Images, symbols and Emojis in Google Sheets

Use the CHAR function in Google Sheets to add a special character or emoji. Easy to use and a great way to make Google Sheets more appealing to young learners.

Looking to make your Google Sheets more appealing for younger learners? Need access to thousands of emojis, symbols or icons? Unicode is here to help.

Follow along with the attached activity here: LINK to Sample file

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Make your own copy of the practice file

You are free to use a copy of this file with your students and colleagues
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Unicode has thousands of symbols each with a uniquely assigned code. These codes can be interpreted by programs such as Google Sheets as long as we make sure the program understands the context.

In order for sheets to correctly display these Characters or ‘Chars’ we have to use the formula CHAR as seen here:


In the spreadsheet, first make sure you navigate to the DIY sheet at the bottom of the file. (If you are using your own sheets, this is not necessary.)

Select the correct sheet

As you can see from the image above, I have added in a range of images all found in unicode.

Adding chars

Navigate to the cell where you would like to see your character or char added. Here you type the formula:

 =CHAR( )
Type your formular into the cell

All we need to do now is add the missing table_number or reference number in Unicode. In order to get this number we can use any website that gives us the Unicode tables.

Linked in the file and here, is one of my favourite websites for this Unicode Search.

Linked website

On the website you can search for any symbol or image you may need.

Copy the ID number shown on the website and paste this into your formula.

A preview of the symbol/emoji will show at the top.

Now you can repeat this step multiple time to insert all the images needed.

If you prefer want to see these steps in a video format, a YouTube video walking you through this activity is attached below:


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