Use the Combo Box Control for Your Excel Dashboards

By Michael Alexander

The Combo Box control allows users to select from a drop-down list of predefined options on an Excel dashboard or report. When an item from the Combo Box control is selected, some action is taken with that selection. To add a combo box to your worksheet, follow these steps:

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

  2. Select the Combo Box Form control.

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

  4. After you drop the 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. In the Input Range setting, identify the range that holds the predefined items you want to present as choices in the combo box.

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

    A Combo Box control outputs the index number of the selected item. This means that if the second item on the list is selected, the number 2 will be output. If the fifth item on the list is selected, the number 5 will be output. Notice in the previous figure that this particular control outputs to cell E15.

  8. In the Drop Down Lines box, enter the number of items you want shown at one time.

  9. You see in the previous figure that this control is formatted to show 12 items at one time. This means that when users expand the combo box, they see 12 items.

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

  11. Click OK to apply your changes.