How to Make a Text Box in Excel 2010: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a text box in Excel 2010 is a simple task that can be accomplished in just a few clicks. First, you’ll need to select the ‘Insert’ tab from the Excel ribbon. Then, click on the ‘Text Box’ icon within the ‘Text’ group. Click and drag your mouse to draw the text box on your worksheet. Once the text box is created, you can type in your desired text and format it as needed.

After creating a text box in Excel 2010, you can move it around, resize it, and format the text within it. You can also add various effects such as shadows or 3D formatting to make your text box stand out. Text boxes in Excel are useful for adding notes, instructions, or other important information to your worksheet that doesn’t fit into a standard cell.


Have you ever found yourself staring at a spreadsheet and wondering how you can add more context or information without messing up your data? Well, the answer might be simpler than you think–text boxes! Text boxes are incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes, from adding titles to including lengthy explanations or commentary. Excel 2010, while not the newest version of Microsoft’s spreadsheet program, still offers a robust set of tools for creating text boxes that can enhance your data presentation.

If you’re a student, professional, or just someone who loves organizing data, learning how to create a text box in Excel 2010 can be a game-changer. It’s a skill that becomes increasingly valuable when dealing with complex data sets where additional information is necessary for clarity. Whether you’re preparing a report, a presentation, or just keeping track of your own information, text boxes can make your worksheets more readable and user-friendly. So, let’s dive in and learn how to make your Excel worksheets stand out with text boxes!

How to Make a Text Box in Excel 2010 Tutorial

Before we begin, creating a text box in Excel 2010 will allow you to add text anywhere on your worksheet, independent of the rows and columns structure. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Select the Insert tab

Navigate to the ‘Insert’ tab on the Excel ribbon to find the text box option.

The ‘Insert’ tab is where you’ll find various tools to add additional elements to your worksheet, such as charts, tables, and, of course, text boxes.

Step 2: Click on the Text Box icon

Within the ‘Text’ group, click on the ‘Text Box’ icon.

You’ll see various options under the ‘Text’ group, such as headers, footers, and word art, but for a simple, editable text field, you’ll want to select the ‘Text Box’ icon.

Step 3: Draw your text box

Click and drag your mouse on the worksheet to create the text box.

As you click and drag, you’ll see an outline of your text box. You can make it as large or small as you like, and don’t worry—you can always resize it later!

Step 4: Enter your text

Click inside the text box and begin typing your desired text.

Once you’ve created the text box, it’s just like any text field. Type away, and your text will appear inside the box. You can then format the text using the ‘Home’ tab options, just like text in a cell.


Custom positioningText boxes can be placed anywhere on the worksheet, giving you the flexibility to provide information exactly where it’s needed.
Independent formattingThe text within a text box can be formatted separately from the rest of the worksheet, allowing for emphasis and clarity.
Enhanced presentationText boxes can make a spreadsheet more visually appealing and easier to understand at a glance.


Potential clutterOveruse of text boxes can make a worksheet look cluttered and overwhelming.
Print issuesText boxes may not always print as displayed on the screen, leading to formatting challenges.
Limited cell interactionText in a text box does not interact with cells in the same way as regular cell text, which may be limiting for some functions.

Additional Information

While creating a text box in Excel 2010 is straightforward, there are some additional tips and tricks that can help you utilize this feature more effectively. For example, you can link a text box to a cell’s value, which can be incredibly useful when creating dynamic dashboards or reports. To do this, simply create your text box, then click in the formula bar and type an equals sign followed by the cell reference that contains the value you want to display in the text box.

You can also customize the appearance of your text box by adding borders, filling it with color, and adjusting the text alignment. To access these formatting options, right-click the text box and select ‘Format Text Box.’ This tool opens a world of possibilities for making your text box stand out or blend seamlessly into your worksheet design.

Remember that while text boxes are a great way to add information to your Excel sheet, they should be used sparingly to avoid clutter. Always consider the readability and the overall look of your worksheet when adding text boxes.


  1. Select the ‘Insert’ tab.
  2. Click on the ‘Text Box’ icon.
  3. Draw the text box on the worksheet.
  4. Enter and format your text within the text box.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I link a text box to a cell’s content?

Yes, you can link a text box to display the content of a cell by entering a formula that references the cell in the text box.

How do I format text within a text box?

You can format text in a text box using the same formatting options available for regular cell text under the ‘Home’ tab.

Can I add shapes to my text box?

Yes, you can add various shapes and effects to your text box by right-clicking it and selecting ‘Format Text Box.’

Are text boxes searchable in Excel?

No, text within a text box is not searchable using Excel’s ‘Find and Replace’ feature.

Can I move a text box after creating it?

Absolutely! You can move a text box by clicking and dragging it to a new location on the worksheet.


Excel 2010 may not be the latest version, but it’s still a powerful tool that can be enhanced with the use of text boxes. Text boxes offer a way to add narrative, instructions, and emphasis to your data without interfering with the spreadsheet’s functionality.

When used correctly, they can greatly improve the presentation and usability of your Excel documents. So, the next time you open up Excel 2010 to crunch some numbers, remember that a well-placed text box might just be what you need to make your data shine.

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy