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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Pictures inside Shapes.
Excel allows you to format the appearance of the AutoShapes you place in a worksheet. If you display the Format AutoShape dialog box, you can change all sorts of colors, lines, fills, fonts, and other attributes of the AutoShape. One really nifty formatting feature is to place a picture within an AutoShape. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Colors and Lines tab of the Format AutoShape dialog box.
Figure 2. The Picture tab of the Fill Effects dialog box.
The picture you selected in step 8 should now appear in the background of the AutoShape. In most cases the AutoShape looks like a "mask" over the picture, which is a nice effect. You should also use this technique sparingly, as each picture you place in an AutoShape can greatly increase the size of your workbook.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2391) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Pictures inside Shapes.
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