A dialog box in Excel is a form that allows users to input information and make choices about different aspects of the current worksheet.
For example, as shown in the image to the right, the Sort dialog box allows users to set options such as:
- the order of columns to sort by
- whether to sort ascending or descending order
- to sort by values, cell color, or font color
Dialog boxes are opened using the dialog box launchers (small downward pointing arrows) located on the ribbon.
Non-dialog box options
It is not always necessary to access features and options in Excel through a dialog box.
For example, many of the formatting features found on the Home tab of the ribbon - such as the bold feature - can be found on single choice icons.
The user clicks on these icons once to activate the feature and clicks on it a second time to turn it off.
Function dialog boxes
All functions found on the Formulas tab in Excel make use of dialog boxes.
The dialog box makes it easy for users to enter information related to the function's arguments - such as the location of data and other input other options.