Shapes are a creative way to illustrate your spreadsheets. They add visual interest, and they’re useful tools to call out key details in your data. Plus, they’re extremely easy to work with. Let’s learn how to add shapes in Microsoft Excel.
How to Add Shapes in Excel
Shapes can take many forms. They may be basic, like squares or rectangles. Or, shapes can be more advanced, drawn as arrows, 3D objects, and more. All of those have one main thing in common: they’re available in Excel’s default Shapes menu.
To add a shape in Excel, begin by going to the Insert tab. You’ll find that on the ribbon menu at the top.
The Insert tab gives you a wide variety of options. You’re looking for the Shapes dropdown in the Illustrations group. Find it, and click on it.
Excel will launch the Shapes gallery dropdown menu. As you can see, there are many options. If you’ve used shapes before, you’ll find your favorites at the top in the Recently Used Shapes category. Below, you’ll see the other categories: lines, rectangles, basic shapes, and more.
Browse through your options until you find a design that you want to use. Then, click once on its thumbnail to select it. You’ll see your cursor turn into a + sign. When you’re adding a shape, you’re actually drawing it right on your spreadsheet.
Move your cursor to a point where you want to place a shape. Then, click and hold while dragging your cursor. You’ll see the shape appear, with real-time dimensions visible as you change its size. When you have it sized how you want, simply release. The shape will lock into place.
From here, on the Shape Format tab, you can make easy edits to the shape’s size, color, and position on your spreadsheet.
As you can see, shapes are a quick and easy way to illustrate your spreadsheets.