Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Filling a Drawing Object.

Filling a Drawing Object

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 2, 2018)

When you first insert a drawing object in Excel, it appears as a filled shape. You may not, however, like the color that Excel uses to fill the shape. You can change the color used or you can fill the shape with a specific effect. Both of these are done using the Shape Fill tool on the Format tab of the ribbon. This tool looks like a bucket spilling paint. To use the tool, select the object you want filled and then click the tool. The object is then filled using the color shown in the bar at the bottom of the tool.

If you want to change the color used for fills, you can do so by clicking on the down-arrow at the right of the Shape Fill tool. This displays a palette of colors (seventy of them) from which you can choose. If you don't like those colors, you can click on More Fill Colors to pick any color you desire.

A neat feature of Excel is that you can also pick an effect to use for your fill. You do this by choosing an effect at the bottom of the color palette. Using the fill affects you can specify exactly what special affects you want applied to filling the shape. The different fill options allow you to make your graphics look quite impressive.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8067) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Filling a Drawing Object.

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

Avoid Using the Normal Style

The basis of almost all styles in Word is the Normal style. Here's a good reason why you shouldn't use it.

Discover More

Professional Looking Fractions

Professional typesetting has, in many ways, spoiled us. One way this is evident is in the preference we show for making ...

Discover More

Dragging to Clear Cells

If you want to get rid of the contents of a range of cells, a quick way to do it is with the Fill handle. Yes, you can ...

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)

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

Understanding Fill Effects

Want to fill a drawing object with different types of effects? Excel provides several effects that can make your drawing ...

Discover More

Creating a Shape

Ever wanted to create a simple drawing in your worksheet? Excel has made this simple. This tip explains how Excel uses ...

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 one less than 6?

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.