How To Make Checkboxes In Google Sheets
Checkboxes are incredibly common in the digital world. They are used to mark tasks as complete, to turn options on and off with a single click, or in any of a number of other ways.
You might not think of checkboxes as something that can be used in a spreadsheet, but Google Sheets has the option to insert functional checkboxes directly into spreadsheet cells.
These can be used on their own, or together with many of the other features of Google Sheets such as formulas and conditional formatting
Inserting Checkboxes in Google Sheets
Here’s how to insert one or more checkboxes in Google Sheets
Select the cell or cells you want to insert checkboxes into
Open the Insert menu, and click on the Checkbox option near the bottom
Checkboxes will be inserted into all selected cells
When first inserted, each checkbox will be unchecked and look like the outline of an empty box, however if you click on a checkbox it will toggle back and forth between checked and unchecked states
You can also toggle one or more checkboxes by hitting the space key on your keyboard while the cells containing the checkboxes are highlighted.
Using Checkboxes in Formulas
Checkboxes look very different from other data that can be stored in cells, but behind the scenes they’re actually just fancy ways to display TRUE and FALSE values.
You can see that this is the case by selecting a cell containing a checkbox and looking in the formula bar.
In the screenshot below, a checked checkbox is selected and the value TRUE displays in the formula bar for that cell
Because checkboxes are really just true/false values, they can be easily used in formulas and are especially useful when used in IF() statements.
For example, if you have a checkbox in cell A2, you can use the following formula to switch between two simple answers based on the status of that checkbox: “=if(A2=TRUE, “Yes! We have milk”, “No! We need to get milk”)”
If you ever try to replace a checkbox with another value by typing into the cell, you’ll see a red warning flag appear in the corner of the cell.
This is because the cell is looking for one of two values: TRUE or FALSE, and doesn’t know how to handle other values.
Here’s how to remove the error:
Select any cells you want to remove checkboxes from
Hit delete or backspace on your keyboard, and the checkboxes will disappear
Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet
In this tutorial, I covered how to make checkboxes in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.