How to Create a Spin Button in Microsoft Excel

Updated on January 14, 2020
Joshua Crowder profile image

Joshua has work experience in manufacturing, distribution, and aerospace. He received his BBA in accounting from Kent State University.

Illustration of a Spin Button

The illustration above shows the basic design of a spin button. Spin buttons can be used to change the increments of numbers, the time, or dates.
The illustration above shows the basic design of a spin button. Spin buttons can be used to change the increments of numbers, the time, or dates.

What is a Spin Button?

With a spin button one can increase or decrease values in a cell with the click of a button. Spin buttons can speed up processes to help one avoid having to click in a cell then typing a number. Values that can be changed with a spin button number increments, date, or time.

There is an unlimited amount of applications to use spin buttons for. You can use them to select age or dates in a form. There may be an area on your spreadsheet where you only want a value to change in increments of 5. Whether using the spin button to save time or as a control, it's a very useful function.

Spin Button Step 1: Add the Developer Tab

You will need the developer tab to add spin buttons to a worksheet. If you do not have the developer tab displayed in Excel and don't know how to add it learn how here.

The illustration show a selected developer tab selected in Excel. The developer tab option should be added to the Excel before attempting to add a spin button.
The illustration show a selected developer tab selected in Excel. The developer tab option should be added to the Excel before attempting to add a spin button.

Spin Button Step 2: Select the Spin Button

To select the spin button, you must be in the developer tab. In the controls group, click insert. Next, click on the spin button (4th button from the left).

The spin button can be found in the insert section of the ribbon. More specifically, the spin button is in the form  controls area.
The spin button can be found in the insert section of the ribbon. More specifically, the spin button is in the form controls area.

Spin Button Step 3: Inserting the Spin Button

After selecting the spin button option and your cursor turns into a cross you are ready to insert the button in your spreadsheet. The spin button can be added by dragging the cursor in the shape of a box. If you would like the spin button to retain the exact size of a cell press Alt + Left click when clicking a cell.

The illustration show a box that was traced with a cursor in order to shape a spin button.
The illustration show a box that was traced with a cursor in order to shape a spin button.

Spin Button Step 4: Edit Format Control

Without formatting a spin button it's merely just a button with no function. To add functionality to a spin button you must edit the Format Control. Right click on the spin button and select form control from the list.

Select a starting value, increment change value and which cell you want the spin button value to be located. Click the OK button then deselect the spin button by selecting any cell in the worksheet.

Now test the button by clicking the up and down arrows. Take note that the spin button can link to a stand-alone value or a value that manipulates the operations in other cells if the cells are linked to the spin button algebraically.

To learn more about using Excel buttons I recommend the following book in the link below. I have been using the Excel Bible for years to improve my Excel skills in all aspects of this Microsoft product.

The Excel 2019 Bible

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Joshua Crowder

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    • Joshua Crowder profile imageAUTHOR

      Joshua Crowder 

      7 months ago from SE United States

      Sorry for the late response. I tried this with Office 365 and the control tab was present. The only thing I can think of is that this is a bug in your download or you chose the wrong button and that option is not available.

    • profile image

      dcasciato 

      11 months ago

      Josh - thanks for the nice tutorial showing each screen. I am using Excel with Office 365 and the "Control" tab under the "Format Control" does not show. Any ideas? Dan

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