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: Creating an AutoShape.

Creating a Shape

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 6, 2017)

In addition to working with numbers and text within cells of a workbook, Excel allows you to highlight your worksheets by adding simple drawings. One classification of drawing objects you can add are called, simply, Shapes. In many respects Shapes can be considered simple drawing objects because they are very simple to create, even though they appear complex. Excel defines quite a few different Shapes (over 150), all selectable by using the tools on the Insert tab of the ribbon.

When you click on the Shapes tool (in the Illustrations group) you actually display a series of menus from which you can pick the shape you want. For instance, let's say you wanted to draw a heart. You would click on the Shapes tool, look in the Basic Shapes category, then click the heart shape.

Once you select a shape, you draw it by positioning the mouse pointer at one corner of where you want to place the shape, clicking the mouse button, and dragging until you reach the opposite corner. When you release the mouse button the shape appears on the screen.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8108) 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: Creating 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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