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How to Add Checkbox In Excel (Insert, Link to Cells & Format Conditionally)

Welcome to our ultimate guide to checkbox in Excel! 

In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about adding checkboxes in Excel. From inserting and creating checkboxes to linking and formatting them, we’ve got you covered.

Below is a sneak peek of what you can accomplish with this guide.

Illustration of Checkbox in Excel
  • 📝Starting with The Basics, we’ll show you how to add a checkbox in Excel. We’ll guide you through the process step-by-step, so even if you’re new to Excel, you can achieve the ‘PRO‘ status when it comes to checkbox insertion.
  • 🗂️ Sit tight! We’ll also show you how to insert checkboxes in multiple cells in Excel, allowing you to streamline your data collection like a breeze. Need to remove checkboxes? No worries, we’ll walk you through that as well.
  • 💡 Get ready for some advanced techniques! Discover how to link and set conditional formatting based on checkboxes and other cells, making your spreadsheets more dynamic and visually appealing.
  • 🔄 Using Excel for Mac/Windows? No worries. No matter which platform you’re using, you’ll find the answers you seek.
  • 🔍 Excel Checkbox tips? We’ve got those too!

So, whether you’re an Excel enthusiast or just looking to enhance your spreadsheet skills, this blog post has something for everyone. 

Let’s dive in and unlock the full potential of checkboxes in Excel! 🚀

What is a Checkbox in Excel?

If you’ve searched for how to add a checkbox in Excel, chances are you’re already familiar with what a checkbox is, but for the benefit of our beginner readers, let’s briefly explain it.

In the realm of Excel, a Checkbox is a valuable form control tool that adds interactivity to your spreadsheets. It presents as a small box that can be either checked or unchecked and serves as a binary toggle switch, symbolizing two states of a choice or an option.

The primary purpose of a Checkbox is to enable users to make simple binary decisions within the spreadsheet. It is extensively used in data entry forms, checklists, to-do lists, and interactive reports. By ticking the box, you indicate a positive affirmation or select an item, while leaving it unchecked indicates a negative or unselected state.

One fascinating characteristic of the Checkbox is its linked cell reference, which reflects its checked or unchecked status with the value “TRUE” or “FALSE”. This attribute allows for easy conditional formatting, filtering, and data analysis, rendering it an essential tool for efficient Excel users.

The Checkbox in Excel is a versatile and user-friendly feature that brings a dynamic touch to your spreadsheets, enhancing their functionality and user experience. And knowing how to use it will surely elevate your Excel mastery and optimize your data management endeavors.

How to Insert Check Box In Excel (Quick Guide)

This is just a brief guide on how to create checkboxes in Excel

In the upcoming sections, we will dive into this topic step by step, using plain English explanations, accompanied by helpful screenshots and video illustrations.

Follow the below brief instructions to add checkboxes to your Excel spreadsheet.

  1. Enable Developer Tab: Begin by accessing the “File” menu, then click on “Options” and select “Customize Ribbon.” There, check the “Developer” box and click “OK” to enable the Developer tab.
  2. Access Form Controls: Navigate to the Developer tab and click on Insert to reveal the Form Controls. Choose the check Box icon from the list of available controls.
  3. Insert the Checkbox: Click anywhere you want to place the checkbox to insert it there. 
  4. Customize (Optional): For further customization, right-click on the checkbox and Select Format Control… from the shortcut menu to format and link it to a specific cell if needed. Then reposition it into the cell of your choice.

There you have it! With these simple steps, you can seamlessly add interactive checkboxes to your Excel sheet, enhancing data handling and analysis.

Stay tuned for the following sections, where we will provide more comprehensive guidance on using checkboxes in Excel. Our step-by-step instructions, along with visual aids, will help you master this valuable feature for improved data management and analysis!

Adding Checkboxes in Excel (Step by Step)

Using the “Developer” menu, as demonstrated in the quick guide above, is one of the quickest and most conventional ways to add checkboxes in Excel. 

We will go over each step in detail in this section for greater clarity. 

Example To Use

Let’s use the example of creating a to-do list in Excel to explain how to insert checkboxes. 

Adding or inserting Clickable checkbox in Excel

As shown in the illustration above, imagine you have a simple Excel worksheet where you want to keep track of your daily tasks. You can create a to-do list with checkboxes for each task, allowing you to easily mark off completed items.

Throughout the tutorial, we will use this to-do list example to demonstrate how to insert checkboxes using the “Insert” menu and how to customize them for your specific needs. 

Follow the steps below to add a checkbox to your Excel worksheet.

Step 1: Open your Excel spreadsheet

Obviously, you must first open Excel before you can add a checkbox to it. Once it is open, prepare or format it well and identify the cell or cells you are inserting the checkbox. If it is multiple cells, you will insert it in the first cell before copying it to the rest of the cells either using a fill handle or copying and pasting.

Below is our example sheet ready for checkboxes to be inserted.

Do this, and then proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Go to the Developer Tab

The Developer tab in Excel is a hidden tab that provides access to advanced tools and features for customizing and extending Excel’s functionality. By default, this tab is not visible in the ribbon, and you need to enable it manually.

To enable the Developer tab, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the File menu in Excel.
  2. Go to Options.
  3. In the Excel Options dialog box, select Customize Ribbon.
  4. Check the box next to Developer under the Main Tabs list on the right side.
  5. Click OK to apply the changes.

Once the Developer tab is enabled, you can access a wide range of tools, including form controls like checkboxes, radio buttons, and combo boxes, as well as ActiveX controls, macros, and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) editor.

Step 3: Under the Developer tab, click Insert

Step 4: The Insert menu will appear, click the Check Box symbol under the ‘Form Controls’

Warning: The check Box is also under the ActiveX Controls. Don’t select that one. Using it is a bit more complicated and with little benefit.

Step 4: Click anywhere on the sheet to insert the checkbox.

See this step in action in the illustration below.

Step 5: Modify the name and size of the box by double-clicking on the text.

Once the checkbox is inserted, you can modify it by double-clicking on the text to make it editable. You can either delete it completely or rename it to suit your purpose.

In our example, we don’t need a label for this check box so we will erase it completely.

You should also resize the checkbox to the size of the cell as illustrated below.

Step 6: Click and drag the check box to reposition it.

After inserting, renaming, and resizing the checkbox, click and drag it to the cell you want it to be.

And there you have it. A simple six step process of inserting a check box in Microsoft Excel.

How To Copy Checkbox in Excel

Once you’ve added checkboxes to your Excel worksheet, the temptation to spread their interactive charm across other cells becomes irresistible. 

Luckily, Excel provides simple methods to copy checkboxes quickly. 

One of the straightforward techniques involves the right-click ritual. With a mere right-click on the checkbox, select “copy,” then navigate to the destination and right-click again to invoke “paste.” Like a well-practiced wizard, your checkboxes shall multiply before your eyes. You can also use Ctrl+C and Ctrl+P shortcuts to copy and paste checkboxes in Excel.

While these methods work wonders for a handful of cells, they may not satisfy a wizard’s appetite for vast duplication.

Thus, if the cells you want to copy to are many, simply select the cell containing the checkbox and use the fill handle to copy it to as many cells as you desire. See the illustration below:

If this doesn’t work for you, it means you need to perform a few more steps before using the fill handle. 

Below is the magical settings to copy checkboxes using fill handlel.

Step 1: Right Click on the Check Box and Select Format Control… from the shortcut menu.

Step 2: In the Format Control window, click the Properties tab and select “Move but don’t size with cells” under “Object positioning”. 

Step 3: Click OK.

Once these settings are done, you can now drag the fill handle of the cell that has the checkbox to copy it to the other cells as shown in the video illustration below:

Linking Checkboxes to Cells

Welcome to the next chapter of our Excel journey! 

Checkboxes alone are cool, but why settle for cool when you can have extraordinary? 

Linking checkboxes to cells is the secret sauce that adds functionality and magic to your spreadsheets. Say goodbye to the ordinary and hello to the extraordinary!

By linking checkboxes to cells, you’ll unleash their true potential. They become productivity powerhouses, streamlining data management and task tracking like a breeze. 

With a simple tick or untick, you’ll automate processes and conquer your to-do lists like a pro.

In this section, we’ll reveal the secrets of linking checkboxes and cells, transforming your visuals into a dynamic and functional wonderland. 

The Logic Behind Linking Check Boxes and Cells in Excel

Linking checkboxes to cells in Excel is like giving your checkboxes a magical wand! It’s all about connecting these interactive boxes to the heart of your data – the cells. When you link a checkbox to a cell, you create a direct relationship between the two, making them work hand in hand.

But why does this matter? Well, without this mystical link, checkboxes are merely pretty visuals, offering no real functionality. By linking them to cells, you infuse them with real power and purpose!

Here’s the enchanting logic behind it: When you tick a linked checkbox, the corresponding cell value becomes “TRUE”, and when you untick it, the cell value becomes “FALSE”. This simple connection opens the door to endless possibilities.

With linked checkboxes, you can build dynamic to-do lists, interactive forms, or even create advanced data analysis tools. Imagine effortlessly filtering data based on checkbox selections or using them to trigger specific actions. The possibilities are as boundless as the stars in the night sky!

So, the next time you see a checkbox in Excel, remember that its true magic lies in the link it shares with its companion cell. Embrace this enchanting logic, and let your checkboxes weave their spell on your spreadsheets, turning them into powerful and interactive data wizards! ✨🧙‍♂️

Steps to link Checkboxes to cells

Step 1: Right-Click the Checkbox and Select Format Control

Step 2: In the “Format Control” Window, go to the Control tab

Step 3: Select either the ‘Checked’ or ‘Unchecked’ option (radio button)

This will determine the status of the checkbox when the worksheet is open, whether to be checked or unchecked. This is a matter of personal preference. 

Checked means TRUE, Unchecked means FALSE.

Step 4: You’ll see a section named “Cell link.” Here’s the magical part! Click on the cell selector icon (a tiny grid) and choose the cell where you want to link the checkbox.

In other words, make a reference to the cell you wish to display either TRUE or FALSE if the checkbox is checked or unchecked respectively.

Step 5: Confirm and Close

Once you’ve selected the cell, click “OK” to confirm the link. The checkbox is now connected to the chosen cell.

Step 6: Test the Connection

Click on the checkbox, and you’ll notice the linked cell’s value changes to “TRUE” when the checkbox is ticked and “FALSE” when unticked. The connection is working like a charm!

Duplicate the Magic: If you have more checkboxes to link, repeat the above steps for each checkbox and its respective linked cell. 

Checked boxes should return TRUE and Unchecked boxes should return FALSE in their respective linked cells.

Congratulations! You’ve mastered the art of linking checkboxes to cells in Excel. 

Now your checkboxes possess the magic to interact with your data, enabling you to build powerful to-do lists, and so much more.

Let your checkboxes weave their enchanting spell on your spreadsheets, transforming them into dynamic and functional wonders! 🌟🎩✨

Making Sense of Linked Checkboxes in Excel

While linking checkboxes in Excel to display TRUE and FALSE when checked and unchecked is a crucial step, it won’t magically make sense on its own. 

The true magic happens when you use this connection to add logic and functionality to your spreadsheets.

In other words, without programming or using Excel formulas, the TRUE and FALSE values alone won’t provide meaningful insights or interactivity. 

To unlock the full potential of linked checkboxes in Excel, you’ll need to implement additional features. 

For example, with a linked cell displaying “TRUE“, you can easily use Excel’s conditional formatting to give the completed task a splash of color or a satisfying strikethrough. Voila! Your to-do list becomes an interactive masterpiece, visually showing completed tasks and those still on your magical quest.

You can also use the COUNTIF function to tally the number of completed tasks automatically. This nifty spell will reveal the total tasks conquered, leaving you feeling accomplished like a true Excel wizard.

Steps to Make Linked Checkboxes Interactive

Now let’s unlock the true potential of linked checkboxes. Below steps will turn your to-do list into an interactive realm of productivity.

Step 1: Creat your Task list along with the column that will contain the checkboxes

In our example, that’s A2:A6 for the tasks and B2:B6 for the checkboxes.

Step 2: Follow the above steps so far to insert the checkboxes in cells B2:B6.

Step 3: Link the Checkboxes to your desired cells.

In our example, that will be Cells C2:C6

These linked cells is what would be used to make the sheet interactive. Steps 1-3 are basically the summary of what we’ve explained so far since the beginning of this tutorial. 

Once you are done with these steps, you should have a spreadsheet similar to the one below with the linked cells displaying TRUE and FALSE when the checkboxes are checked and unchecked. 

Using Linked Checkboxes to Add Metrics to Your To-Do List

In the following step, we will add some metrics to our sheet that counts the number and percentage of completed tasks.

Step 4: Add the following formulas for the Metrics:

No. Of Tasks Completed: =COUNTIF($C$2:$C$6,TRUE)

% Of Tasks Completed: =COUNTIF($C$2:$C$6,TRUE)/COUNTIF($C$2:$C$6,”<>”)


Explanation of Formulas:

Let’s break down these Excel formulas. 

However, those who are familiar with the COUNTIF function may not need this explanation. If that’s you, you can skip to the next step on how how we can also use Conditional Formatting to make our spreadsheet even more interactive. 

No. Of Tasks Completed: =COUNTIF($C$2:$C$6,TRUE)

This formula calculates the number of tasks that are marked as completed using checkboxes. Here’s how it works:

  • COUNTIF: This is an Excel function used to count cells that meet a specific criteria.
  • $C$2:$C$6: This refers to the range of cells where your checkboxes are linked to. In this case, the checkboxes are linked to C2 to C6.
  • TRUE: This is the criteria we are looking for. We want to count the number of cells that contain the value TRUE, which corresponds to checked boxes.

So, the formula counts how many checkboxes in the range C2 to C6 have been checked (marked as completed) and displays that number as the result. It tells you the total number of tasks completed based on the number of checked boxes.

% Of Tasks Completed: =COUNTIF($C$2:$C$6,TRUE)/COUNTIF($C$2:$C$6,”<>”)

This formula calculates the percentage of tasks completed based on the checked boxes. Let’s break it down:

  • COUNTIF($C$2:$C$6,TRUE): As explained before, this part counts the number of checked boxes in the range C2 to C6.
  • COUNTIF($C$2:$C$6,”<>”): This part counts the total number of cells in the range C2 to C6 that are not empty. In other words, it counts all tasks, whether completed or not.

By dividing the first count (completed tasks) by the second count (total tasks), the formula gives you the percentage of tasks completed.

So, by using these formulas, you can easily track and analyze the progress of your tasks with checkboxes in Excel. Happy task management! 🚀✅

Using Conditional Formatting with Checkboxes in  Excel

Using Conditional Formatting with Checkboxes in Excel adds visual magic to your checkboxes. 

It lets you apply formatting based on checkbox status or related data, making your data more insightful. 

For example, you can color cells based on completed or incomplete tasks, track patterns, and prioritize tasks.

Step 5-9 will show you how to add visual interactivity in Excel using conditional formatting.

Step 5: Select the Cells to Be formatted (i.e. Cells A2:A6).

Step 6: Go to Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule

Step 7: Select ‘Use a formula to select which cells to format’

Step 8: Enter ‘C2=TRUE’ in the ‘Format values where this formula is true:’ box.

Step 8: Click the ‘Format…’ button to set the conditional formatting for the checkboxes.

Step 9: Click ‘OK’ to apply the settings.


If you follow all the above steps as we’ve done, you should have a spreadsheet similar to the one below:

Bonus Step: Right-Click on Column C to Hide the linked cells.

Once you are done creating, linking and formatting your spreadsheet, you can always hide the column of the linked cells to make your work clean. But never delete them as it’ll mess up your work.

See the result now:

And there you have it. A step by step guide to insert and link checkboxes to cells in Excel whilst adding formulas and conditional formatting to make them interactive.

Customizing Checkbox in Excel

Formatting checkboxes in Excel is like adorning them with captivating attire, turning simple checkboxes into eye-catching visual wonders. 

Let’s dive into the art of checkbox styling, where you’ll discover how to add a touch of elegance and creativity to your checkboxes.

1. Change Checkbox Size and Shape:

To give your checkboxes a unique flair, you can resize and reshape them to fit your design vision. 

Simply click on the checkbox to select it, then grab the sizing handles to adjust its dimensions.

2. Customize Checkbox Color:

Why settle for the default black and white? 

With formatting, you can play with a rainbow of colors! Excel offers a variety of preset colors, or you can unleash your inner artist by selecting custom colors. 

Use colors to simply add a vibrant touch to your checkboxes using these steps.

  • Right Click on the Checkbox and go to ‘Format Control’.
  • From the Window that opens, click on the ‘Colors and Lines’ tab.
  • Set your formatting and press OK.

How to Make a Checkbox in Excel not to Resize With Cells

If you see your checkboxes misbehave and move around whenever you edit your worksheet, this section is for you.

We’ll show you how to make checkboxes stay put and resist the urge to reposition when cells around them is moved or resized.

Solution: Enable “Don’t move or size with Cells” Option:

By default, Excel checkboxes are set to “Move but don’t size with cells,” causing them to move along with adjacent cells. 

To prevent this, 

  • Right-click on the checkbox, then select “Format Control.” 
  • In the dialog box that appears, go to the “Properties” tab and click the radio button next to “Don’t move or size with Cells” 
  • Click “OK” to confirm. 

Your checkbox will now stand firm, unshaken by cell changes.


We’ve embarked on an exciting journey through the world of checkboxes in Excel. 

From mastering the art of adding checkboxes to your worksheet to unlocking their true potential through linking, formulas, and conditional formatting, you now possess the tools to wield Excel’s magic like a seasoned sorcerer.

With checkboxes at your command, data management becomes a breeze, and task tracking transforms into an interactive and dynamic experience. 

Whether you’re managing to-do lists, creating interactive forms, or analyzing data, checkboxes have proven to be a valuable ally in your Excel adventures.

So go forth, armed with this newfound knowledge, and let your checkboxes shine brightly, adding both functionality and flair to your spreadsheets. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this enchanting journey, and may your Excel endeavors be forever magical! 

Happy checkbox-ing! 🌟✨