Downloading and using a symbol set to use with the Commtap Symboliser in PowerPoint

If you are using the Commtap Symboliser for PowerPoint, to get the full benefit you will need to add at least one symbol set.

As an example, I will show you how to download and use the large and free Arasaac symbol set.

Follow on in the video above, or follow the steps below:

  1. In the Commtap Symboliser group, click on “Preferences”.
  2. In the box, click on “Get more symbols”. This takes you to the “Symbol Sets” page on the Commtap Symboliser website.
  3. Scroll down to “Arasaac Symbols” and  click on the link to get it from the Commtap resources website. You can also download it from Arasaac – but this version includes more words. The symbol set can be used for non-commercial purposes.
  4. Scroll down and click on download.
  5. Choose to save the file. This may take a few minutes.
  6. Find the file you downloaded. Right click on it and choose “Extract all…” and then “Extract”. This will take a minute or two.
  7. Move the new folder called “Arasaac colour” (not the zip file) to somewhere safe on your computer.
  8. Go back to PowerPoint. In the Symboliser preferences box, click on “Create Word List from Folder”.
  9. Browse to the folder you just copied. Click on OK, and then on OK again: this tells PowerPoint where to find all the picture symbols in the set you just downloaded.
  10. Enable the new symbol list by clicking in the box next to its name. Close the preferences box.
  11. You can now symbolise words using the new symbol set.

Commtap Symbols in Schools Project

We are looking for schools who would be interested in taking part in an exciting project exploring the use of communication symbols in mainstream schools.

Are you interested in (or concerned about) any of the following?

  • Being more easily able to differentiate lessons to include children with communication and/or learning difficulties.
  • Being more easily able to communicate the schedule and routines for all children in the class.
  • Having worksheets that work for both more and less able children in a class.
  • Easing children’s frustrations or anxieties from not knowing what to do/what’s going on.

What we can offer:

  • A method for easily adding communication symbols to lesson materials created in PowerPoint (a free subscription for one year to the Commtap Symboliser for PowerPoint for as many staff as would like to use it).
  • Free training/support for your staff in using communication symbols in school.
  • Working with your school to work out what is and isn’t practical for you in terms of communication symbol use.
  • Working with your IT department to help get things set up in a way that best suits your school.

What we would like from you:

  • Feedback about what is and isn’t helpful in terms of communication symbol use.
  • How practical it is using communication symbols.
  • If and how children have benefitted from the use of communication symbols.

Who we are:

Commtap CIC is a not for profit organisation which is a member of the Communication Consortium ( It was formed in 2005 by a group of specialist teachers and speech and language therapists. It provides a free website for sharing ideas for supporting children with communication difficulties and software to assist in this process (

Register your interest

If you or your school are interested in participating in this project or if you would just like to find out more, please contact Neil.

Phone 07986 356634 or 01905 571008.