Checklist in Excel (Table of Contents)
Introduction to Checklist in Excel
You have been assigned to do a Market survey of a newly launched product by your company. The Sales manager briefs you about the product and has assigned a deadline to finish the survey. You have jotted down all the important points in the meeting. Unfortunately, you lose the paperwork that you have prepared for your own reference. This is a common problem which we faced in our daily work life. Well, to ease out such kind of problem, MS Excel provides a unique feature where one can maintain a To-Do List often termed as “Checklist” or “Checkbox”. It allows the users to keep a track of the list of activities that need to be done in a more productive and efficient manner. Let’s understand in detail more about the checklist feature and how you can use this in our daily activity
Example of Checklist in Excel
Allow us to see some of the Excel checklist examples and how to generate one in different ways.
There are multiple ways of using a checklist, you can create Interactive Lists or charts in an excel. This helps in making a quick analysis of the percentage of tasks completed or pending etc.
1. This is a Product Market survey checklist depicting the status of listed task completion. True status shows the task has been finished whereas False shows listed work is pending or need to work on.
2. Using the same checklist, you can apply various conditional formatting to strike out the completed task in your to-do list.
3. Interactive charts can be made using the checkbox option. Using cell reference we can create logic to link the checkbox with chart tables.
How to Create Checklist in Excel?
Here we will see how to build a checklist with steps in excellence.
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Enable the Developer tab on the ribbon before you start creating a checklist. Go to Excel Options menu, select Customized Ribbon.
Make sure that the developer box is checked in the Main Tabs list.
Prepare the list of activities for your assignment. Here in this example, I have used the Product market survey checklist that lists done all the activities that I will be doing for the assigned project.
Now to Insert the Checkboxes, click on the cell B2, go to Insert menu under Developer tab ribbon, select Check Box (Form control) option. The checkbox will be created in cell reference B2.
Right click on cell B2 where the checkbox is created, go to edit text option to edit the text of the checkbox.
Now copy or drag the checkbox for all the other listed tasks as well. You can copy, apply to the group in and even set the order preference of these checkboxes as per your requirement. Using Assign Macro you can click on the checkbox and macro will start running.
Note: If you simply click on the checkboxes nothing will happen, we need to create a link for these checkboxes to validate the data in order to make it more interactive.
How to make the checkboxes interactive with Lists or Charts:
a. Right click on the first “Product research” checkbox and select Format Control.
b. In the Control tab option of the Format control dialog box, select a cell in an excel sheet where you want to link this checkbox. In this example, I have selected cell “c2” to create a link.
c. Repeat the above steps to link all the other checkboxes.
d. In Status (Column C) appears to have True/False value, Checkboxes that are selected are “True” depicting that the checkbox is selected whereas “False” for the unselected checkbox.
How to Use Checklist in Excel?
Checklist Can be Used in Several Ways:
To keep a track of the number of tasks Completed/Pending:- Using countif formula you can see how many tasks has been completed, pending.
One can strike-out option from a checklist when our task gets completed. This can be done by using the conditional formatting feature in the checklist. Below is the example where task such as Product research, designing of market strategy & Asking experts opinion has been completed and longer needs to be considered in the future
Based on your preference, we can apply conditional formatting by distinguishing the list based on a different background or font color to the checked items (TRUE values), or by strike format. To apply below the strike through option.
First, select the listed Product market survey.
Go to the conditional formatting option available in the Home tab. Then go to the New Rule option. In the New Rule dialog box, in select, a rule type, select the last option “Use a formula to determine which cells to format”.
In the Edit the Rule Description portion, enter the formula: =$D3=TRUE. And Click on the Format button.
In format cells, dialog box selects the Strikethrough option. Note you can also choose font style & background color as per your choice.
Checkboxes or checklist can also be used along with charts or tables to make it more interactive. Here in the below example, I have shown products A, B & C comparison with respect to the profit margin.
1. Choose a table for which you want to create a chart.
Select the data. Selecting the Insert Chart option available in Insert toolbar.
Choose the chart type.
Create checkboxes and make their respective cell reference. In this example, I have created 4 checkboxes for Product A, Product B, Product C, and Profit margin.
Now make a copy of the table (column P to T) and write the formula =IF($C$10,$C4,NA()). This means that if Cell C10 is true then the table will contain C4 value i.e 2000 for Product A in 2015, else it will return NA. This condition will make or chart interactive. Whenever the checkboxes are checked, it will have values associated which will be reflected in a chart. When checkboxes are unchecked, the chart won’t show any values.
When all the checkboxes are checked:
When product B is unchecked, no value is seen in the graph, this shows the movement of product A&C when compared to Profit margin. Likewise, you can choose the measuring paraments using a combination of Checkboxes to make your report more interactive.
Things to Remember
- Make sure the Developer tab is enabled before you start using the checklist option.
- A checkbox will be inactive use until it has a cell reference associated with it.
- It is best to create cell reference in the adjacent cell so that it is easier to identify and hide or unhide.
- When checkbox/checklist is selected it returns TRUE values, else FALSE.
- Using conditional formatting in Checklist you can incorporate a data validation, strikethrough, highlight duplicate values, distinguish between various parameters based on a font or background color in your activities.
- Using various excel formula’s one can make dataset report more interactive.
This is a guide to Checklist in Excel. Here we discuss How to create a Checklist in Excel along with practical uses and downloadable excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles –