Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Adding Text to an AutoShape.

Adding Text to a Drawing Shape

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 10, 2015)

4

Most people know that you can add textboxes to your worksheet, but don't realize that you can actually add text to drawing shapes in Excel. Just follow these steps:

  1. Add your drawing shape as you normally would.
  2. Right-click the new drawing shape. Excel displays a Context menu.
  3. Choose Edit Text from the Context menu. An insertion point appears within the body of the shape.
  4. Type your desired text.
  5. Click somewhere outside the boundaries of the drawing shape, such as within a cell of the worksheet.

If you later resize your drawing shape, then the text within it is reformatted to fit the new dimensions of the shape. (This behavior is the same that occurs if you resize a textbox that contains text.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6227) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Adding Text to an AutoShape.

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. ...

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Comments

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What is 6 + 3?

2020-05-28 07:31:04

jd

Dear Allen,

Thank you for your kind answer. You are totally right. What you describe is the way it should be.

Unfortunately on my PC, my Excel 2013, things are not working properly at all.

On my Excel 2013 when I add a text box or a shape, and start typing my text, the text goes into the formula bar and not into the text box or shape. Then I have and error message "Reference is not valid".

If I add a text box, right click, select edit text, I run into the same problem, the text goes into the formula bar and not into the text box or shape. Then I have and error message "Reference is not valid".

I checked all the options, etc. and did not found any way to solve this issue. Any suggestion would be welcome.

Thank you, jd


2020-05-27 11:28:10

jd

Hi Allen, nice video, thank you. On my Excel 2013 when I add a text box or a shape, and start typing my text, the text goes into the formula bar and not into the text box or shape. Then I have and error message "Reference is not valid". Would you know how to change this? I search all options etc and did not found any solution ... Any idea ? Thank you, jd


2016-07-26 17:08:40

Kevin

How do I get a text to fit in the corners of the diamond shape. I'm working on a flow diagram and I use the diamond as a decision box. Yes in one corner and no in the other.


2016-03-24 04:43:49

Stuart Penketh

I am trying to design a label for a circular product.
I have a two semicircular block arches (one upside down), and I wish to write within the arches, but following the shape of the arches. However all I get is a rectangular text box and text can only be written in straight lines.
In the upside down arch the text is also upside down.
How do I make it follow the shape of the arch ?


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