How To Anchor a Text Box In Excel

One of the most basic uses of an Excel text box is to anchor information on a sheet. This can be done in two ways: by anchoring a text box to the upper-left corner of a cell and setting it as the “anchor point” for input, or by anchoring it to another location on the sheet.

This post will cover how you can set your text boxes as “anchors” in either manner so that when you’re inputting data into them from other cells, they’ll always follow suit.

Anchor a Text Box In Excel

Setting a Text Box as an Anchor Point (By Cell Location)

To set your text box as an anchor point by using it to anchor its surrounding cell locations, follow these steps:

  • From the Developer tab in the ribbon, select the “Form Controls” button and then click on the “Text Box” button.
  • Check the “Anchor Box to Cell” check box at the bottom of the Developer Form Controls dialog box.
  • Return to Excel by clicking OK.

Setting a Text Box as an Anchor Point (By Anchor Points)

To set your text box as an anchor point by using it as a “center point” for more than one cell, follow these steps:

  • From the Developer tab in the ribbon, select the “Form Controls” button and then click on the “Text Box” button.
  • Check the “Anchor Box to Cell” check box at the bottom of the Developer Form Controls dialog box.
  • Enter a cell location that you would like your text box to anchor to in “Cell Location.” The coordinates will vary based on what cell you choose, so enter a cell that makes sense for your project’s needs.
  • Once the dialog box has been closed, click OK to return to Excel.

We have a few text boxes in our spreadsheets in order to provide input for the user. Sometimes, we need to have multiple text boxes on the same worksheet (like when we want to store a description of an item).

It’s easy, in that case, to end up with misalignment and other odd-looking results when you’re entering data from one text box into the others.

One way to fix this is to add a vertical line under the text box, as in the example below:

You can then use that Vertical Line as an anchor point for your other text boxes.

If you already have a set of text boxes you want to use, why draw another?

There’s a way. It’s not elegant and it doesn’t always work, but it will get the job done. Just follow these steps:

1. From the Developer tab in the ribbon, select “Form Controls” > “Text Box”.

2. Click the “Anchor Box to Cell” check box under “Form Controls.” (Keep in mind that this option will only work if you’re not selecting or editing a cell. This can be confusing, but it’s a great way to get the job done.)

3. Click OK to return to Excel and set your desired cell location.

4. Now, you’ll notice that the text box that you just set as an anchor for the cell will stay positioned in its original location.

Now, any time you enter data into that text box, the other locations will automatically update (they’ll be moved to the new anchor point location).

Read More: Add Sort Button To Excel Spreadsheet

  • Place the anchor where you want it. A text box will be placed in this cell with the anchor drawn to it.
  • To make the text box visible, select it in the worksheet and then hit Ctrl+C.
  • The text box can also be placed in a different location on your worksheet by way of its input-on-change feature.
  • When you move to a cell that is already occupied by the text box, it will stay in place by default if you click anywhere where it should go.
  • You can always change the cell location of an anchored text box by right-clicking on it and selecting “Change Anchor Point.”
  • As you can see, setting up a text box as an anchor point is an easy way to keep your data input in check.

It will help you prevent errors and is also a great way to visualize data for your end users.

Read More: Calculate Outstanding Loan Balance Excel

Here is a quick way to do this. Select the text box or cells that you want to link and then just follow these steps:

  1. Select “FORMULAS” from the ribbon bar.
  2. Locate the “Enter” button in the ribbon bar.
  3. Press “ENTER”.
  4. Press “Enter” again.
  5. Select “ENTER” once more and you will now see the linked cells in the formula bar.
  6. You can now highlight the text box or cells (any or all of them) and make your changes.
  7. The linked cells will follow your changes automatically.

Final Word

Whenever you have a text box in Excel and want to anchor it to the bottom, on the left, or on the right side of your worksheet, you can use these keyboard shortcuts:

Enter: Left-click and drag the mouse to select a block of text. On some old computer systems, you may need to press Alt+Enter.

Shift+Enter: Right-click and drag the mouse to select a block of text. On some old computer systems, you may need to press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Drag the anchor handle on the bottom edge of the text box: Press Alt while dragging with your mouse. This is a great shortcut if you want to change your mind after positioning the text box and before anchoring it in any direction.

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