Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Office for Mere Mortals
Your beginners guide to the secrets of Microsoft Office
Invalid email address
Tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook from Microsoft Office experts.  Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office for Mere Mortals has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy

Here’s the best and most flexible way to make the common ‘Stop’ circle with diagonal line symbol in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Microsoft Office calls it the Not Allowed symbol. It has many, many names; interdictory circle, prohibited symbol, don’t do it symbol, universal no, banned, no entry, nay, no symbol, ‘do not’ sign or circle-backslash symbol. And that’s just in English!

Used on its own or combined with other images/icons like these common signs.

image 12 473x174 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

It’s all a prelude to explaining how to overlay the circle/link over another image or icon to make your own ‘Not Allowed’ signs.

Shape or Not Allowed symbol

The best and most flexible way to make the circle plus diagonal line is a Shape.

The Office ‘Not Allowed’ shape can be adjusted in color, line thickness and size.  It’s also easy to overlay with over images or graphics.

Insert | Shapes | Basic Shapes then look for the ‘Not Allowed’ symbol.

image 13 183x296 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

The default Not Allowed shape isn’t very helpful. Wrong proportions, color and line thickness – but that’s all fixable.

image 14 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Same proportions

Change the default oval shape to a circle by changing the Size settings on the Shape Format ribbon.

image 15 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Change the height and width to the same values to make a circle.  If you want an oval shape (like the defaults seen above) make the height/width different.

image 16 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Lock Aspect Ratio

Clever clogs Office users go a step further to make sure the proportions are fixed.  In Shape Layout (the little arrow icon below the two size boxes on the ribbon) check the Lock Aspect ratio box. 

image 17 322x296 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Now the shape will stay a circle however the shape is moved or resized.

Change line thickness

The default symbol has thick lines, change that using the orange dot.  Drag it left/right to change the line thickness.

image 18 273x296 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

How thick is the line?  The ISO standard says that the circle thickness should be 10% of the outer diameter of the circle with the diagonal 8%. In other words, the circle should be a little thicker than the line.

The Office ‘Not Allowed’ symbol doesn’t meet that standard. The diagonal line is almost the same thickness as the circle.  However, that’s good enough for most needs.

image 19 473x161 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Color

Of course, change the color.  We’ll use the standard color Red for the moment.  The ISO standard is a different shade of Red, see below.

image 20 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Fix outline

After changing the color, you’ll notice that the symbol isn’t quite right.  There’s an outline around the entire symbol.  That might suit you and you’re welcome to use it.  However, it’s not part of the standard design.

image 21 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Get rid of the outline from Shape Format | Shape Styles | Shape Outline .  Change to either ‘No Outline’ or set the same color as the Fill.

There we have it!  A simple ‘Not allowed’ symbol ready for use on its own or combined with other graphics.

image 22 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Which Color Red?

There are two Red colors used for the Stop symbol.  The commonly used one and the official ISO standard.  When you look at the two side-by-side it’s hard to believe the ISO color is correct, but it is.

image 23 383x296 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

The official ISO standard color is ‘Signal Red’ or Hex
#9B2423  RGB: 155, 36, 35,

image 24 261x296 - Make a ‘Stop’ circle / diagonal symbol in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

But many times you’ll see the standard Red, one of the default colors in an Office color selector.  Hex: #FF0000  RGB: 255,0,0

We’ve used a mix of the two colors in this article.

Latest news & secrets of Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office experts give you tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office Watch has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy
Invalid email address