Using a Formula Field returning a String of HTML has been quite effective at representing another field's values using Font Awesome either as single icons or series of stars for ratings. This is all well and good in the browser but when Exporting or using Page Options -> PDF it grinds to a halt. With the Export to XLSX, as probably expected, the HTML is emitted to the cells and for the generate PDF nothing is rendered (we may have IsPDFAnnotationEnabled at false).
An option of using Shared Images isn't a first choice as wish the flexibility of using a ready made collection of icons.
Has anyone else come up with a novel solution to this?
Failing that... my thoughts would be to post to Enhancements, as we appear to have an isImport() API but a whole family of similar APIs could be missing: