How Do I Create a Text Box in Excel?

Creating a text box in Microsoft Excel is simple, and it increases the functionality of basic spreadsheets and workbooks. The Excel text box generates a clean space to hold text without occupying a cell or disrupting data and equations. Click the box, and it displays a small or large chunk of text depending on your needs.

Creating a text box in Microsoft Excel is simple.
Image Credit: shapecharge/E+/GettyImages

How Text Boxes Work

The Excel workbook is used to organize data and execute formulas. It's a powerful program for accounting, science and business with the ability to handle everything from sales lead management to inventory and sales data. Each cell is capable of holding either text, numbers or an equation designed to calculate results across designated cells, rows and columns.

Although typing out text in a cell is common and useful, a text box creates the ability to enter text without disrupting data and formulas within the spreadsheet. The text box essentially overlays on the design and makes it easy to draw attention to specific points on the spreadsheet.

For example, on a spreadsheet with sales contacts and information about sales made and data across specific accounts, you can place a text box next to a specific account with notes and details. The box can hold proposals, contracts and other data that is not relevant to the basic fields on the spreadsheet. This functionality makes the spreadsheet powerful because it can hold a large amount of information while retaining the simple column and row formatting.

Create a Text Box

The steps used to create and position a text box in Excel are easy. Go to the top-level toolbar with the File function highlighted. This toolbar offers basic control functions. Click Insert to generate the available options. You can easily insert forms and media through this function. Under Active X, find the Text Box option and click to generate a new box.

The box is positioned on the spreadsheet. Grab the box with the cursor and drag it to the desired location. Drag the corners of the box to resize it until it fits your needs in the spreadsheet. Now the box is positioned and set up for the text entry.

To enter text manually, click on the box and begin typing. A copy and paste from a different source is also easy. Highlight and copy the desired text in the original document. After pasting the text in the new box, click on an outside cell to exit the box and return to editing the spreadsheet.

Developer Mode in Excel

Using developer mode in the text box, adding text through the code base is also an easy task. This is often referred to as a VBA textbox. The developer mode requires no special coding skills unless you want to custom design dimensions and elements of the box. Typing out the basic text, however, remains simple, and the VBA offers more control over the text and general design of the box.

Create the box using the same Insert process and adjust the placement and position of the box with the cursor. Right-click the box and select View Code to generate a code box. In this space, type textboxname.Text= "Write Your Text Here" and make sure to enter or copy the exact text desired. After you enter the text, save the work and check the box to ensure it functions properly.

Add a custom name, if desired, to highlight the data held within the box. The name is especially important when adding multiple boxes to a single spreadsheet.

references