the square.
  2. Press Ctrl + D.
  3. Drag the new square to the desired location based on the angle of the Post-it note and the number of checkboxes you want.
  4. Press Ctrl + D as many times as necessary and the new checkboxes will continue the distance and angle of the first duplicate you created.  You might find that you need to make small adjustments to get the results you want. If you have a lot of items, use 2 columns.

For more information on creating equidistant objects, see my post, “3 ways to make objects equidistant in PowerPoint.”

3. Add the checkmarks and numbers

If you don’t want to animate the check marks coming in one at a time or if you want to animate both the check marks and numbers together, you can put a checkmark and its corresponding number together in one text box. If you want to animate the check marks separately , put them in separate textboxes from the numbers. I put mine together. Here’s how:

  1. From the Home tab, click the Text box shape in the Drawing group and drag a text box on the screen. Although you’ll want the check mark to be on top of the checkbox, for now it’s easier to place it elsewhere so that you don’t inadvertently select the checkbox while working on the checkmark.
  2. The check mark is a symbol. Choose Insert, Symbol. In the Symbol dialog box, from the Font drop-down list, choose Wingdings and use the vertical scrollbar to go to the bottom of the symbols. Near the end, you’ll see the check mark. You’ll notice that there’s also a combination checkbox and check mark that could be used. I chose the check mark. Click  Insert, then click Close.
  3. Type a few spaces and then type 1 and a period.
  4. Adjust the size, font and color as desired. If necessary, widen the width of the text box so that the number doesn’t wrap to the next line. I made my check mark green to symbolize progress.
  5. Rotate the text box to match the checkbox and Post-it note.
  6. Duplicate the textbox as you did for the checkboxes.
  7. Edit the numbers so that they count from 1 to whatever.

Will you find this helpful? What other type of graphic would you find helpful? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to create it!

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5 comments to Create a checklist graphic in PowerPoint

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