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: Creating a Drawing Object.

Creating a Drawing Object

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 14, 2019)

Excel allows you to create drawing objects you can use in your worksheets. These objects (such as an oval, rectangle, line, or AutoShape) are positioned on what is termed the "drawing layer," which is separate and distinct from the values or formulas in the cells of your worksheet. You generally create such objects by using the tools on the Drawing toolbar. (Display the Drawing toolbar by clicking on the Drawing tool on the Standard toolbar.)

On the left side of the Drawing toolbar are several tools that are used to create basic shapes. The line, arrow, rectangle, and oval tools are easily identifiable. In addition, you can use the AutoShapes tool to display a menu of more than 125 different symbols, banners, and callouts. Follow these steps to place a drawing object in your worksheet:

  1. Make sure the Drawing toolbar is displayed.
  2. Click on the tool that represents the type of object you want to create. If you are creating an AutoShape, click on the AutoShape tool, then choose the shape from the appropriate submenu. Once a tool is selected, the mouse pointer changes to crosshairs, or a plus sign.
  3. Click within your worksheet at one corner of where you want the shape to appear.
  4. Drag the mouse to the opposite corner for the object.
  5. When you release the mouse button, the object appears in the worksheet and you can manipulate it as desired.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2197) 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: Creating a Drawing Object.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Inserting Special Spaces

Do you need to frequently add en spaces and em spaces to your documents? You can add special tools to Word that make ...

Discover More

Styles for Lines, Dashes, and Arrows

Create a simple drawing object, and Excel makes some assumptions about how that object should appear. Excel provides a ...

Discover More

Changing the Footnote Continuation Notice

When a footnote needs to span two printed pages, Word prints a continuation notice at the end of the footnote being ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Pictures in AutoShapes

Filling an AutoShape with a picture of your choosing is a neat trick. Excel makes it easy to do.

Discover More

Using Text Boxes

Text boxes are handy for placing information in a container that can "float" over your worksheet. This tip explains what ...

Discover More

Adding a Drop Shadow to a Text Box

One way to make your text boxes "stand off" the page is to add a drop shadow to them. This tip shows just how easy it is ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.