How to Add a Text Box Outline in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide


Michael Collins

Adding a text box outline in Excel is a simple process that can help make your data stand out. Essentially, you’ll need to insert a text box, enter your text, and then format the text box to have an outline. After reading the following guide, you’ll be able to add a text box outline in Excel with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Add a Text Box Outline in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand why we would want to add a text box outline in Excel. Text boxes can be used to highlight important information, provide annotations, or simply make your spreadsheet look more organized and professional. By adding an outline, you draw even more attention to the text box and ensure it’s easy to find.

Step 1: Insert a Text Box

Click on the ‘Insert’ tab and then click on ‘Text Box’ to add it to your spreadsheet.

After clicking on ‘Text Box,’ your cursor will transform into a crosshair. Click and drag on your spreadsheet to create the text box.

Step 2: Enter Your Text

Click inside the text box and type in the desired text.

Once you have your text box, you can type anything you want. The text can be moved and resized to fit your needs.

Step 3: Format the Text Box Outline

Right-click on the text box border and select ‘Format Shape.’ In the new pane, click on ‘Line’ and choose the color, style, and width of your outline.

In the ‘Format Shape’ pane, you have many options to customize your text box outline. You can even add effects like shadows or glow to make it pop.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a neatly outlined text box on your Excel spreadsheet.

Tips for Adding a Text Box Outline in Excel

  • Make sure the text box size and position don’t obscure any important data in your spreadsheet.
  • Choose an outline color that contrasts well with the background but also complements the overall color scheme of your document.
  • Consider the thickness of your outline; a thicker outline will be more noticeable but may also seem overpowering.
  • If you find yourself using text boxes often, save a template with your preferred text box style to save time in the future.
  • Experiment with different outline styles, such as dashed or dotted lines, for a unique look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add an outline to a text box in Excel for Mac?

Yes, the process is the same for both Windows and Mac versions of Excel.

Can I make a rounded text box outline in Excel?

Absolutely, in the ‘Format Shape’ pane, you can adjust the corners of your text box to be rounded.

Is it possible to add multiple outlines to a text box?

No, Excel only allows one outline per text box. However, you can achieve a similar effect by using the shadow or glow options.

Can I change the opacity of the text box outline?

Yes, in the ‘Format Shape’ pane, there is an option to adjust the transparency of the outline.

What if I can’t find the ‘Text Box’ button?

Make sure you are on the ‘Insert’ tab, which is where the ‘Text Box’ button is located. If you’re still having trouble, you may need to customize your ribbon to include the ‘Text Box’ command.


  1. Insert a text box
  2. Enter your text
  3. Format the text box outline


Adding a text box outline in Excel can transform your spreadsheets from mundane to visually appealing in a snap. Whether you’re looking to draw attention to specific data or just organize your thoughts, an outlined text box is a perfect solution. Remember to keep your outlines simple and not too distracting – the goal is to enhance your data, not overshadow it.

Now that you know the steps, it’s your turn to try. Don’t be afraid to get creative with colors and styles. And if you find this feature useful, make sure to explore other text formatting options in Excel. There’s a whole world of possibilities waiting to be discovered. So, go ahead and make your next spreadsheet a visual treat with a stylish text box outline in Excel.