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 Shape.

Creating an AutoShape

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 3, 2021)

In addition to working with numbers and text within cells of a workbook, Excel allows you to highlight your worksheets by adding simple drawings. One classification of drawing objects you can add are called AutoShapes. In many respects AutoShapes can be considered simple drawing objects because they are very simple to create, even though they appear complex. Excel defines quite a few different AutoShapes (over a hundred), all selectable by clicking on the AutoShapes tool on the Drawing toolbar.

When you click on the AutoShapes tool you actually display a series of menus from which you can pick the shape you want. For instance, let's say you wanted to draw a heart. You would click on the AutoShapes tool, then choose Basic Shapes, and finally choose the heart shape.

Once you select a shape, you draw it by positioning the mouse pointer at one corner of where you want to place the shape, clicking the mouse button, and dragging until you reach the opposite corner. When you release the mouse button the shape appears on the screen.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2324) 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 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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