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: Pulling Text from a Cell and Placing It in a Shape.

Pulling AutoShape Text from a Worksheet Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 18, 2015)

AutoShapes are a great way to easily add simple graphics to your worksheets. Better still, AutoShapes are like text boxes, in that they can contain text.

If you know how to add text to a text box, you already know how to add text to an AutoShape. What you may not know how to do is to make that text dynamic, so that it is based on the text stored in a cell of your worksheet. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the AutoShape that you want to contain the text. When it is selected (by clicking it once with the mouse), you'll see small selection handles around the exterior of the AutoShape.
  2. Click once in the Formula bar.
  3. Type an equal sign, and then click on the cell that contains the text you want in the AutoShape.
  4. Press Enter.

That's it; the text in the AutoShape is now tied to the text of the cell you specified in step 3. If you change that text, then the text in the AutoShape changes, as well.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3278) 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: Pulling Text from a Cell and Placing It in 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Technique for Adding a Text Box to an Envelope

Text boxes can be a great design feature to use in laying out a document. You may want to add one to an envelope, ...

Discover More

Sorting an Entire List

Need to sort all the data in a table? Here's the fastest and easiest way to do it.

Discover More

Inconsistent Availability of Drag and Drop Editing

Some people really like the ability to drag and drop text as they edit. What do you do if the ability is only available ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Using the Keyboard to Select and Resize a Chart Object

When working with charts and chart objects, Excel is very dependent on the mouse. If you don't want to use the mouse, but ...

Discover More

Changing How Arrows Look

If you use Excel's graphic capabilities to insert a line or an arrow into a worksheet, you can change how that arrow ...

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
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 seven minus 4?

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.