Form Controls

Level: Intermediate

Available Durations:

  • 100 Minutes Live


In this presentation, author and Excel expert David H. Ringstrom, CPA, will guide participants through a comprehensive exploration of advanced Excel features known as Form Controls. Topics covered include enabling the Developer menu, utilizing the Text Box feature, working with form control objects such as Combo Boxes, List Boxes, Check Boxes, and Option Buttons. You’ll see how to convert form control cell links to words using the INDEX function, customize form control properties, and group objects with the Group Box tool. David will compare unlocking cells versus objects, managing form controls on protected worksheets, deleting form controls, and leveraging the Navigation Task Pane in Microsoft 365. Attendees will gain valuable insights and practical techniques to enhance their Excel proficiency and streamline their workflow.

David is the author of “Exploring Microsoft Excel’s Hidden Treasures: Turbocharge your Excel proficiency with expert tips, automation techniques, and overlooked features”. He demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in the subscription-based Excel for Microsoft 365. David draws your attention to any differences in Excel 2021, 2019 or 2016 during the presentation and in his detailed handouts. The handouts include an Excel workbook with most of the examples he uses during his demonstrations.

Excel for Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based product that receives periodic feature updates. Conversely, perpetually licensed versions have year numbers in their names and do not receive any feature updates.

Who should attend:

Professionals seeking to use Microsoft Excel more effectively.

Topics typically covered:

  • Creating ActiveX Text Boxes that allow far more control than the Text Box feature or Data Validation.
  • Using Excel’s Go to Special feature to easily select form controls you wish to remove en masse.
  • Making it harder for a user to circumvent data validation and easy for you to identify when someone has attempted to do so.
  • Segregating related option buttons with the Group Box form control.
  • Limiting users to a single choice by way of Excel’s OptionButton form control.
  • Avoiding the need to merge cells—use the Text Box feature for paragraphs of text instead.
  • Toggling the locked status of a worksheet cell on or off by way of a custom shortcut.
  • Creating an in-cell list by way of Excel’s Data Validation feature.
  • Adjusting properties for ActiveX Controls.
  • Using the ComboBox form control to create a searchable drop-down list.
  • Identifying data validation overrides by way of the Circle Invalid Data command.
  • Navigating through workbooks and identifying non-blank worksheet cells with the Navigation task pane in Microsoft 365.

Learning objectives:

  • Recall the arguments for Excel’s INDEX function.
  • State which Form Controls should typically be placed within a Group Box.
  • State which ribbon tab (menu) contains the Navigation task pane command.


Live webcast

Instructional Method:

Group: Internet-based

NASBA Field of Study:

Specialized Knowledge and Applications (2 hours)

Program Prerequisites:

Prior experience with Microsoft Excel is recommended.

Advance Preparation:


About the Instructor:

David H. Ringstrom, CPA is the owner of Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based spreadsheet consulting firm that he started in 1991. Throughout his career David has spoken at conferences on Microsoft Excel, and written dozens of freelance articles about spreadsheets. He offers Excel and Access training and consulting services nationwide.

Pricing and Format Options:

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