Insert Checkbox in Excel

One of the most demanding and fascinating things for an Excel user is to create interactive things in Excel.

And a checkbox is a small but powerful tool that you can use to control a lot of things by unchecking/checking it.

In short: It gives you the power to make your stuff interactive.

And, I’m sure you use it in your work, frequently.

But, the thing is.

Do you know how to use a checkbox up to its best?

Yes, that’s the question.

In today’s post, I’m going to show you exactly how you can insert a checkbox in Excel and all the other things which will help you to know about its properties and options.

So without any further ado, let’s explore this thing.

1. Steps to Insert a Checkbox in Excel

Here you have two different methods to insert a checkbox. You can use any of this method which you think is convenient for you.

#1 Manual Method

Follow these simple steps.

  • First of all, go to developer tab and if you are unable to see developer tab in your ribbon, you can use these simple steps to enable it.
Go To Developer Tab To Insert Checkbox In Excel
  • In Developer Tab, go to Controls → Form Controls → Select Checkbox.
  • After selecting the check box click on the place on your worksheet where you want to insert it.
Click On Insert Checkbox In Excel

#2 VBA Code

This is another method to insert a checkbox, you can use following VBA code.

ActiveSheet.CheckBoxes.Add(left, Right, Height, Width).Select
ActiveSheet.CheckBoxes.Add(80, 40, 72, 72).Select

Using above method is only helpful when you exactly know about the place to insert and size of the checkbox. Learn more about this method from here.

2. Link a Checkbox with a Cell

Once you insert a checkbox in your worksheet the next thing you need to do is to link it with a cell.

Follow these simple steps.

  • Right click on the check box and select format control.
Insert Checkbox In Excel Right Click on It Select Format Control
  • Now, you’ll get a format control dialog box.
  • Go to control tab and in cell link input bar enter cell address of the cell which you want to link with the checkbox.
  • Click OK.
  • In the cell which you have linked with your checkbox, you’ll get TRUE when you tick the checkbox and FALSE when you un-tick.
Link Cell Once You Insert Checkbox In Excel

3. Deleting a Checkbox

You can delete a checkbox by using two ways.

The first way is to select a checkbox and press delete. This is a simple and fast method to do that.

Delete When You Insert A Checkbox In Excel

And if you have more than one checkbox in your worksheet. Select all the checkboxes by holding control key and press delete to delete them all.

The second way is to use selection pane to delete them

  • Go to Home Tab → Editing → Find & Select → Selection Pane.
  • In selection pane, you will get the list of all the checkboxes you have used in your worksheet.
  • You can select each of them one by one or you can select more than one by using control key.
  • Once you select them, press delete.
Insert Checkbox In Excel Use Selection Pane In Excel

4. Printing a Checkbox

Most of the times users avoid printing a checkbox. But if you want to do that you can enable this option by using the following way.

  • Right-click on the checkbox, select Format Control.
  • Go to Properties Tab.
  • Tick mark “Print Object”.
Use Format Option To Activate Print After You Insert Check Box In Excel

This will allow you to print check boxes, and if you don’t want to print them make sure to un tick this option.

5. Resizing a Checkbox

If you want to resize checkbox you can simply expand its size by using dots from its border.

And, if you want to resize it using a particular height and& width, you can do it by using following steps.

  • Right-click on the checkbox and select format control option.
  • Go to Size -> Tab Size and Rotate.
  • Enter the height and width which you want to fix for the checkbox.
  • Click OK.
Insert Checkbox In Excel With Custom Height Width

Quick Tip: To lock the aspect ratio for the size of the checkbox tick mark “Lock aspect ratio”.

6. Copy a Checkbox in Multiple Cells

You can use three different ways to copy a checkbox from one place to another.

First: Simple Copy Paste Method

  • ​Select a checkbox.
  • Right-click on it and copy.
  • Go to the cell where you want to paste that checkbox.
  • Right-click and paste.

Second: Use Control Key.

  • ​Select a checkbox.
  • Press control key.
  • Now with your mouse, drag that checkbox to the another place where you want to paste it.

Third: Using Fill Handle

  • ​Select the cell on which you have your checkbox.
  • Use fill handle and drag it up to the cell on which you want to copy checkbox.
Insert CheckBox In Excel In Multiple Cells

7. Renaming a Checkbox

While renaming a checkbox, there is one thing you have to keep in mind that you have two different names which associated with a checkbox.

Caption name and an actual name of a checkbox.

Question: How to change caption name of a checkbox?

Answer: Right-click and select edit text and then delete the default text and enter new text.

Insert Checkbox In Excel Change Caption Name

Question: How to rename a checkbox?

Answer: Right-click on the check boxGo to address bar and edit the name. Change to the name you want and press enter.

Insert CheckBox In Excel Change Name

8. Fixing the Position of a Checkbox

One thing you have to take care about when you are working with checkboxes.

That's ==> Fixing its position.

By default when you insert a checkbox in excel it will change its position & shape when you expand the cell on which it is placed.

Insert Checkbox In Excel Changing Position

But you can easily fix its position using these steps.

  • Right, click on the checkbox, go to Format Control → Properties Tab.
  • In object positioning, select “don’t move or size with cell”.
  • Once you select this option, the checkbox will not move from its position by expanding column or row.
Insert Checkbox In Excel Not Changing Position

9. Hide or Un-hide a Checkbox

You can also hide or un-hide a check box from your worksheet using these steps.

  • Open selection pane by using the shortcut key Alt + F10.
  • On the right side of the name of every checkbox, there is a small icon of an eye.
  • Click on that icon to hide a checkbox and same icon again to unhide it.
  • If you want to hide/unhide all the check boxes you can use hide all button and show all button to show all the check boxes.
Insert Checkbox In Excel Not Changing Position

Examples: How to use Checkbox in Excel

Here I have a list of useful ideas to use a checkbox in your spreadsheet.

#1 Creating a Checklist

In the below example, I have used a checkbox to create a checklist. And, I have used formulas in conditional formatting to create this checklist.

insert checkbox in excel to create a check list

Here are the steps.

  • Insert a check box and link it to a cell.
  • Now, select the cell in which you have task name and go to Home Tab -> Styles -> Conditional Formatting -> New Rule.
  • Click on “Use a formula to determine which cell to format” and enter below formula into it.

=IF(B1=TRUE,TRUE,FALSE)

  • Apply formatting for strike through.
  • Click OK.

Now, whenever you tick the checkbox it will change the value in the linked cell to TRUE and in the cell in which you have applied conditional formatting will get a line through a value.

#2 Create Dynamic Chart with a Checkbox

In the below example, I have created a dynamic chart using a line chart and a column chart.

Insert Checkbox In Excel To Create Dynamic Chart

Here are the steps.

  • Create a table with profit values and link it to an another table using below formula.

=IF($I$17=TRUE,VLOOKUP($I4,$M$3:$N$15,2,0),NA())

  • Then linked $I$17 with the checkbox.
  • Whenever I tick that checkbox, above formula will use VLOOKUP Function to get profit percentages. And, if a checkbox is unticked I’ll get a #N/A.

#3 Use Checkbox to Run a Macro

While working for an invoice template I got this idea.

The idea is, if you want to insert shipping address same as billing address you just have to tick the checkbox and address will be copied to it.

And, on the other side when you untick that checkbox content will be cleared.

insert checkbox in excel to create invoice template

Here are the steps to create it.

  • Go to developer tab → Code Visual Basic or you can also use the shortcut key to open the visual basic editor.
  • Add below VBA code to the sheet in which you have inserted your checkbox.
Sub Ship_To_XL()
If Range("D15") = True Then
Range("D17:D21") = Range("C17:C21")ElseIf
Range("D15") = False Then
Range("D17:D21").ClearContents
Else: MsgBox ("Error!")
End If
End Sub

Please note you have to insert this code into the code window of the same worksheet in which you want to use it.

  • In above code, D17:D21 is the range for shipping address and C17:C21 is the range for the billing address. In cell D15, I have linked the checkbox.

Sample File

Download this sample file from here to learn more.

  • Torstein S Johnsen

    Really interesting blog. I use checboxes to hide one or several rows, though VBA. I Liked your invoice example. But why do you prefer to use macro instead of using formulas?

    • Puneet Gogia

      Thanks Torstein for your words.

      I have two reason for that

      1. Formulas will not allow me to add a custom address.
      2. VBA gives me a neat worksheet.

      Cheers
      Puneet

  • Lisa D

    Can I use a check box in a table? Will it automatically copy down when you enter a new line in the table? Also, if used in a table, can I use the check box in a formula in another table?

  • Very comprehensive. Good work. Thanks.