How to insert a check box in Excel

This tutorial provides the steps to add or insert checkboxes in Excel to create an interactive checklist, inspection report or to-do list.

Insert checkbox in Excel

As you’ve probably seen in online forms, a check box, also known as a “tick box,” is a small square box that you can click to turn an option on or off.

Clicking the check box places a tick symbol in the check box, indicating that an option has been selected.

If you accidentally clicked the checkbox, click the same checkbox again, which will deselect the option and remove the check mark from the checkbox.

How to insert a check box in Excel

While inserting a checkbox in Excel is easy, many users find it difficult to find the right tab or option to insert a checkbox in Excel.

This is because the option to insert the checkbox, radio button, and other interactive tools is on the Developer tab, which is not enabled by default in Excel.

Therefore, the first step would be to add the Developer tab to the ribbon in Excel.

1. Add developer tab to ribbon in Excel

The quickest way to add the Developer tab to the ribbon in Excel is to right-click one free space on the ribbon and click Customize the ribbon… Possibility.

Customize ribbon option in Excel

On the next screen, check the small box next to it developer and click OK.

Activate the developer tab in the Excel ribbon menu

If that doesn’t work, you can try one of the following methods, depending on the version of Microsoft Excel you’re using on your computer.

  1. Excel 2010 and later: Click on file > options > adjust band > check those developer option and click OK.
  2. Excel 2007 and earlier: Click on that Microsoft Office button > Excel options > Popular > Show developer tab in the band.
  3. Excel on Mac: Click Customize Toolbar down arrow and choose More commands. On the More Commands screen, click Ribbon tab and check the developer Possibility.

2. Add checkboxes to cells in Excel

Once the Developer tab is activated on the ribbon, you can insert checkboxes into any cell in your Excel workbook.

Before adding the checkbox, make sure you prepare and finalize the list of items in your checklist. Once the checklist is ready, you can follow the steps to insert a checkbox in Excel.

1. To insert the checkbox in Excel, click on it developer tab and select it check box Possibility.


2. Then click in the cell where you want to insert the check box. If necessary, you can use the four-pointed arrows to drag the checkbox to the desired position (see image below).

Drag check box

3. Once the checkbox is properly placed in its cell, right-click on it check box > click edit text and enter the title for the check box.

Edit checkbox text in Excel

3. Copy the check box to other cells

After inserting the checkbox in the first cell, you can copy and paste the same checkbox into all required cells.

1. Right click on the check box > select Copy in the context menu.

Checkbox to copy to Excel

2. Choose cells into which you want to insert the check box, right-click on the selected one cells and choose the paste option in the displayed context menu.

In this way, the same check box is inserted into the selected cells along with its title, and you don’t need to go through the steps of inserting the check box.

4. Link the check box to the cell in Excel

Although the checkboxes are inserted and you can check and uncheck them, you cannot count the answers or use the checkbox answers in an Excel formula.

In order to count or use checkbox answers in an Excel formula, you must link the checkboxes to their own individual cells.

1. Right click on the first one check box and click format control.

Format checkboxes in Excel

2. On the Format Control screen, click control tab > cell linking field > and then click the cell you want to associate with the check box and click on it OK.

Link checkboxes to cells in Excel

3. Repeat the above steps for all remaining checkboxes. Unfortunately, you have to do this individually.

4. When you have linked all checkboxes, click in the link check box and you will see “True” for checked boxes and “False” for unchecked boxes.

Use check boxes in Excel formulas

5. Once the checkboxes are linked to cells, you can count the answers and use them in any Excel formula.

As you can see in the image above, we counted the number of students present and absent using the COUNTIF function.


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