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Three sources for an X in Word or PowerPoint

Where can you find an X symbol to overlay (or go under) text as used in Three ways to overlay X on text in Word ?

As usual in modern Office, there’s plenty of choices available either within the product or from elsewhere.


Office 365 and Office 2019 apps have Icons, actually SVG graphics. They are simple to use, re-color, re-size and have a transparent ‘no fill’ background by default.

 Insert | Icons then find an  X by searching for ‘cross’.


Icons  / SVG graphics can be recolored and crucially for this application made partly transparent so the text below can be seen.  Go to the formatting pane then Format Graphic | Picture Transparency then adjust the transparency setting to suit – we usually go for around 50-60%

Any graphic

Any graphic can work as the symbol overlay as long as it can be made partly transparent so the text shows through (if in front of text)  or faint so the text appears over it (if Behind text).

Icons or other SVG graphics are the easiest to work with in Office.

Search the web for SVG graphics

Letter X

Any capital X in any font can work but, unlike an icon or SVG, there’s no transparency option for the letter.  Using fainter color options is a partial workaround.

The upside is a lot more styles to choose from, here’s a few variations on the simple letter X we found in the Office font collection.

And that’s before looking at Bold, Italic or Bold Italic options!

To overlay a letter, put it into a Text Box (Insert tab). The Text Box acts as a container that can be controlled separately from standard text.

Once you’ve inserted a simple text box, there’s a few changes to make on the Shape Format tab:

Shape Outline – remove the border by changing to ‘No Outline’.

Shape Fill – ensure it’s set to ‘No Fill’, that makes the box background transparent.

Finally, set Layout Options to In Front or Behind with ‘Move with text’ chosen.

Now the text box can be dragged to overlay text or another text box.

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