How to symbolise text

  • Create a text box


On the home tab, choose shapes and then choose the text box icon ();

Click the mouse somewhere on the page and drag (while still holding down the mouse button) to create a box.



  • Type some text in the text box - for example "tree;
  • With the text box still highlighted, click on "symbolise" in the Commtap Symboliser group on the ribbon a tree will appear;
  • Note, the icons in the ribbon may look different depending on which version of PowerPoint you are using.



  • Click on symbolise again, a different tree will appear (if there are other types of tree in your symbol set) - and so on;



  • To go back through the symbols, click on "Previous" in the Commtap Symboliser group.


If you symbolise text for "tree" from another text box, then the first picture that is displayed will be the last one you selected for the previous time you symbolised "tree".

Symbolise selected text

If you click on text in a text box but don't select any of the text, the symboliser will look for images using all of the text in the text box. If you select some of the text, the symboliser will search for images which matches just the text you selected.


Here, "bicycle" was selected to find a symbol for a bicycle.

Keyboard short cut

You can set up a keyboard short cut to make symbolising quicker. To do this go to File Options Quick Access Toolbar. Under "Choose commands from", select "All Commands"; select "Symbolise" in that list, and then click on "Add". Click on OK.



The quick access toolbar is at the top left of the window. This example has five icons on it - AutoSave (on/off), save, undo, repeat and symbolise. Because "Symbolise" is the fifth one along, if you position your cursor in some text in a text box, you can symboliser by typing "alt-5" (press the alt first, and keep it pressed until you have pressed the number 5).

See also

Symbol position