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How to Use a Cell in Excel As a Checkbox

Updated March 23, 2017

On a Word document, check boxes add to the page's design, visually representing an item's status. In Excel, they do more. Linking one to a cell lets you set the cell's value by checking or unchecking it. Spreadsheet formulas then use this changed data, determining other cells' contents. Excel hides this function by default. Enable it through the program's Developer tab.

In Excel, click "File" from the menu bar.

Click "Options" from the left pane. The "Excel Options" window will open.

Click "Customize Ribbon" from the left pane.

Check the box next to "Developer" in the "Customize the Ribbon" section on the screen's right side. Click "OK."

Switch to the "Developer" ribbon.

Click "Insert" from the "Controls" tab.

Click the check box icon under "form controls." You cursor will turn into crosshairs.

Click on the cell you want to change into a check box. A box will appear there.

Drag the check box to align it with the cell. Change the box's label, which is "Check Box 1" by default.

With the check box still selected, click "Properties" from the Developer ribbon's "Controls" tab. The "Format Control" window will open, with the "Control" tab selected.

Enter the cell address in the "Cell link" box. Click "OK."

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About the Author

Ryan Menezes is a professional writer and blogger. He has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University and has written for the American Civil Liberties Union, the marketing firm InSegment and the project management service Assembla. He is also a member of Mensa and the American Parliamentary Debate Association.