Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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: Styles for Lines, Dashes, and Arrows.

Styles for Lines, Dashes, and Arrows

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 1, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


Excel allows you to place many different types of graphics objects within your worksheets. One common type of graphic object is a line or arrow. When you first insert lines or arrows into your worksheet, Excel places them using a thin line. You may want to change the width of the line used, as well as the style of line or arrow.

You make the desired changes by using the tools available on the Format tab of the ribbon. (This tab is visible only after you select the line you previously placed in the worksheet.) Click the Shape Outline option in the Shape Styles group. You'll see a palette that includes the following options:

  • Weight. Use this option to specify a line width.
  • Dashes. Use this option to specify a non-solid style for the line
  • Arrows. Use this option to indicate how you want the arrowheads to appear.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8887) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Styles for Lines, Dashes, and Arrows.

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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