How to Insert a Checkbox in Excel

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What to Know

  • You need to have the Developer tab in the ribbon. From there, select Insert > checkbox icon and place the box where desired.
  • If you need a lot of checkboxes, the quickest method is to create the first one and then copy/paste the rest as needed.

This article explains how to add the Developer tab to the ribbon, how to add single or multiple checkboxes, and how to delete a checkbox. Instructions apply to Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel for Microsoft 365, and Excel for the web.

How to Insert a Checkbox in Excel

Here's how to add a checkbox in Excel. (It's very similar to the way checkboxes are inserted in Microsoft Word.)

Excel Online does not support the checkbox function.

  1. Make sure you have the Developer tab in your ribbon. If you don't see it, you can add it by going to File > Options > Customize Ribbon and selecting the Developer checkbox. Click OK.

    If you have Excel 2007, click the Microsoft Office and select Excel Options > Popular > Show Developer tab in the Ribbon.

    Add the Developer tab to your Ribbon in Excel
  2. In the Developer tab, select Insert, then select the Checkbox icon under Form Controls.

    Form Controls being used to insert a checkbox in Excel
  3. In the spreadsheet, click where you want to place the checkbox. You can immediately begin typing to edit the default text after the checkbox appears, or you can right-click on the checkbox to edit other characteristics.

    How to edit text when inserting a text box in Excel
  4. Options for the checkbox formatting include fill color, text color, borders, and other options. You can do this by right-clicking and selecting Format Control.

    Using Format Control to edit the fill color, line, size, and other items in a checkbox.

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

How to Create Multiple Checkboxes in Excel

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 left-clicking on a checkbox just checks/unchecks the box itself.

To copy/paste a checkbox, use right-click and select Copy. Then, right-click where you want the new checkbox to go and select Paste. You can then right-click on the checkbox again if you want to edit the text or formatting.

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. 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 you don't want to check anymore? How to delete a checkbox isn't immediately obvious, since regular clicks just toggle the check on and off. To get rid of a checkbox, right-click on it and select Cut. That's it! Just don't paste it anywhere and the checkbox is now safely out of your spreadsheet.