Stan runs an online newsletter for a local group of games console football fans. They have just completed a knock-out cup tournament and Stan is entering the results in Excel. There were several penalty shoot-outs in the tournament, and Stan decides to display the outcomes of these using radio buttons; a filled button for a goal and an empty one for a miss. Of course, he soon comes across a problem.

The difference between a radio button (also called an option button) and a check box is that, where multiple check boxes can be selected, only one radio button can be chosen from a group. Stan discovers that when he attempts to select a second radio button from the group, this cancels his original selection. He reluctantly looks towards using check boxes to show the details, but he really wanted to use radio buttons because of the football shape.

It is possible for Stan to get his wish and display radio buttons, but it does require a different approach and the buttons will not work in the conventional way. These buttons will be for display purposes only and not there to allow the user to make a choice.

The usual way to insert a radio button is via the Forms option from Toolbars in the View menu. To create multiple buttons Stan would need to go to View and select Toolbars and then Control Toolbox from the menu.

The next stage would be to click on the radio button icon and add one button for each penalty kick taken by the first team. For this example we will stick to a standard five, as this shootout did not go to sudden-death. It is here that Stan notices a difference between these radio buttons created via the Control Toolbox, and those from the Forms menu. Basically, these radio buttons appear not to work, as they do not respond to the cursor.

By default, Excel groups radio buttons together, so the first thing Stan must do is to separate each button into its own group. To do this he right clicks on the button and selects Properties. Under the Alphabetic tab he goes to GroupName, and he changes this to Player1. He names the next one Player2 and so on until each button has its own name.

Now Stan goes back to the first radio button, which was a goal and so requires a black dot inside He right clicks on this and once again selects Properties from the list to open up the Properties sheet. This time he selects the Alphabetical tab, and at the bottom of the Appearance area in the Value section, Stan deletes the value False and types in True. This will change the circular button from empty to filled. Stan repeats this process in each of the buttons where a goal was scored.

Finally Stan adds the surname of each player to the buttons. Starting at the first one again, he right clicks and selects ObjectButton Object and then Edit. This will allow him to delete the existing text and type in his own for each button. And that is it - Stan has multiple radio buttons for his penalty shoot-out record.

This is a rather drawn out process to achieve fairly basic results, but the Properties sheet that opens up is worthy of exploration and experiment. Radio buttons may be football shaped, but Stan would have saved himself a lot of work if he had just used check boxes.