Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Changing an AutoShape.

Changing a Shape

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 7, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Excel allows you to work with predefined shapes. In Excel these are called (oddly enough) shapes. There may be times when you want to completely change a shape from one to another. For instance, you may want to change one banner shape to another. While you can simply delete your original shape and then draw a new one, Excel makes it even easier than that to change shapes.

  1. Select the shape you want to change. Handles appear around the outside of the shape.
  2. Make sure the Format tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. In the Insert Shapes group, click Edit Shape tool and then click Change Shape. The familiar palette of shapes appears.
  4. Select the shape you want to use.

Excel changes the shape used, without changing the overall size of the bounding rectangle that contains the shape. You can then proceed to edit the new shape, as desired.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7132) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Changing 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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