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I know there's no checkbox functionality in a Google Docs spreadsheet but I was wondering if there's a way to get equivalent functionality somehow. What I'm looking for is a one click enable/disable or toggle in some form.

The closest I've come is manually editing a cell to enter a 0 or 1 but I'm hoping there's a nicer pattern.

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Another good answer that applies here as well: – Matthijs Wessels Jun 1 at 10:34

3 Answers 3

The best checkbox solution I've seen so far is the one used in this template (Here's a public document created by the template that you can view without logging in to Google Drive).

They have two cells in an extra sheet with a character or image of an unselected checkbox and one of a selected checkbox. Then in the cell where you want to use the checkbox, set the data validation to "Items from a list" and "Create list from range" and select the two cells with the characters/images. You then get a dropdown in that cell where you can select either option.

This doesn't provide the one click on/off toggle, but it's pretty close.

Update: I just set the document to editable by anyone. Without that you wouldn't be able to see how the selection works.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, it is possible. has a good sample, including how to add a button to a spreadsheet to run some Google Apps Script in Section 4. This can then be used to write the 0/1 to a hidden cell.

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Doesn't this approach only allow you to add buttons to the menu? – Matthijs Wessels Mar 6 '13 at 12:28

I used Matthijs's solution which worked for me. I had a hard time following along and understanding his answer though so here's the step-by-step solution:

  1. Use this template
  2. Copy both of the checkboxes on the "Function" sheet
  3. Return to your Drive file and add another sheet
  4. Name the new sheet "Function"
  5. Paste both checkboxes into cells A1 and A2
  6. Copy the blank checkbox from A1
  7. Return to the sheet on your Drive file where you need the checkbox
  8. Paste the blank checkbox into the cell where you want to have a checkbox
  9. Select Data > Validation
  10. In the "Criteria" dropdown, select "List from a range"
  11. In the field next to that dropdown, enter "Function!A1:A2"
  12. Click "Save". The checkbox should now have a tiny triangle-shaped validation button located at the top of the checkbox cell.
  13. Copy the checkbox & paste into all other cells where you need a checkbox
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It's great that you've offered a template, but will your answer still be useful if that link no longer works? – Al E. Oct 29 at 19:23
Thanks for letting me know, I've updated the link, now anyone should be able to open it. – MelanieSazegar Oct 30 at 15:54
What would be ideal is for you not to rely on a link as part of your answer; rather, also include instructions on how to set up a spreadsheet like your template. That way, in case you delete your Sheet in the future or something else happens to it, users can still make full use of your answer; feel free to keep the link there, though, as having access to a template does save people some effort. :) – SightSpirit Oct 30 at 16:49

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