Tips, Tricks, and Answers
The following articles are available for the 'Graphics' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
Adding Drop Shadows
Want your shapes to really 'pop' off the page? Add a drop shadow to them, as described in this tip.
Assigning Macros to Graphics
The graphics you place in a worksheet can do more than just look pretty. You can also assign macros to a graphic, which are triggered when the graphic is later clicked.
Capturing a Screen
A picture is worth a thousand words, but getting the picture—particularly a screen shot—into a workbook may seem daunting. Here's a couple of easy ways to get the picture you need.
Changing a Shape
Need to change a shape you previously added to your worksheet? It's easy to do using the graphics tools provided by Excel. Here's how.
Changing How Arrows Look
If you use Excel's graphic capabilities to insert a line or an arrow into a worksheet, you can change how that arrow looks. For instance, you can change the type of arrowhead used and the ends of the line on which those arrowheads appear.
Changing Line Color in a Drawing Object
Don't like the color of the lines that Excel chose for your drawing object? It's easy to choose your own colors, as pointed out in this tip.
Changing the Size of a Graphic
Adding a graphic to a worksheet is easy. Getting that graphic to just the right size may take a little bit of trial and error. Here's how to adjust the size easily.
Creating an Organization Chart
Graphics are often added to worksheets to make it easier to understand the data contained in the worksheet. Sometimes, however, the graphic is the data—as in the case of an organization chart. You can create and use an organization chart in no time by following the steps in this tip.
Creating Venn Diagrams with Excel Data
A common way of representing data is to use a Venn diagram. Unfortunately, Excel doesn’t have a precise way of creating Venn diagrams based upon data in a worksheet.
Excel makes it easy to place a graphic in a worksheet. Once there, you may want to chop off a side (or two) of the graphic. Here's how you can whittle the graphic down to show only the part you want shown.
Deleting All Graphics
Graphics can really add pizazz to a worksheet, but they can also present some drawbacks. If you want to get rid of all the graphics for some reasons, here's the quickest way to do it.
Deleting Graphics when Deleting a Row
If you use Excel to keep a graphic with each row of data you amass, you may wonder if there is a way to easily delete the graphic with each row you delete. Fortunately, there is a way, and all it takes is to make one small setting change to your graphics.
Displaying Images based on a Result
Got some images that you want to appear in a worksheet based on the result displayed in a cell? Figuring out how to "conditionally display" an image can be tricky, but it can be done following the steps in this tip.
Drawing Simple Objects
Want to draw a few simple shapes or lines on your worksheet? It really is simple; here's how to do it.
Editing Graphic Objects
Want to change the way that a graphics object appears in your worksheet? You need to edit it, then, using the techniques discussed in this tip.
Exporting a Graphics Group
Need to export a graphics group from a chart so that you can use the group in a different program? It’s not as easy as you might wish; this tip provides a brute-force method to get the graphic out of Excel.
Grouping and Ungrouping Objects
When you add multiple graphic objects in a worksheet, it can often be beneficial to group those objects together. Here's how to group and later ungroup those objects.
Graphics are a great addition to a worksheet, but there may be times when you don't want them printed. The easy way to handle this is to just turn off the display of the graphics, as described in this tip.
Hiding Graphics when Filtering
Excel allows you to set up graphics so that they are associated with cells and even stay with the cells when the cells are sorted. But what about when you filter the list? Here's how to make sure that the graphics are no longer visible when the list is filtered.
Inserting a Picture in Your Worksheet
Worksheets can contain more than just text and numbers. Here's the low-down on the different types of pictures you can add and how to do it.
Inserting a Watermark Behind Merged Cells
If you have a group of merged cells into which you want a user to enter information, you may want some sort of "watermark" in the cells. This is easier said than done, as Excel doesn't provide this type of capability. There are some workarounds you can try, however.
Inserting Video into Worksheets
You can add all sorts of objects to your workbooks, including video clips. Here's the pros and cons (along with the how-to) on getting videos into your workbooks.
Moving and Copying Graphics Objects
Excel doesn't just work with numbers and text. You can also add graphics objects to your worksheets, and then use Excel's tools to work with those objects. Here's how to move and copy graphics to your heart's content.
Non-Tiled Background Pictures
Background pictures are repeated over and over again (tiled) by Excel. If you want them to not be tiled, you may be out of luck.
Nudging a Graphic
Want to get a graphic to just the right position on a worksheet? Sometimes the easiest way is to use the arrow keys on the keyboard, as described in this tip.
Pasting a Graphic to Multiple Worksheets
Do you need to add a logo or other graphic to a bunch of worksheets? Here are a couple of short macros that can make quick work of the addition.
Placing a Picture in a Comment
When editing a worksheet, you can place comments that are associated with individual cells. If you want, you can format a comment to use a picture as a background. Here's how to make that change.
Pop-Up Comments for Graphics
Excel allows you to add comments to individual cells in a worksheet, but what if you want to add comments to graphics? Excel doesn’t provide a way to do this, but you can implement a workaround or two.
Positioning a Graphic in a Macro
Macros are a great way to process information in a worksheet. Part of that processing may involve moving graphics around so that they are located at specific places. Here's how to position those graphics at a set location relative to a given cell.
Positioning Graphics Evenly
If you need to arrange a group of graphics so that they are evenly distributed between a starting point and an ending point, Excel provides an easy way to accomplish the task. Just apply the five simple steps in this tip.
Protecting a Graphic
Need to make sure that someone cannot delete a graphic in a worksheet? The ability to protect the graphic depends on where you place it and how you protect the worksheet.
Pulling Text from a Cell and Placing It in a Shape
Graphic shapes you add to your worksheet can easily contain text—just click on the shape and start typing away. You may want the text in the shape to be based on the contents of a cell in your worksheet. This is easy to do by following these steps.
Removing Pictures for a Worksheet in VBA
Excel allows you to add pictures to your worksheet, even within a macro. However, you might have a bit harder time figuring out how to get rid of the pictures. Here are some ideas.
Resize Graphics Outside of Excel
Graphics are a common addition to almost any workbook. If you need to change the size of your graphics (which Excel lets you do), you may want to give serious thought to where that size change occurs.
Setting a Transparent Color for an Image
Want to "see through" an image you place on a worksheet? You can do so by using the steps in this tip.
Setting Default Attributes for Lines and Arrows
Don't like the way that Excel formats lines and arrows? You can easily make your own formatting changes, and then use your masterpiece as the new default for Excel.
Setting the Default Fill Color for a Shape to None
When you insert a shape into a worksheet, Excel does some preliminary formatting on that shape. You can subsequently make changes to that formatting, but you might want to set your own defaults for how the shapes are formatted. Here is how you can set up those defaults.
Styles for Lines, Dashes, and Arrows
Create a simple drawing object, and Excel makes some assumptions about how that object should appear. Excel provides a wide range of styles you can apply to lines, dashes, and arrows so that they appear just the way you need.
Taking a Picture
Excel allows you to capture portions of your worksheet as a picture that you can then use in a variety of other ways. Here's how to take the snapshot.
Using Graphics to Represent Data Series
You can spice up your bar chart by using a graphic, of your choosing, to construct the bars. This tip shows how easy it is to pick and use your graphic.
Using the Camera in VBA
The camera tool allows you to capture dynamic "pictures" of portions of a worksheet. If you want to use the camera tool from within a macro, you'll need to apply the techniques discussed in this tip.
Using WordArt in Excel
The WordArt program has been available in Office for a long, long time. It allows you to (as the name implies) create art from words. Here’s how you can add WordArt images to your worksheets.
Watermarks in Excel
Excel is great at printing numbers on a piece of paper, but terrible at printing watermarks. This is apparently by design, as described in this tip. There are ways, however, that you can get around this apparent limitation in the program.