Dialog Box Launcher in Excel: All Types Explained

The Excel ribbon consists of various tabs, each designed for specific functions and tasks. However, Sometimes, there isn’t enough space to show all the options in the Ribbon. In such cases, you can use the Dialog Box Launcher to access additional options and tools.

In this Excel tutorial, you will learn everything about the dialog box launchers of Excel.

Here’s an overview of the available dialog box launchers in the home tab.

feature image of Excel dialog box launcher

What Is Dialog Box Launcher in Excel?

In Excel, the small icon that appears in the lower right corner of some groups of the ribbon is generally known as a dialog box launcher. A Dialog Box Launcher shows you multiple options for a particular layout and helps you make your decision. It provides more details and advanced options for configuring specific task settings.
Some groups may have more commands than they are showing in the Ribbon. For this reason, the Dialog Box Launcher is important. Moreover, it will show you additional information and input options.

dialog box launchers in home tab

5 Dialog Box Launchers in Excel and Their Features

There are 4 tabs in Excel with dialog box launchers: Home, Insert, Page Layout, and Data tab. Each dialog box under these tabs offers specific features and advanced configuration. Dialog Box Launchers in Excel were introduced in Microsoft Office 2007, and before that, Excel and other Office apps had a different menu and toolbar system.

Here are the 5 dialog box launchers in Excel and their features:

Format Cell Dialog Box Launcher

Since its introduction in Excel 2007, the Format Cell Dialog Box has consistently remained a fundamental feature for cell formatting in Excel. It provides a detailed interface for adjusting settings related to font, border, number format, alignment, fill, and protection.

Follow these steps to access the Format cell dialog box launcher:

  1. Go to the Home tab.
  2. In the Font, Alignment, and Number group, you’ll find a small square icon with an arrow. Clicking on this launcher icon opens the Format Cells dialog box.
    Or you can use the keyboard shortcut ALT+H+FN.

format cell dialog box launcher

In the format cell dialog box, you will find the following features for customization options:

  • Number Tab: Change how numbers look, like money or dates.
  • Alignment Tab: Move text around and change its direction in cells.
  • Font Tab: Make text aesthetic or formal by picking its style, size, and color.
  • Border Tab: Draw lines around cells to create borders.
  • Fill Tab: Paint cell backgrounds with colors or patterns.
  • Protection Tab: Lock cells for security to control who can edit them.
To browse the tabs, you can use the mouse pointer. In addition to this, you can use the keyboard shortcuts CTRL + Page Down and CTRL + Page Up.

Read More: How to Create a Dialog Box in Excel

Clipboard Dialog Box Launcher

There is another dialog box launcher in the Home tab. You can easily copy and paste any data from the Clipboard Dialog Box Launcher.

You have to follow the steps below to activate the clipboard dialog box launcher:

  1. Go to the Home tab.
  2. Then, click on the small arrow from the Clipboard group.
    Or you can use ALT+H+FO as the keyboard shortcut.

Then you will get the Clipboard Dialog Box.

clipboard dialog box launcher

Insert Chart Dialog Box Launcher

The Insert Chart Dialog Box in Excel is a tool that allows users to create and customize charts for visualizing data. It provides options for selecting the chart type, specifying data ranges, and configuring various chart elements.

To access the Insert Chart Dialog Box, follow these steps:

  1. Select your data.
  2. Go to the Insert tab > click on the small square icon with an arrow under the Charts group.
    Or you can use the keyboard shortcut ALT+N+K.
To access the Insert Chart dialog box, your Excel sheet must have data on it. Or else, it will return an error or prompt indicating that no data is available to create a chart.

insert chart dialog box

In the Insert Chart dialog box, you will find the following features for customization options:

  • Recommended Chart Tab: Suggest the most suitable chart types based on the selected data.
  • All Charts Tab: Provides a full array of chart options for manual customization based on user preferences.

Read More: How to Display Excel Options Dialog Box

Page Setup Dialog Box Launcher

This dialog box offers settings related to the layout and appearance of printed pages. It provides options for adjusting page orientation, size, margins, and other printing-related parameters.

To open the page setup window using the dialog box launcher, follow these steps:

  1. Find a small dialog box launcher icon in the Page Setup, Scale to Fit, and Sheet Options group under the Page Layout tab.
  2. Click on any of these launchers to open the Page Setup Dialog Box.
    Alternatively, you can press ALT+P+SP as a keyboard shortcut.

page setup dialog box launcher

The Page Setup Dialog Box offers the following range of customization options.

  • Page Tab: Set page orientation (portrait or landscape) and size.
  • Margins Tab: Adjust top, bottom, left, and right margins for precise layout control.
  • Header/Footer Tab: Add headers and footers to printed pages.
  • Sheet Tab: Configure print settings specific to the current sheet.

Group Dialog Box Launcher

The Group Dialog Box in Excel offers convenient features for organizing and structuring data within a worksheet. You can use it to create summaries in rows or columns for managing grouped data.

To access the Group Dialog Box, follow these steps:

  1. Select the range you want to group.
  2. Go to Data tab > Outline group > Click on the dialog box launcher icon.
    Or, press ALT+A+L to access the Group dialog box launcher.

group dialog box launcher

The Group Dialog Box offers a quick way to organize and collapse/expand grouped elements in a worksheet. This can be useful for simplifying complex data structures or hiding details to focus on specific sections.

Read More: How to Open the Insert Function Dialog Box in Excel


In short, dialog box launchers give you the full and detailed versions of the commands you see on the ribbon tabs in Excel. They offer lots of customization for your tasks. Even though the ribbon is there to make things simpler, pros often turn to the dialog box launcher for more control. In this article, we’ve shown you how to use, the features, and how to find each dialog box. Hope this helps you learn and improve. Feel free to drop any questions or suggestions in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to customize the dialog box launcher?

Microsoft Excel does not provide direct options for users to customize the appearance or functionality of the Dialog Box Launcher itself. The Dialog Box Launcher is a built-in feature designed to open specific dialog boxes with advanced settings related to various tasks.

How to resize the dialog box opened by the dialog box launcher?

Excel does not provide a direct option to resize the dialog box opened by the Dialog Box Launcher. The size of the dialog box is typically fixed based on the content and layout designed by the developers of Microsoft.

How to interact with the main interface while the dialog box is open?

The main interface remains inaccessible or frozen while a dialog box is open. The purpose is to ensure that users focus on the specific task at hand within the dialog box.

Can I open multiple dialog boxes simultaneously?

Excel is designed to do one thing at a time. When you open a dialog box (like the Format cell dialog box), it takes over the screen, and you can’t do other stuff in Excel until you finish or close that box.

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Kawser Ahmed
Kawser Ahmed

Kawser Ahmed is a Microsoft Excel Expert, Udemy Course Instructor, Data Analyst, Finance professional, and Chief Editor of ExcelDemy. He is the founder and CEO of SOFTEKO (a software and content marketing company). He has a B.Sc in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. As a Udemy instructor, he offers 8 acclaimed Excel courses, one selected for Udemy Business. A devoted MS Excel enthusiast, Kawser has contributed over 200 articles and reviewed thousands more. His expertise extends to Data Analysis,... Read Full Bio

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