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: Pulling AutoShape Text from a Worksheet Cell.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 16, 2021)
Shapes are a great way to easily add simple graphics to your worksheets. Better still, shapes are like text boxes, in that they can contain text.
If you know how to add text to a text box, you already know how to add text to a shape. What you may not know how to do is to make that text dynamic, so that it is based on the text stored in a cell of your worksheet. Follow these steps:
That's it; the text in the shape is now tied to the text of the cell you specified in step 3. If you change that text, then the text in the shape changes, as well.
You should note that it is only the text of the cell that appears in the shape; Excel doesn't reflect, in the shape, any formatting that you may have applied to the text in the worksheet. If you want to format how the text appears in the shape, you'll have to use the formatting tools that Excel provides for working with shapes.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9840) 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: Pulling AutoShape Text from a Worksheet Cell.
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