Updated August 11, 2023
Drawing in Excel (Table of Contents)
Drawing in Excel
In Excel, we have different tools and functions for drawing, and all are available in the Insert menu ribbon’s illustration section. There are Shapes, Text Boxes, Smart Art Graphics, and Pictures. To draw anything in Excel, we can choose any shape or design from Shapes. If we go in Shapes, we have Lines, Rectangles, Arrows, Stars, etc. To draw anything from shapes in Excel, select any of the shapes we want to draw, hold left-click drag, draw the Shape in the size we want, and then release the key to get the final drawing.
Examples of Drawing in Excel
We will see all kinds of shapes with their use and application. To select a drawing, go to the Insert menu and select the Shape option ( highlighted ), as shown in the below screenshot.
Once you click on Shape (highlighted as shown above), you will get a drop-down list with all available shapes and figures.
As we can see, the types of shapes mentioned are in the screenshot given above. Now, let’s take one category at a time. Select any shape from the menu by clicking on it and draw it anywhere in excel. Once drawn, you can change its orientation and size as well as per your need.
- Lines – Very first defined category of Shapes are Lines. It has Line, Arrow, and Line Arrow, Elbow connectors, Curvy Lines in different forms. Lines are used for connecting one cell or destination with the other one.
- Rectangles – A rectangle, as we know, is a shape with opposite sides equal to each other. Rectangles are mainly used for showing a process where something is happening.
- Basic Shapes – Basic Shapes has different type of 2D and 3D shapes.
The first Shape is Text Box, which is used for entering text or headlines. This is followed by circles, Triangles, and shapes with multiple arms/sides, which can be used for decision-making mainly—followed by Cubes, Cylinders which are used for showing data storage.
- Block Arrow – Block Arrows are used for giving direction to any process. It can be one-way or multi-way. Block Arrows can be used for direction along with entering the text.
- Flowchart – A flowchart creates a process map or flow that defines the process steps from start to end.
- Callouts are used to mention important notes, comments, or remarks. It calls out the value or comments important to any reference process step.
In this example, we will draw a flow chart using some shapes. We will consider an example of cooking, where we will implement the shapes we learned in the above example.
The above-shown process flow chart is the Process Flow of Cooking Vegetables. Below are the terms and use of shapes given;
- Process Start and End box call Terminator is used to terminate or end the process.
- The rectangle represents the process; in our Flow Chart, Washing and Cutting vegetables and putting them in the pan is a process.
- The parallelogram is used to represent the data flow. Here in our Flow Chart, we are adding spices to the flow of data.
- A diamond shape box is used to represent the decision. In our Flow Chart, Tasting the cooked vegetable shows decisions with the answers YES and NO, which shows whether the vegetable is cooked or not.
- Arrows are used as connectors, connecting one process step to another.
Pros of Excel Drawing
- Excel drawing makes data professional, even if basic shapes are used.
- Using Shapes in Excel instead of MS Word is very user-friendly. So it is recommended to use Shapes for drawing in MS Excel only.
- Connecting the shapes together is also easy.
Cons of Excel Drawing
- Although it is beneficial for making data or presentations look good, using shapes consumes a lot of time in Excel. If used in Microsoft Visio, a separate tool provided by Microsoft, it is specially used to create charts with more defined shapes.
Things to Remember
- Always connect the shapes with each other by putting shapes closer so that connecting points will get activated.
- Once done using Shapes, group all the shapes together so that they will not get dispersed whenever you change the worksheet or paste it into another sheet.
This has been a guide to how to draw in Excel. Here we discuss the Drawing tool in Excel and how to use the Drawing tool, along with practical examples and a downloadable excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles –