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: Specifying an Order for Drawing Objects.

Specifying an Order for Drawing Objects

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 18, 2017)

When you create drawing objects in Excel, each object is drawn on its own layer. This means all objects are independent and can be moved on top of other objects. This means that once you have drawn a number of different objects you can reorder them so that they appear in the order that you desire. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Select the pointer tool (the arrow) from the Drawing toolbar.
  2. Using the mouse, point to the shape whose order you want to change. Small square boxes called handles appear at each corner in the shape.
  3. Choose Order from the Draw menu on the toolbar. Excel displays a set of ordering commands.
  4. Choose the ordering command that represents what you want to do.

You can also access the ordering commands by right-clicking on a drawing object and choosing Order from the resulting Context menu. There are four different ordering commands:

  • Bring to Front. This option places the selected object on top of the layer stack, so it appears in front of any other objects.
  • Send to Back. This option moves the selected object behind any other drawing objects.
  • Bring Forward. This option simply moves the drawing object one step closer to the top of the layer stack.
  • Send Backward. This option moves the drawing object one layer toward the bottom of the layer stack.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2599) 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: Specifying an Order for Drawing Objects.

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

The Case of the Disappearing MRU File List

If the MRU list has disappeared, follow this tip to reactivate the list in Word.

Discover More

Adding Ordinal Notation to Dates

Want to add an ordinal suffix to a number, as in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th? Excel doesn't provide a way to do it automatically, but ...

Discover More

Adjusting Center Across Selection with a Cell Value

One of the most common cell alignment settings I use is the one to center across a selection. If you want to vary how this ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Adjusting Picture Appearance

Excel provides the Picture toolbar to help you modify any images in your worksheet. This tip explains how to use the toolbar ...

Discover More

Flipping a Drawing Object

Don't like the way a drawing object looks? Perhaps flipping the object could help appearances. Excel allows you to flip ...

Discover More

Changing Chart Types

Want to change an existing bar chart to a different type of chart, such as a line chart or a column chart? It's easy to do ...

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 8 - 2?

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.