Textual ways to represent percentage without numbers?

I am making an application which reminds users to take breaks at intervals (the user can set the interval). I’d like to give the user an idea of how much time is left until the break, but not give the exact number of minutes. To achieve this, I use a progress bar in the main window to display the amount of time left until taking a break

I’m now looking for a textual way to represent what I’m displaying in the progress bar, because I need to put the same information in a menu in the system tray (where I can only show text)

My thinking so far


I could use percentage, but I’d like to find a way where the user sees some graphics instead of numbers

Progress as period characters

I’ve also been thinking of using something like this:


(the percentage in parenthesis would not be displayed)

The problem with this is that to work well it assumes that the font is monospaced, and this is something I cannot control unfortunately.


Your progress bar idea will work, but you need to find two characters with the same width: one filled, one blank.

There are sites, like this one, that may give you some ideas for what characters you could use.

You can also just look at Unicode character lists and find a pair yourself (this may take some trial and error). On the Wikipedia pages for geometric shapes and block elements I found some symbols that work at least on my machine:

Dots ● and ○:

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
● ● ● ● ● ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Emoji squares ◽ and ◾:


Shaded blocks ░ and ▓:


Source : Link , Question Author : sunyata , Answer Author : Laurel

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