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How to Insert a Checkbox in Excel

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Create a checklist for everything you need

Excel is a natural choice for lists and progress tracking, whether you’re packing for a trip or checking off tasks for a work project. You can just put an “x” in a column…or, you can follow these instructions to insert a handy (and satisfying) checkbox to click when your item is completed! Here’s how to add a checkbox in Excel.

One important thing to understand before you proceed: Excel Online does not support the checkbox function.

Important: The instructions in this article apply to Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2019 (for Windows), Office 365, and Excel 2008, Excel 2011 (for Mac).

–> In Excel, make sure you have the Developer tab in your ribbon. If you don’t, you can add it by:

–> Clicking File > Options > Customize Ribbon and then selecting the Developer check box, and click OK in Excel 2010 and subsequent versions on a PC.

–> In Excel 2007 on a PC, click the Microsoft Office button and select Excel Options > Popular > Show Developer tab in the Ribbon.

–> For Mac users, go to Excel Preferences and select Developer from the list in the view tab.

–> In the Developer tab click Insert and then select the Checkbox icon.

Mac users should click directly on the Check Box button.

–> In the spreadsheet, click where you would like to place the checkbox. You can immediately begin typing to edit the default text after the checkbox appears, or right-click on the checkbox to edit other characteristics.

–> Options for the checkbox formatting include fill color, text color, borders, and other options when you right-click and select Format Control.

–> Any edits to the checkbox must be done using a right-click; a left-click will check or uncheck the box.

Creating a Checklist in Excel with Checkboxes

The Checkbox function in the Developer tab only allows you to add a single checkbox at a time. However, once you have a few on your page you can select multiple checkboxes and use copy/paste to add more items to your spreadsheet quickly. Doing this is a little tricky, since regular clicks on a checkbox will just check/uncheck the box itself.

To copy/paste a checkbox:

–> Right-click over the checkbox and select Copy.

–> Right-click where you want to place the copied checkbox and select Paste.

–> You can then right-click on the checkbox to edit the text or formatting.

Tip: You may find it easier to enter your line items in regular cells on the Excel sheet and then add a checkbox without using the checkbox text. When you click to place your checkbox just click and highlight the text, and press the Delete key on your keyboard. Using Copy/Paste to duplicate checkboxes is a lot more efficient this way, and it makes editing the text easier as well.

How to Delete a Checkbox in Excel

–> Have a checkbox that you don’t want to check anymore? Deleting a checkbox isn’t immediately obvious, since regular clicks just toggle the check on and off.

–> Right-click the checkbox you want to remove.

–> Select Cut.

That’s it! Just don’t paste it anywhere and the checkbox is now safely out of your spreadsheet.

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