Use the Check Box Control for Your Excel Dashboards - dummies

Use the Check Box Control for Your Excel Dashboards

By Michael Alexander

Excel offers a set of controls called Form controls, designed specifically for adding user interface elements to your dashboards and reports. After you place a Form control on a worksheet, you can then configure it to perform a specific task.

The Check Box control provides a mechanism for selecting/deselecting options. When a check box is selected, it returns a value of True. When it isn’t selected, False is returned. To add and configure a Check Box control, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Insert drop-down list under the Developer tab.

  2. Select the Check Box Form control.

  3. Click the location in your spreadsheet where you want to place your check box.

  4. After you drop the Check Box control onto your spreadsheet, right-click the control and select Format Control.

  5. Click the Control tab to see the configuration options shown in this figure.


  6. Select the state in which the check box should open.

    The default selection (Unchecked) typically works for most scenarios, so it’s rare that you’d have to change this selection.

  7. In the Cell Link box, enter the cell to which you want the check box to output its value.

    By default, a Check Box control outputs either True or False, depending on whether it’s checked. Notice in the previous figure that this particular check box outputs to cell A5.

  8. (Optional) You can select the 3-D Shading check box if you want the control to have a three-dimensional appearance.

  9. Click OK to apply your changes.

To rename the Check Box control, right-click the control, select Edit Text, and then overwrite the existing text with your own.

As the following figure illustrates, the check box outputs its value to the specified cell. If the check box is selected, a value of True is output. If the check box isn’t selected, a value of False is output.