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: Placing Textbox Text Into a Worksheet.

Placing Textbox Text Into a Worksheet

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 17, 2017)

Excel allows you to place all sorts of graphic objects on your worksheet. One type of graphic object actually contains text—a textbox. If you have quite a few textboxes in a worksheet, you may be wondering if there is a way to extract the text from each textbox and place it in the worksheet itself.

There is no command to do this; you must instead use a macro. The following macro steps through each textbox in a worksheet and makes the desired extraction:

Sub ExtractText()
    Dim shp As Shape
    Dim sLoc As String

    For Each shp In ActiveSheet.Shapes
        With shp
            If Left(.Name, 8) = "Text Box" Then
                sLoc = .TopLeftCell.Address
                Do Until Range(sLoc) = ""
                    sLoc = Range(sLoc).Offset(1, 0).Address
                Range(sLoc) =.TextFrame.Characters.Text
            End If
        End With
End Sub

Since Excel stores all graphic shapes in the Shapes collection, you can step through the collection and make a determination as to which shapes you want to work with. In this case, the first eight characters of the shape's name is checked. Only if the name begins with "Text Box" does the macro consider the shape to be a text box from which text can be extracted.

Rather than check for the "Text Box" wording in the name, the macro could also check to see what type of shape is being considered. If you prefer to do this, then simply replace the test line (If Left...) with the following test line:

            If shp.Type = msoTextBox Then

The sLoc variable is used to store the location of the textbox, which is contained in the .TopLeftCell property. A Do loop is then used to make sure that the cell pointed to by the address is empty. (This prevents any existing contents of the cell from being overwritten.) If it is not empty, then the address is "incremented" to the next cell in the column.

With the address of an empty cell determined, the text of the textbox is stored in the cell. The .Delete method is then used to get rid of the actual text box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2388) 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: Placing Textbox Text Into a Worksheet.

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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