Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Excel Shapes

How to Insert and Format Shapes in Excel

You can add shapes to your spreadsheet to spark a little visual interest. By using the Shapes menu, you can choose from dozens of different types of shapes.

Insert a Shape

  1. Click the Insert tab.
  2. Click the Shapes button.

    The Shapes menu displays all the types of shapes available, organized into groups.

  3. Select a shape to insert.
    Insert a Shape

    Now the cursor changes to a cross hair and is ready to draw on the sheet.

  4. Insert the shape in one of two ways:
    • Click anywhere on the page to insert the shape there.
    • Click and drag anywhere on the page to place the shape while also controlling its size.
    Insert a Shape

Some shapes have prominent features that can be adjusted; these shapes will have a yellow adjustment handle.

Format a Shape

Once you’ve added a shape, you can use the Format tab to change its style, fill, outline color, and effects.

  1. Select a shape.

    When you select a shape, the Format tab in the Drawing Tools ribbon group becomes available. Double-click a shape to automatically switch to the Format tab.

  2. Use the Shape Style options on the Format tab to change the style, fill color, outline, or shape effects.
    • Select a style from the Shape Styles gallery, or click the gallery’s More button to see all available styles.
    • Select a shape fill color, weight, or dash pattern.
    • Select a shape outline color to change the color of the selected shape. You can also fill it with a gradient, picture, or texture pattern.
    • Apply various shape effects such as shadow, reflection, glow, bevel, and 3D rotation.
    Format a Shape

You can first apply a style from the gallery, and then adjust the fill, outline, and effects to customize it.

FREE Quick Reference

Click to Download