How to Draw in Excel 2007

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Microsoft Excel 2007 introduced a new series of commands for drawing shapes. Found in the Office "ribbon," these tools replace the classic Excel toolbar. If you are used to the older Excel drawing methods, or if you are brand new to Excel altogether, you might not know how to use the Excel 2007 drawing tools. Accessing and using the drawing tools takes just a few seconds, and with a little practice, you can add basic shapes to virtually any Excel spreadsheet.

  • Open Microsoft Excel 2007.

  • Click on the "Insert" tab. This is located near the top right-hand corner of the screen.

  • Click on the "Line" drawing tool. The "Line" tool is a good place to start, because you can use basic line shapes to draw a plethora of other custom-drawn shapes.

  • Click "Lock Drawing Mode," located underneath the main "Line" heading. This option lets you connect several lines to predetermined nodes.

  • Click on the document where you want the line to start.

  • Drag your cursor across the spreadsheet to form a line and double-click when the line is long enough. Repeat this process as needed, and click on existing lines to create connection nodes. If you want to move a line or a node, click and drag the entire line or one of the circular nodes.

  • Press the "Esc" key when you are finished connecting lines. This takes you out of the line editing mode.

  • Click on the "Shapes" tool if you need to make a simple, pre-drawn shape.

  • Select the desired shape from the list of icons. The "Shapes" tool gives you access to squares, circles, triangles and oblong shapes, each indicated by different icons underneath the "Shapes" tool heading.

  • Click and drag the selected shape across your spreadsheet.

  • Click on the "Home" tab when you are finished. This returns you to the main Excel window, letting you type text, adjust fonts and use Excel macros.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lines and shapes are the two most basic drawing tools in Excel, but you have more advanced options. Click around on the "Insert" tab to explore advanced drawing tools. If you make a mistake while exploring, you can erase the last-drawn item by pressing "Ctrl" and "Z" on your keyboard.

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