You can use Excel to create interactive digital forms that other people can fill out on their computers before printing or sending them back to you. It takes a little preparation, but using forms simplifies data entry and ensures accurate input. There are many different form controls available to add to a worksheet, like a check box or a list to select from.
Turn on the Developer Tab
In order to utilize form controls in Excel, you'll have to display the Developer tab to get access to the advanced tools.
- Click the File tab.
- Select Options.
- Click the Customize Ribbon category on the left.
- Check the Developer check box.
- Click OK.
The Excel Options window opens.
The column on the right controls which ribbon tabs are enabled.
The Developer tab now appears on the ribbon. In addition to advanced tools for macro recording, add-ins, and XML, you now have access to form controls.
Insert a Form Control
Once you've enabled the Developer tab and created the layout and structure of the form, you can start adding form fields to your worksheet with form controls.
- Click the Developer tab.
- Click the Insert button.
There are two categories of controls in the menu. The Active X controls are more complex, but more flexible, and can be used with VBA code. If you just need to do something simple, stick to a regular form control.
- Select a form control.
- Click, or click and drag, to place the form control.
- Right-click the form control.
- Select Format Control.
The Format Control dialog box opens, displaying all the available options for setting how the form control behaves. The options that display here will vary depending on the type of control you’ve added.
Any time you insert a control that contains a list of information, those values must be listed in a cell range in the workbook. If you don’t want the list of selectable values visible in the workbook, you can always create a separate sheet to hold all the form control list values, and then hide the sheet.
- Modify the form control settings.
The control options available in the Format Object dialog box will vary depending on the type of form control you’re modifying.
- Click OK.
The form control is added to the worksheet and can now be used.
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