Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Specifying an Order for Drawing Objects.

Specifying an Order for Drawing Objects

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 15, 2015)

When you create drawing objects in Excel, each object is drawn on its own layer. This means all objects are independent and can be moved on top of other objects. This means that once you have drawn a number of different objects you can reorder them so that they appear in the order that you desire. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Click on the shape whose order you want to change. Small square boxes called handles appear around the perimeter of the shape.
  2. Display the Format tab of the ribbon.
  3. In the Arrange group, choose the ordering command that represents what you want to do.

You can also access the ordering commands by right-clicking on a drawing object. There are four different ordering commands:

  • Bring to Front. This option places the selected object on top of the layer stack, so it appears in front of any other objects.
  • Send to Back. This option moves the selected object behind any other drawing objects.
  • Bring Forward. This option simply moves the drawing object one step closer to the top of the layer stack.
  • Send Backward. This option moves the drawing object one layer toward the bottom of the layer stack.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6150) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Specifying an Order for Drawing Objects.

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

Cycling through Colors

If you need to easily change the font colors in a group of cells, one of the esoteric commands Excel provides is the ...

Discover More

Importing Custom Lists

Custom lists are handy ways to enter recurring data in a worksheet. Here's how you can import your own custom lists from ...

Discover More

Changing Defaults for Text Boxes and Callouts

Do you find yourself frequently creating text boxes and callouts? This tip describes how to change the default settings ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Pictures inside Shapes

Filling one of Excel's drawing shapes with a picture of your choosing is a neat trick. Here's how to do it.

Discover More

Creating a Drawing Object

Creating simple drawing objects is easy in Excel. All you need to do is use the large number of drawing tools available ...

Discover More

Selecting Drawing Objects

Excel allows you to create all sorts of drawings using a wide assortment of tools. When you need to take an action upon ...

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 nine more than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.