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: Setting Default Attributes for Lines and Arrows.

Setting Default Attributes for Lines and Arrows

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 22, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


Glenn adds lines and arrows regularly to flowcharts that he creates in Excel. He is wondering if there is a way to set a default line weight, color, and arrowhead, as it gets tedious to change the attributes all the time.

Setting defaults for Shapes (such as lines and arrows) is quite easy in Excel. Just follow these steps:

  1. Draw your line or arrow as you normally would.
  2. Format the line or arrow so that it appears just as you want it to.
  3. Right-click on the line or arrow. Excel displays a Context menu.
  4. From the Context menu select Set Default Line.

That's it. For the rest of your current Excel session your lines and arrows will be drawn using your desired formats.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11579) 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: Setting Default Attributes for Lines 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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