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: Filling a Drawing Object.

Filling a Drawing Object

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 25, 2016)

When you first insert a drawing object in Excel, it appears as an outline; sort of a stick drawing. You may want to change this by filling the object with either a color or a specific effect. Both of these are done using the Fill tool on the Drawing toolbar. (This is the one that looks like a bucket spilling paint.) To use the tool, simply click on it using the mouse and then click on the object you want filled. It is then filled using the color shown in the bar at the bottom of the Fill tool.

If you want to change the color used for fills, you can do so by clicking on the down-arrow at the right of the Fill tool. This displays a palette of colors (forty of them) from which you can choose a color. If you don't like those colors, you can click on More Fill Colors (just underneath the palette) to pick any color you desire.

A neat feature of Excel is that you can also pick an effect to use for your fill. You do this by choosing Fill Effects at the bottom of the color palette. This displays the Fill Effects dialog box. Using the controls in this dialog box (and on the other tabs in the dialog box), you can specify exactly what special effects you want applied to filling the shape. You can choose to use a gradient (where the fill blends in, from none to full) or apply a texture (such as wood or marble). You can also use any of a number of different patterns, or use your own picture for the fill. The different fill options allow you to make your graphics look quite impressive.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2823) 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: Filling 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

Alphabetic Column Designation

Want to know the letters assigned by Excel to a particular column? Excel normally deals with column numbers, but you can ...

Discover More

Fonts Unavailable in Word

If you have some fonts that don't show up as available in Word, their exclusion can be confusing. Here's a discussion of ...

Discover More

Preventing Someone from Recreating a Protected Worksheet

When you share a protected workbook with other people, you may not want them to get around the protection by creating a ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Pulling AutoShape Text from a Worksheet Cell

AutoShapes can easily contain text—just click on the shape and start typing away. You may want the text in the ...

Discover More

Hiding Objects

If you are bothered by different objects visible in your worksheet, you'll want to turn them off so they aren't ...

Discover More

Two-Level Axis Labels

Need a chart that uses two lines for axis labels? It's easy to do if you know how to set up your data in the worksheet, ...

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 5?

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.