Text Boxes in Excel

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Lesson 23: Text Boxes in Excel

NOTE: If you are looking for tips on VBA (Macros) text boxes go to section  24C of the VBA part

Let's start this lesson on text boxes by talking about the MERGED CELLS. You want to write the word "Invoice" and you want this word to be centered within cells A2 to D2 like below. You select cells A2 to D2, you go to "Format/Cells/Alignment" and you  check the box for "Merge Cells" and you select "Center" in "Horizontal" ...and you end up with a major problem trying to modify the width of all 4 columns A to D. As much as possible avoid merging cells. Enter "Invoice" in cell "A2" then select cells A2 to D2. Go to "Format/Cells/Alignment" an in the "Horizontal" text box select "Center Across Selection" . The effect is the same as with merging cells but you are now able to modify the width of all four columns without problems.

Excel Example No Text box

Now if you look at the image above you see that the height of row 2 is set by the largest font on the row. You end up with this same height in cell F2 even if what you need to enter is in a much smaller font. Also you could not enter two pieces of information and keep an interesting layout like in the image below.

Excel Example Text Box

Notice that all rows have the same height in this example. It is because the word "Invoice" has not been entered in a cell but in an invisible text box. Using these invisible text boxes make developing forms much easier. You can use the font that you want and you can move the text boxes around and adjust their position for much better layouts.

The invisible text boxes

When you want to work with text boxes and other drawings you need to make the "Drawing" toolbar visible at all time. Go to "View/Toolbars" and select "Drawing" . This toolbar becomes visible.

Excel Drawing Toolbar

If it is not automatically installed at the bottom of your screen, drag it there. Click on Drag hold and drag.

You are now ready to work with text boxes and other drawings. Click once on the text box icon. Go to the sheet click, hold and stretch a text box. And you get this:

Excel Text Box Inside

When the editing border of the text box is a series of forward slashes you are in the text editing mode. You can enter text, copy/paste text, format the font... Right click INSIDE the text box and see the options.

If you click on the editing border it becomes a set of dots meaning that you are now editing the text box itself.

Excel Text Box

To make the text box invisible right click on the editing border, select "Format Text Box" then go to "Colors and Lines" , in "Fill/Color" select "No Fill" and in "Line/Color" select "No Line" .

The text box is an indispensable tool when reporting with Excel. You should always have the "Design" toolbar below the sheet window.

Excel Drawing Tool Bar

There are  five sections in this website

Section 1: About Databases: 4 Lessons
In this section we review the basic notions on databases and evaluate Excel as a database. You will then see how Excel can be used downstream from most centralized databases and data management programs. Finally we will discuss the "upgrade" from Excel to Access..
Section 2: Excel and External Data: 5 Lessons
There are many ways to get data into your Excel Workbooks and there are many ways to easily extract data from all the databases in your organization and the Internet. This section is centered on querying data
Analyzing Data with Excel: 8 Lessons
Once you have the data in the right formats within your Excel workbook it is time to use the powerful analytical tools of Excel including the database functionalities (sort, filter, subtotals), the integrated calculator, the comparative analysis tools and the mysterious and not so complicated pivot tables. 
Section 4: Reporting with Excel: 7 Lessons
The report is a communication tool and you can not accept to compromise on its presentation. Excel is the best reporting tool allowing you to easily develop popular dashboards and to share these reports with multiple colleagues.
Section 5: Other Functionalities in Excel: 3 Lessons
In this fifth section you will review the useful CTRL and ALT keystrokes, the conditional formatting, the drop-down lists and other interesting functionalities.





Excel fonctions et formules

Database 101   Excel and External Data   Analyzing Data with Excel   Reporting with Excel   Other Functionalities