Text boxes in Google Sheets – How and when to use them

Inserting a text box into Google Sheets

As discussed in this post, there are many times when a text box is a great solution for displaying large pieces of text in a spreadsheet. Inserting a text box into Google Sheets is possible, but finding out how is not readily apparent. If you have a need for a text box in your data, go to Insert -> Drawing.

sheets insert drawing menu

After selecting Drawing, the Insert Drawing options appear below. Select Text box, which is the second from the right.

sheets insert text box

Once you select insert text box, you will be able to type inside a rectange as shown below. You can also change the border, background color, and text styles. 

insert drawing text box

This is all well and good. If you knew exactly what text you wanted to type and insert and you knew you were never going to change it, then you are done and it was easy. However, in the real world, you never know exactly what you are going to type and you often need to add and delete text. Modifying text, while not terribly hard, is not as easy as it should be. You have to double click on the box, wait for another window to pop-up, and then start typing. Having said that, it’s still easier than typing the content into cells, merging and applying text wrap. It’s just not quite as easy as using a text box in Excel.

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