Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Using Text Boxes.

Using Text Boxes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 6, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


A text box is a special kind of graphics object that is nothing but a box that can contain text. You can place any text in them you desire, using the same techniques you use to add text to a cell. The way in which you add a text box depends on the version of Excel you are using.

You create a text box in the following manner:

  1. Make sure the Drawing toolbar is displayed. (You can display it by clicking on the Drawing tool on the Standard toolbar, or by choosing View | Toolbars | Drawing.)
  2. Click on the Text Box tool on the Drawing toolbar. The mouse cursor becomes a small plus sign.
  3. Click at a corner of where you want the text box to appear and, while holding down the mouse button, drag to the opposite corner.
  4. Release the mouse button.
  5. Start typing the text you want in the text box.

Once you create the text box and start typing, the text box remains selected. When you want to work with other parts of your worksheet, simply use the mouse to select those parts.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2343) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Using Text Boxes.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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