Microsoft Excel’s actually a lot more versatile than some folks give it credit for being. There’s a lot you can do with a spreadsheet, if you know what you’re doing, and you can actually put together some pretty advanced stuff. We’re not going to get too much into macros and visual basic today- that’s a whole different can of worms. For now, I’m just going to walk you through the process of adding option buttons, check boxes, and radio buttons- all of which are actually fairly simple, once you’ve figured out how to manage them.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is display the Developer tab. To do this in later versions of Excel, click on File->Options. Once you’re in the Options Menu, click on “Customize Ribbon.” Once you’ve done that, you can start fiddling about with additional content. Click on the developer tab, and click “Insert.” You’ll be presented with a dropdown menu that features a series of buttons, forms, checkboxes, and other content you can add in to your spreadsheet. You’ll probably also notice that there are two different ‘types’ of object- “Form Control” and ”ActiveX Control.”
You’re probably wondering what the difference is.
You can do quite a bit more with Active X controls, mostly because they’re designed to be used for advanced purposes. You can assign macros to them (basically, mini-applications coded in visual basic), have them address particular cells or ranges in your spreadsheet, or trigger events. They’re fairly advanced when compared to Form Controls, so we’re not going to cover them just yet- that’s a topic for another day.
Form Controls are…pretty much what’s written on the box. They’re a lot easier to use (you essentially just drag and drop), but consequently, you can’t do as much with them. Still, if you’re just looking to toss in a checklist, option button, or dropdown menu…they’re the way to go.
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