How to Display a Formula Result in a Text Box in Excel 2010: A Step-by-Step Guide

To display a formula result in a text box in Excel 2010, you need to insert a text box, then link it to a cell that contains the formula. The result of the formula will then be displayed in the text box.

Once you’ve completed these steps, the text box will dynamically update to show the result of the formula whenever the data in the linked cell changes.


Excel 2010 is a powerhouse for number crunching and data analysis. One of its many features allows users to display the result of a formula in a text box, making it easier to present data in a clear and visually appealing way. This feature is particularly useful for creating dashboards or reports where you want to highlight key metrics without crowding your spreadsheet with too many numbers. Anyone who uses Excel for business, academic, or personal purposes can benefit from knowing how to link a text box to a formula.

Imagine you’ve created a complex formula that calculates the quarterly sales growth percentage. Rather than having the result hidden among rows and columns of data, you can showcase it in a text box that can be styled and positioned to draw attention. This simple trick can take your Excel documents from functional to fantastic.

How to Display a Formula Result in a Text Box in Excel 2010

The following steps will guide you through the process of linking a text box to a cell containing a formula, so the result is displayed within the text box.

Step 1: Insert a Text Box

Click the “Insert” tab on the ribbon, then select “Text Box” in the Text group.

Once you have your text box, you can move it and resize it to fit the layout of your spreadsheet.

Step 2: Link the Text Box to a Cell

Right-click the text box, click on “Format Text Box,” go to the “Control” tab, and then in the “Cell link” box, enter the reference of the cell that contains the formula.

This step ensures that the text box displays the result of the formula contained in the linked cell.

Step 3: Format the Text Box

Customize the appearance of your text box by adjusting the font size, color, and other formatting options as desired.

Formatting the text box can help make the displayed formula result stand out and be easily readable.


Enhanced PresentationA text box can make key data stand out on a cluttered spreadsheet, improving the overall presentation.
Dynamic UpdateThe text box will automatically update when the linked cell’s value changes, ensuring real-time accuracy.
Customizable AppearanceThe text box can be formatted for visual appeal, making it versatile for different uses and preferences.


Limited SpaceText boxes can only display a limited amount of data, making them less suitable for lengthy results.
Manual LinkingEach text box needs to be manually linked to a cell, which can be time-consuming for multiple text boxes.
Formula VisibilityThe actual formula is not displayed in the text box, which may be a downside for those who wish to see the calculations.

Additional Information

When working with text boxes in Excel 2010, it’s important to remember that they are not just for display purposes. They can be interactive as well. For instance, you can link a text box to a cell used as an input for a formula, and the text box will update whenever you input new data into that cell. This feature is extremely handy when creating interactive models or dashboards.

It’s also possible to link a text box to a range of cells, but you would need to use a formula like CONCATENATE or TEXTJOIN to combine the multiple cell values into a single string. Another tip to keep in mind is that you can use the Camera tool in Excel to create a dynamic image of a range of cells. This image can then be sized and positioned like a text box, but it will display the actual cells, including the formulas, which can be an advantage in some situations.


  1. Insert a text box from the Insert tab.
  2. Link the text box to the cell containing the formula.
  3. Customize the text box’s appearance for better presentation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I link a text box to a range of cells?

Yes, you can link a text box to a range of cells, but you’ll need to use a formula like CONCATENATE to combine the values into a single string.

Will the text box update automatically if the formula result changes?

Yes, the text box will dynamically update to show the new result when the linked cell’s value changes.

Can I manually enter data into the text box?

No, the text box is for display purposes only. You must enter data into the linked cell.

Can I use the text box to display a formula result in Excel versions other than 2010?

Yes, this feature is available in other versions of Excel as well, with similar steps to set it up.

Is there a limit to the amount of text a text box can display?

Yes, there is a limit, and if the cell’s content exceeds this limit, it will be truncated.


Linking a text box to a formula in Excel 2010 is a straightforward process that can elevate the presentation of your data. Whether you’re creating reports, dashboards, or just organizing your data, this feature offers both aesthetic appeal and functional benefits. Remember to use text boxes wisely, as they are best suited for highlighting key pieces of information.

With a bit of creativity and formatting, text boxes can make your Excel spreadsheets more informative and compelling. If you want to learn more about leveraging Excel 2010’s full capabilities, plenty of resources are available, from online tutorials to comprehensive courses. So go ahead, give it a try, and see how this simple trick can enhance your Excel experience!

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