Drawing In Excel

What Is Drawing In Excel?

Drawing in Excel is the feature that allows users to create and modify various shapes, lines, and objects within a worksheet. It is a powerful tool that enables professionals to enhance their data visualization and presentation skills.

To enhance the visual appeal of our Excel sheet, we can utilize the Insert tab. Within this tab, we can select a drawing object that suits our needs. We can click on the Block Arrows option if we intend to incorporate a shape.

Once we have chosen the desired object, we can draw it on our Excel sheet. This enables us to present our data more captivating.

Drawing in Excel Intro
Key Takeaways
  • Moreover, advanced Excel users can leverage this tool for more intricate tasks like creating flowcharts and diagrams or annotating data visually through connectors and labels.
  • Optimizing images for web usage before inserting them into an Excel drawing is advisable.
  • This capability enables professionals to create comprehensive and visually captivating spreadsheets that effectively communicate data insights and ideas within an Excel environment.

How To Use Drawing Tool In Excel?

Utilizing the drawing tool in Excel allows professionals to enhance their worksheets by adding shapes, lines, and other graphic elements. To employ this feature effectively, navigating to the Insert tab on the ribbon and selecting the Shapes option is crucial. A gallery will appear with various configurable shapes, such as rectangles, arrows, and circles. When selecting a shape, click and drag it within our worksheet to form it accordingly. Adjusting properties like color, line style, or fill can be done by right-clicking on the shape and accessing the formatting options.


Example #1

Navigate to the Insert tab in the Excel toolbar. This tab will provide us with the necessary tools to enhance our spreadsheet.

Step 1: Once on the Insert tab, we can select a drawing object of our choice. If we wish to insert a shape, we click the Shapes option.

Drawing in Excel - Example 1 - Step 1

Step 2: After selecting the desired drawing object, we can draw it on our Excel sheet.

Step 3: We must click the format options to refine our drawing further. Here, we can customize various aspects such as color, borders, object size, and effects.

Drawing in Excel - Example 1 - Step 3

Step 4: We want to include a text box in our drawing. In that case, we must again access the Insert tab and choose the Text Box option. By clicking on the Text Box, we can draw a horizontal or vertical box and proceed to enter our desired text. To confirm the text, we press the Enter key.

Drawing in Excel - Example 1 - Step 4

Step 5: Should we wish to modify the text color or customize the text box further, we can do so by accessing the Format tab and selecting Shape Styles.

Step 6: The final result will showcase a rectangular box with personalized color customization.

Drawing in Excel - Example 1 - Step 5

Example #2

We will explore a variety of shapes and their practical applications.

Step 1: To select a shape, go to the Insert menu and choose the Shape option.

Drawing in Excel - Example 1 - Step 1

Step 2: Once we click on Shape, a drop-down list will appear, showing all available shapes and figures.

Drawing in Excel - Example 2 - Step 2

Step 3: Let’s examine each category individually. Click on any shape from the menu to select it, and then draw it anywhere within Excel. Once drawn, we can adjust its orientation and size to suit our needs.

Step 4: The first category is Lines, which include Line, Arrow, Line Arrow, Elbow connectors, and Curvy Lines in various forms. Lines are used to connect one cell or destination with another.

Example 2 - Step 4

Step 5: Next, we have Rectangles. As the name suggests, a rectangle is a shape with opposite sides equal to each other. Rectangles are used to illustrate processes where something is occurring.

Example 2 - Step 5

Step 6: Moving on to Basic Shapes, this category encompasses a range of 2D and 3D shapes. The first shape is the Text Box, employed for entering text or headlines. This is followed by circles, triangles, and shapes with multiple arms/sides, primarily used for decision-making. Additionally, Cubes and Cylinders are included in this category, which is useful for representing data storage.

Drawing in Excel - Example 2 - Step 6

Step 7: Block Arrows are another category, serving the purpose of providing direction to a process. They can be one-way or multi-way and can be accompanied by text.

Example 2 - Step 7

Step 8: A flowchart visually represents a process or flow, outlining the steps involved.

Example 2 - Step 8

Step 9: Callouts serve the purpose of highlighting significant notes, comments, or remarks. They emphasize the value or importance of specific comments within any reference process step.

Example 2 - Step 9

In conclusion, by using the Shape option in Excel, we can easily include various shapes in our work.


Drawing in Excel offers several benefits for professionals.

  • Firstly, it allows individuals to create visually appealing charts and diagrams to present complex data clearly and concisely. This visual representation enhances understanding and facilitates effective information communication with colleagues, clients, or stakeholders.
  • Additionally, drawing in Excel helps users analyze trends, patterns, and relationships within their data by enabling them to plot graphs and perform statistical calculations. This can aid in decision-making processes and support identifying opportunities or issues that may go unnoticed.
  • Moreover, Excel’s drawing tools offer precise customization options such as shape formatting, color selection, and alignment features that contribute to creating engaging visuals suitable for various professional contexts. 

Tips And Tricks For Inserting Excel Drawing Tools

  • Firstly, instead of selecting a preset shape from the Shapes menu, try using the Scribble tool for more flexibility. This lets us draw custom shapes directly on the spreadsheet, perfect for creating unique diagrams or flowcharts.
  • Additionally, the Group feature organizes multiple shapes into one unit. Hold down the Ctrl key and select each shape we want to group, then right-click and choose Group.
  • This ensures easier manipulation and formatting of complex drawings. To align drawings precisely, use the alignment guides that automatically appear when objects are close together.
  • Finally, if we need more advanced graphical elements, explore the SmartArt option under the Insert tab, which provides pre-designed templates for professional-looking diagrams such as organizational charts or process flows.

Important Things To Note

  • With the drawing in Excel, users can insert shapes such as rectangles, ovals, arrows, or even freehand drawings onto their worksheets.
  • This feature also provides options for customization, including adjusting sizes, colors, and fill patterns of the drawn objects.
  • Professionals can utilize drawing tools in Excel to emphasize specific data points or highlight important information by adding text boxes or callouts within their visuals.
  • Moreover, drawings can be positioned precisely using alignment and distribution features available in Excel.
  • Overall, drawing in Excel adds an extra layer of visual appeal and clarity to presentations while enhancing the overall professional aesthetic of spreadsheets.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any limitations to drawing in Excel?

First, Excel’s drawing tools are less advanced or comprehensive than those in dedicated graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW. Creating intricate and complex illustrations with features like gradient, fills or freehand drawing can be challenging in Excel. Moreover, Excel’s limited canvas size restricts the space for drawing large-scale artwork.
Additionally, precise control over the positioning and alignment of elements may be difficult due to Excel’s grid-based interface, primarily designed for spreadsheet functionalities.

2. Can I insert images or pictures into my drawings in Excel?

Yes, it is possible to insert images or pictures into drawings in Microsoft Excel. This feature lets users enhance their spreadsheets with visually appealing graphics, making presentations or data analysis more engaging and understandable. Users can insert an image by navigating to the “Insert” tab on the Excel ribbon and clicking the “Pictures” button. This will open a file browser window where users can select the desired image from their computer or network drive. Once inserted, images can be resized, rotated, or positioned accordingly using Excel’s formatting options.

3. What types of drawings can I create in Excel?

One can create drawings primarily geared toward data visualization and analysis in Excel. The program offers tools and features that allow professionals to create visually appealing charts and graphs, such as column, line, pie, scatter, and area charts. These drawings help present complex data in a clear and organized manner, making it easier for stakeholders to interpret and analyze information. Additionally, Excel enables the creation of more advanced illustrations through its Shape Tools and SmartArt feature. With these options, users can design flowcharts, decision trees, org charts, process diagrams, and other visual aids commonly used in business presentations or project documentation.

This has been a guide to What is Drawing in Excel. We discuss how to use drawing tools to create shapes, lines, arrows etc along with examples. You can learn more from the following articles –

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