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 Check Boxes.

Using Check Boxes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 31, 2014)

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 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.

To place a check box control in your worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Forms toolbar is displayed.
  2. Click on the Check Box tool on the Forms toolbar.
  3. In your worksheet area, click and drag to define the rectangle that will hold the check box and the label beside the check box.
  4. Once the check box is placed in the worksheet, you can move the mouse cursor into the label area and change the label to anything desired.
  5. With the check box control you just placed still selected, click on the Control Properties tool in the Forms toolbar. You will see the Format Control dialog box.
  6. Make sure the Control tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  7. Figure 1. The Control tab of the Format Control dialog box.

  8. In the Cell-Link field, specify the address of the cell to which this check box should be linked. (When the check box changes, the contents of this cell change; when the contents of the cell are changed, the check box reflects that change—it is a bi-directional relationship.)
  9. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3246) 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 Check 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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