How to Insert a Text Box in Excel: Step-by-Step (2023)

Text boxes in Excel are best when you want to add relevant information about certain data in your worksheet 😊

When you insert a text box, you don’t have to change the current format of the worksheet to insert the new data you want to add.

That’s because a text box πŸ’¬ isn’t anchored to a cell in a worksheet. So, you can move, resize, and place it anywhere in your file. Plus, you can customize it 🎨

Today, you’re in for a step-by-step tutorial on how to insert a text box in Excel and more.

Let’s go! πŸ˜€

Inserting a text box easily

Do you want to insert quotes or annotations into your worksheet? πŸ’¬

Then insert a text box for it. It’s super easy to insert a text box in Excel.

Here’s how πŸ‘‡

  1. Go to the Insert Tab.
Insert a text box in Excel
  1. Click the Text group.
text box icon
  1. From the drop-down, click Text Box.
click text box icon
  1. In your Excel worksheet, click and drag to draw the text box in the size that you want.
add text box in Excel
  1. To add text, click the cursor inside the text box and type or paste your text.
input box

There you have it! πŸ™Œ

You can also move the text box anywhere you want in your Excel worksheet. It won’t affect your data or format since text boxes are not anchored to any cell in the worksheet πŸ˜‰

PRO TIP:

There’s a keyboard shortcut that you can use to insert a text box in Excel ⚑

Press keys Alt + N + X one after another. Then drag your mouse to insert a text box in your Excel worksheet.

Or you can also do this next method.

Add textbox from a shape

Another way to add text boxes in Excel is to add them from Shapes.

  1. Go to the Insert Tab.
add a text box in Excel
  1. Click Illustrations.
  2. Select Shapes from the options.
add a text box excel
  1. Select Text Box from the list of shapes.
add a text box excel
  1. In your worksheet, click and drag your mouse to draw the text box in the size that you want.
add text box
  1. To add text, click the mouse cursor inside the text box and type or paste your text.
add text in input box

And that’s how you can add text boxes in Excel from Shapes πŸ˜€

You can add multiple text boxes in your spreadsheet too. Just follow the instructions above to create more text boxes in Excel.

Text box formatting

After adding the text box, you can do a lot whole more to it 🀩

You can customize your text box to the way you want it. Your text boxes should be organized and visually appealing as they can provide more context or highlight important data in your worksheet.

One way to do that is to do basic formatting on the text inside your text boxπŸ’¬

When you highlight the text inside the text box, a little box appears.

This little box gives you access to change basic text formatting tools from the Home Tab.

You change the font style, font size, and color of the text. You can also change the text effects and alignment as you like πŸ˜€

format a text box excel

But if you want to have more options to format your text boxes, Excel has got you!

When you select the text box, a new tab will appear on the Excel ribbon: the Shape Format tab.

text box selected

In the Shape Format Tab, you can change the formatting of your text box in so many ways 🎨

There are also presets and themes you can apply to your text box with just a click.

Here, we’ll show you how you can customize your text box in Excel πŸ‘‡

Insert or Edit Shapes

If you don’t like the default rectangular text box shape, you can change it easily.

Say, you want to change the rectangle-shaped text box to a trapezoid-shaped text box.

It’s super possible and easy too πŸ‘Œ

  1. Select your text box.
  2. In the Insert Shape group, click the Edit shape button and select Change Shape.
format shape text box in excel
  1. Select the new shape you want.

And there you have it! πŸ‘‡

text box excel other shapes

You can also edit the points of your text box shape.

Edit Points helps you convert the text box into free flow. You can give your text box a new look ✨ with Edit Points where you can extend the shape points in any direction.

To do that, select the text box and go to Edit shapes. Then select Edit Points.

text box in excel

When you click on this option, the points of the text box will be highlighted with small boxes.

You can then drag the points to form the shapes that you want for your text box.

edit points of text box in excel

Shape Styles

In the Format Shape Tab, you can also find the Shape Styles group.

Here, you can select what theme or style of your shapes, or in our example, your text boxes.

  1. Select the text box.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow to show Theme Styles.
format shape text box excel
  1. Select a theme that you like.

You’ll automatically see that your text box style changed ✨

format shape text box excel

Or you can customize your text box your way by choosing your own:

  • Shape Fill – fill the selected shape with a solid color, picture, gradient, or texture.
  • Shape Outline – pick a color, width, and line style for the outline of your shape.
  • Shape Effects – apply visual effects to your text box like shadow, reflection, glow, and more.
format shape text box in Excel

Format WordArt Styles

The WordArt Styles is for the text in your textbox.

Just as there are presets and themes for your text box, there are also preset styles for the text in your text box.

Let’s try 😊

  1. Select the text box.
  2. Click the downward arrow to show all styles.
desired text
  1. Select your preferred text style.
changes all the text

Or you can customize your text box your way by choosing your own:

  • Text Fill – fill the text with a solid color, picture, gradient, or texture
  • Text Outline – customize the outline of your text by choosing the color, width, and line style
  • Text Effects – add a visual effect such as shadow, glow, or reflection to your text.
change desired text

Resize your Text box

To fit the text inside your text box or to make your text box look better, you can resize it.

There are two ways to resize your text boxes πŸ˜€

First, when you select the text box, you will see small circles around it.

You can adjust the height or width (or both) of the text box by extending the circles.

resize shape text box excel

The second method to do this is by the Size group of the Shape Format Tab.

resize shape text box in Excel

Rotate your text box

You can also rotate your text box in two ways 😊

You can manually rotate it by moving the rotation button at the top of the text box.

Or you can choose Rotation options on the Arrange group of the Shape Format tab.

Just click on the drop-down and you’ll see the sub-options of rotating the text box on the left and right by 90 degrees. Also, you can flip it horizontally or vertically.

rotate text box in Excel

That’s it – Now what?

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to insert text boxes in Excel and also learned many ways how to customize them as you like πŸ‘

What’s next for you is to apply what you’ve learned and insert text boxes in your worksheets to help you and other users understand the context of certain data.

Did you know that you can make a linked text box to make it more dynamic? Yes, you can with Excel Visual Basic Analysis (VBA). With VBA, you can unlock the full potential of Microsoft Excel πŸš€

Sign up for my free Excel training where you’ll learn macros and the basics of VBA.
This training is free, practical, and beginner friendly πŸ˜€

Other resources

What better way to insert quotes or annotations about your data in Excel than by using Excel Comments and Notes? πŸ“ Read more about them here.

There are still many things you can insert into your Excel worksheets πŸ˜€

Whether you want to insert pictures, insert special characters, or insert a new worksheet, we got you! Click on their links to learn how to insert them.

Frequently asked questions

A text box lets you add important text to your Excel file.

It’s not anchored to a cell so you can move, resize, and place your text box anywhere in your worksheet.

If you want to insert a text box in Excel, go to the Insert Tab. In the Text group, click the Text Box button.