The check box tool in Excel lets you select and unselect options in the worksheet like a digital checklist. You can use Excel check boxes to create interactive to-do lists, dynamic charts or graphs, project trackers, and more. Follow the steps below to add check boxes to your Excel workbook.

1. Add the Developer Tab to Your Excel Ribbon

The developer tab — hidden by default — has the settings for Excel check boxes. Take the following steps to add the developer tab:

  1. Right-click the ribbon to pull and select “Customize the Ribbon,” or go to the “File” menu, “Options,” and “Customize Ribbon” to open the Excel Options dialog box.
  2. Under the “Customize Ribbon” menu, locate the “Developer” option in the “Main Tabs” pane on the right side.
  3. Check the box by “Developer,” and click “OK.”

2. Activate the Check Box Tool

Go to the developer tab. In the “Controls” section, click “Insert.” In the “Form Controls” section of the drop-down menu, click the check box icon.

3. Add a Check Box to a Cell

With the check box tool selected, click a cell where you want a check box option. A check box will appear. You can add check boxes to more cells by:

  • Repeating the above steps and selecting another cell.
  • Dragging the fill handle down to add more to the column or across to add more to the row.
  • Copying and pasting the check box to other cells.

4. Format the Check Box

Drag the check box to change its position. To remove or edit the text, right-click the check box and click “Edit Text” in the menu.

5. Add a Cell Link to the Check Box

You can add cell linking to check boxes to capture its status. This step makes your checklist more dynamic by activating other cells when a box gets checked. Follow these steps to link a check box to a cell:

  1. Right-click on the check box and click “Format Control” to pull up the dialog box.
  2. Under the “Control” tab, select “Checked” for the value to check the box by default.
  3. For the cell link, add the cell where you want the check box status to appear. Enter it manually or select the cell to retrieve the reference.
  4. Click “OK” to activate the cell link.

Repeat this process for each check box — Excel does not allow cell linking for several check boxes at once.

6. Test Your Check Boxes

When you click the check box, a check mark will appear in the box, and its linked cell will display a “TRUE” status. Click the check box again to uncheck it, and its status will be “FALSE.”

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