Formatting Combo Box Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 13, 2016)

You can use the Forms toolbar to add a combo box to your worksheet, as has been discussed in other issues of ExcelTips. You can control many attributes of the combo box (right-click it and choose Format Control), but you cannot change the attributes of the font used to display information in the combo box. This seems to be an odd oversight on the part of Microsoft, but it has been that way since the earliest days of the Forms controls.

If you want greater control over how the combo box looks, then you will need to skip the Forms controls and instead add one from the Control Toolbox. You can display this toolbox by choosing Toolbars from the View menu, and then choosing Control Toolbox.

The controls available in the Control Toolbox look very similar to the Forms controls. The Control Toolbox controls, while they have the same names as the Forms controls, are quite different. For instance, you can place a combo box, but it looks a bit different than the one you place using the Forms controls. In addition, you can select a newly placed combo box and then click Properties to see all the attributes you can change—there are quite a few more of them when you add a combo box in this manner.

So what differences are there between the two ways of adding a combo box? Besides appearance and a richer set of properties, there isn't a whole lot of difference. There is one operational difference—you can insert a combo box from the Forms controls onto a chart sheet, but you cannot do so from the Control Toolbox.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2387) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Copying and Pasting Field Codes

Want to copy a field code and paste it in some other Windows program? This can be trickier than it sounds. Here's the lowdown ...

Discover More

Conditional Format that Checks for Data Type

Conditional formatting can be used to highlight cells that contain the improper type of data for your needs. This tip ...

Discover More

Finding an Invisible Text Box

Text boxes can be a great aid in designing the layout of your document. What do you do when you can't find a text box that ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Understanding Color and Conditional Formatting Codes

When you create custom cell formats, you can include codes that allow you to set the color of a cell and that specify the ...

Discover More

Conditionally Formatting an Entire Row

Need to conditionally highlight an entire row based on the contents of a single cell in each row? This tip explains how you ...

Discover More

Partially Blocking Social Security Numbers

Need to protect a series of Social Security Numbers in a worksheet? The techniques provided in this tip might be a good ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.