Microsoft has released a new update for Microsoft 365 Insiders that introduces cell checkboxes in its popular application, Excel. The new feature has been a frequent request from Microsoft Excel users to simplify data entry and reduce errors.
The New Era of Excel Data Entry with Cell Checkboxes
According to the announcement on the official Microsoft 365 Insider website, cell checkboxes offer an advanced way to manage spreadsheets and formulas dealing with TRUE and FALSE values. The latest update incorporates a new group named Cell Controls in the Insert tab on the ribbon, with the Checkbox option being the only one currently available. Microsoft has, however, assured users that more options will be rolled out in future updates. As of now, the cell checkboxes feature is available to Microsoft 365 Insiders running version 2310 (build 196924.2000 or later) accessed from the Beta Channel.
If you are unfamiliar with checkboxes in Excel, they are boxes that you can click on to add or remove a check symbol or tick in order to show that something has been selected or deselected. If you are interested in adding cell checkboxes to an Excel spreadsheet manually, our “How to Insert a Checkbox in Excel” tutorial can help you with straightforward instructions.
The Mechanics of Cell Checkbox Usage in Excel
To add checkboxes to cells in Excel, users need to understand that initially all selected blank cells will be installed with checkboxes that default to FALSE. Importantly, all existing values and formulas in these cells will remain untouched. Further, it is pertinent to note that checkboxes only function with boolean values and blank cells. To activate a cell checkbox, users can either directly click the box or highlight the pertinent cell and press the Spacebar.
There is a Room for Improvement
In the preview of the new feature, one known limitation was identified where checkbox formatting cannot be directly removed. To rectify this, users will need to select the cell with the checkbox, navigate to Home, click on Clear and finally clear formats. This entire new release is performed gradually as part of the Microsoft 365 Insider program to ensure seamless functioning. Microsoft retains the right to remove or modify the features based on user feedback and continual improvement.
Microsoft has been commended for its strategic approach to innovation, deploying new features to limited users before releasing them to larger groups, thereby ensuring a smoother and more efficient rollout. Users are encouraged to learn more about the latest Excel development on the official Microsoft 365 Insider program's website.