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: Changing a Shape.

Changing an AutoShape

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 6, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Excel allows you to work with predefined shapes called AutoShapes. There may be times when you want to completely change an AutoShape from one to another. For instance, you may want to change one banner shape to another. While you can simply delete your original shape and then draw a new one, Excel makes it easy to change shapes.

Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Drawing toolbar is displayed.
  2. Select the AutoShape you want to change. Handles should appear around the outside of the shape.
  3. Click your mouse on Draw on the Drawing toolbar, and then choose Change AutoShape. The familiar AutoShape categories will appear.
  4. Select the AutoShape you want to use.

Excel changes the shape used, without changing the overall size or shape of the bounding rectangle that contains the shape. You can then proceed to edit the new AutoShape, as desired.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2201) 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: Changing a Shape.

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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