Working with Textboxes

This section explains how to work with some of the options and features of textboxes in XlsxWriter:

import xlsxwriter

workbook = xlsxwriter.Workbook('textbox.xlsx')
worksheet = workbook.add_worksheet()

text = 'Formatted textbox'

options = {
    'width': 256,
    'height': 100,
    'x_offset': 10,
    'y_offset': 10,

    'font': {'color': 'red',
             'size': 14},
    'align': {'vertical': 'middle',
              'horizontal': 'center'
              },
    'gradient': {'colors': ['#DDEBCF',
                            '#9CB86E',
                            '#156B13']},
}

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', text, options)

workbook.close()
_images/textbox02.png

See also Example: Insert Textboxes into a Worksheet.

Textbox options

This Worksheet insert_textbox() method is used to insert a textbox into a worksheet:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A simple textbox with some text')
_images/textbox31.png

The text can contain newlines to wrap the text:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'Line 1\nLine 2\n\nMore text')
_images/textbox32.png

This insert_textbox() takes an optional dict parameter that can be used to control the size, positioning and format of the textbox:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'Some text', {'width': 256, 'height': 100})

The available options are:

# Size and position
width
height
x_scale
y_scale
x_offset
y_offset

# Formatting
line
border
fill
gradient
font
align

These options are explained in the sections below. They are similar or identical to position and formatting parameters used in charts.

Textbox size and positioning

The insert_textbox() options to control the size and positioning of a textbox are:

width
height
x_scale
y_scale
x_offset
y_offset

The width and height are in pixels. The default textbox size is 192 x 120 pixels (or equivalent to 3 default columns x 6 default rows).

_images/textbox35.png

The size of the textbox can be modified by setting the width and height or by setting the x_scale and y_scale:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'Size adjusted textbox',
                         {'width': 288, 'height': 30})

# or ...
worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'Size adjusted textbox',
                         {'x_scale': 1.5, 'y_scale': 0.25})
_images/textbox33.png

The x_offset and y_offset position the top left corner of the textbox in the cell that it is inserted into.

_images/textbox34.png

Textbox Formatting

The following formatting properties can be set for textbox objects:

line
border
fill
gradient
font
align

Textbox formatting properties are set using the options dict:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with a color text',
                                {'font': {'color': 'green'}})
_images/textbox11.png

In some cases the format properties can be nested:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'Some text in a textbox with formatting',
                         {'font': {'color': 'white'},
                          'align': {'vertical': 'middle',
                                    'horizontal': 'center'
                                    },
                          'gradient': {'colors': ['green', 'white']}})
_images/textbox12.png

Textbox formatting: Line

The line format is used to specify properties of the border in a textbox. The following properties can be set for line formats in a textbox:

none
color
width
dash_type

The none property is uses to turn the line off (it is always on by default):

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with no border line',
                         {'line': {'none': True}})

The color property sets the color of the line:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with a color border',
                         {'line': {'color': 'red'}})
_images/textbox13.png

The available colors are shown in the main XlsxWriter documentation. It is also possible to set the color of a line with a Html style #RRGGBB string or a limited number of named colors, see Working with Colors:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with a color border',
                         {'line': {'color': '#FF9900'}})
_images/textbox14.png

The width property sets the width of the line. It should be specified in increments of 0.25 of a point as in Excel:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with larger border',
                         {'line': {'width': 3.25}})
_images/textbox15.png

The dash_type property sets the dash style of the line:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox a dash border',
                         {'line': {'dash_type': 'dash_dot'}})
_images/textbox16.png

The following dash_type values are available. They are shown in the order that they appear in the Excel dialog:

solid
round_dot
square_dot
dash
dash_dot
long_dash
long_dash_dot
long_dash_dot_dot

The default line style is solid.

More than one line property can be specified at a time:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with border formatting',
                         {'line': {'color': 'red',
                                   'width': 1.25,
                                   'dash_type': 'square_dot'}})
_images/textbox17.png

Textbox formatting: Border

The border property is a synonym for line.

Excel uses a common dialog for setting object formatting but depending on context it may refer to a line or a border. For formatting these can be used interchangeably.

Textbox formatting: Solid Fill

The solid fill format is used to specify a fill for a textbox object.

The following properties can be set for fill formats in a textbox:

none
color

The none property is used to turn the fill property off (to make the textbox transparent):

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with no fill',
                         {'fill': {'none': True}})
_images/textbox21.png

The color property sets the color of the fill area:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with color fill',
                         {'fill': {'color': '#FF9900'}})
_images/textbox22.png

The available colors are shown in the main XlsxWriter documentation. It is also possible to set the color of a fill with a Html style #RRGGBB string or a limited number of named colors, see Working with Colors:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with color fill',
                         {'fill': {'color': 'red'}})

Textbox formatting: Gradient Fill

The gradient fill format is used to specify a gradient fill for a textbox. The following properties can be set for gradient fill formats in a textbox:

colors:    a list of colors
positions: an optional list of positions for the colors
type:      the optional type of gradient fill
angle:     the optional angle of the linear fill

If gradient fill is used on a textbox object it overrides the solid fill properties of the object.

The colors property sets a list of colors that define the gradient:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with gradient fill',
                         {'gradient': {'colors': ['gray', 'white']}})
_images/textbox23.png

Excel allows between 2 and 10 colors in a gradient but it is unlikely that you will require more than 2 or 3.

As with solid fill it is also possible to set the colors of a gradient with a Html style #RRGGBB string or a limited number of named colors, see Working with Colors:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with gradient fill',
                         {'gradient': {'colors': ['#DDEBCF',
                                                  '#9CB86E',
                                                  '#156B13']}})
_images/textbox24.png

The positions defines an optional list of positions, between 0 and 100, of where the colors in the gradient are located. Default values are provided for colors lists of between 2 and 4 but they can be specified if required:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with gradient fill',
                         {'gradient': {'colors':    ['#DDEBCF', '#156B13'],
                                       'positions': [10,        90]}})

The type property can have one of the following values:

linear        (the default)
radial
rectangular
path

For example:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with gradient fill',
                         {'gradient': {'colors': ['#DDEBCF', '#9CB86E', '#156B13'],
                                       'type': 'radial'}})
_images/textbox25.png

If type isn’t specified it defaults to linear.

For a linear fill the angle of the gradient can also be specified (the default angle is 90 degrees):

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'A textbox with angle gradient',
                         {'gradient': {'colors': ['#DDEBCF', '#9CB86E', '#156B13'],
                                       'angle': 45}})

Textbox Fonts

The following font properties can be set for the entire textbox:

name
size
bold
italic
underline
color

These properties correspond to the equivalent Worksheet cell Format object properties. See the The Format Class section for more details about Format properties and how to set them.

The font properties are:

  • name: Set the font name:

    {'font':  {'name': 'Arial'}}
    
  • size: Set the font size:

    {'font':  {'name': 'Arial', 'size': 9}}
    
  • bold: Set the font bold property:

    {'font':  {'bold': True}}
    
  • italic: Set the font italic property:

    {'font':  {'italic': True}}
    
  • underline: Set the font underline property:

    {'font':  {'underline': True}}
    
  • color: Set the font color property. Can be a color index, a color name or HTML style RGB color:

    {'font': {'color': 'red' }}
    {'font': {'color': '#92D050'}}
    

Here is an example of Font formatting in a textbox:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'Some font formatting',
                         {'font': {'bold': True,
                                   'italic': True,
                                   'underline': True,
                                   'name': 'Arial',
                                   'color': 'red',
                                   'size': 14}})
_images/textbox26.png

Textbox Align

The align property is used to set the text alignment for the entire textbox:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'Alignment: middle - center',
                         {'align': {'vertical': 'middle',
                                    'horizontal': 'center'}})
_images/textbox41.png

The alignment properties that can be set in Excel for a textbox are:

{'align': {'vertical': 'top'}}      # Default
{'align': {'vertical': 'middle'}}
{'align': {'vertical': 'bottom'}}

{'align': {'horizontal': 'left'}}   # Default
{'align': {'horizontal': 'center'}}

Note, Excel doesn’t support right text alignment for the entire textbox. It does support it for text within the textbox but that currently isn’t supported by XlsxWriter, see the next section.

The default textbox alignment is:

worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'Default alignment',
                         {'align': {'vertical': 'top',
                                    'horizontal': 'left'}})

# Same as this:
worksheet.insert_textbox('B2', 'Default alignment')
_images/textbox42.png

Other Textbox Features

Excel textboxes have a large range of possible options. Where possible, these will be added, if a feature request is opened on GitHub, and there is interest from more than one person.

Inline text formatting like write_rich_string() will probably be added in an upcoming release.