Moving Objects with a Chart

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 20, 2017)

2

Irving created a chart and placed a text box on that chart. He also drew a line on the chart to serve as a reference for users. If he moves the chart, the text box and the line don't move with it. Irving wonders if there is a way to "lock" the text box and the line so that they move whenever he moves the chart.

There are two ways to approach this. First, you may want to consider how you are actually creating the text boxes and lines. If you select the chart before you create them, you'll notice that Excel makes some new tabs available on the ribbon. Click the Format tab, and you'll notice an Insert Shapes group. You can select shapes and lines from these, and they become part of your chart and will move with it. (Use a rectangular shape in lieu of a text box; Excel allows you to add text inside the shape just as you would with a text box.)

If your text box and line are not part of the chart itself—if they can be moved outside the bounds of the chart by dragging them off the chart—then you can "lock" them in position by grouping objects. Follow these general steps:

  1. Click on the text box to select it.
  2. Hold down the Shift key as you click on the line you added.
  3. Continue holding down the Shift key as you click the chart. (Best place is to click the border of the chart.)
  4. Release the Shift key. All three elements remain selected.
  5. Display the Format tab of the ribbon.
  6. In the Arrange group, click the Group tool and then choose the Group option.

At this point, all three items are grouped together and they move as a whole. You'll note that, after grouping, there is an "outer" border on the group that is a bit outside the original chart border. It is this outer border you'll need to click to select the group as you move it around.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (736) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Creating a CSV File

Need to get your data into a format that can be easily read by other programs? Chances are good that a simple CSV file will ...

Discover More

Deleting Unwanted Styles

Custom styles can be a great help in formatting a worksheet. You may, at some point, want to get rid of all the custom styles ...

Discover More

Understanding the Notification Area

The Notification Area is located at the right side of the taskbar. It represents an active area of information for ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Make that Chart Quickly!

Need to generate a chart in the fastest possible way? Just use this shortcut key and you'll have one faster than you can yell ...

Discover More

Automatically Creating Charts for Individual Rows in a Data Table

If you have a lot of records in a data table, you may want to create individual charts based on the information in those ...

Discover More

Dynamic Data Based on Chart Changes

Change the data on which a chart is based and Excel obligingly updates the chart to reflect the change. What if you want to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two more than 4?

2017-05-22 04:21:29

DaveS

Gael (& Allen)

Insert Shapes is actually on the Chart Tools - Layout ribbon, NOT the Chart Tools - Format ribbon.


2017-05-22 03:57:57

Gael

I do not see an insert shapes group when I click Format Chart. I see the groups Current Selection, Shape Styles, WordArt Styles, Arrange and Size. There is an Insert group on the Layout tab and includes Shapes. Is this what you are referring to? When I add a shape outside of the chart box it does not move with the chart. It only moves if I put it into the chart box.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.