Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Using Check Boxes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 28, 2019)
Many different dialog boxes and forms in the Windows world utilize check boxes. They are handy if you want to provide a way for a user to choose between two options, such as true or false; yes or no. Excel also allows you to use check boxes in your worksheets, if desired.
For instance, you may have developed a financial projection worksheet in which you can either account for a particular acquisition or not. In this case, you might want to place a check box at the top of the worksheet. You can then link the status of this check box to another cell, so that if the check box is selected, the value of the cell is True; if it is not selected, the value of the cell is False.
There are two types of check box controls you can insert in your worksheet: a forms control and an ActiveX control. Both do essentially the same thing; here's how you place an ActiveX check box control in your worksheet:
Figure 1. The Properties dialog box for the check box.
If your worksheet will be used with older versions of Excel (those before Excel 2007) you will want to use the forms control check box. Here's how you place them in your worksheet:
Figure 2. The Control tab of the Format Control dialog box.
As you are specifying cells for the check boxes to link to, it may be helpful to put those cells either on a different worksheet or size your check box so it completely covers the cell to which the check box is linked. That way the "True" and "False" values showing up in the linked cells won't mess up the layout design for the worksheet on which the check boxes appear.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8392) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Using Check Boxes.
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