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Most people think Excel is only good for analyzing data using formulas, charts, and so on. That's certainly what Excel is best at, but you can also add shapes, text boxes, and other graphics to convey information, and make your worksheets more visually appealing. In this movie, I'll show you how to add shapes to your Workbook. To do that, on the toolbar, you click the Media Browser button, and then in the Media Browser, you click Shapes. From here you can select the type of shape that you want to add. Or, if you would prefer, you can limit the shapes that are displayed to rectangles, basic shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, that sort of thing, and the other categories.
But in this case, I'll just leave it on All Shapes. To start, I will create a rectangle. So I'll click the rectangle shape. You get a little tooltip when you have your mouse pointer over any one of these shapes, so you can describe it to someone else. I'll click rectangle, and then in the body of the workbook, you notice that my mouse pointer is now a thin black cross, as opposed to a white cross that I had before. I will click and drag with the left mouse button, and Excel creates my shape. I'm done with the Media Browser, so I will close it for now.
When you create a shape, you can do all kinds of things with it. If you want to change its location, you can hover the mouse pointer over it, and when the mouse pointer changes from a white cross to a four-way pointing arrow, that means that you can click and drag the shape to a new place. If you want to resize the shape, you can do that by grabbing one of the handles on the sides or corners of the shape. So, for example, if I want to make it narrower, I can drag it from the left or from the right. If I want to make it shorter, I can drag it from the top or taller, and the same thing here at the bottom.
If I want to change both height and width at the same time, I can drag one of the corner handles. When a shape is selected, the Format contextual tab appears on the Ribbon. You see it here. And you can see that there are plenty of formatting tools that you can use. So, for example, if you want to apply a pre-made style to a shape, you can click one here in the gallery. But that's not all there are. If you click the Expand button, you see that there are quite a few different pre-made styles that you can use. So I'll just apply one, say the black and white one here, and you'll see that we now have, when I click away, a white border and a black interior.
Now, you also notice in the shape that the text would be white. There is no text in there right now, but while the shape is selected, if I wanted to type some heading text, which I will do, then that text will appear within the shape. I can format this text by selecting it. See, my mouse pointer changes to an i-bar when it's over the text. I can select it, and then I can use the controls on the Home tab to change its alignment, and if I want, change its size.
When I click away, you see the text in all its glory. When you create a worksheet that requires data entry, you can use shapes that contain text to provide instructions for anyone who uses the worksheet. I'm sure you'll find a lot of other uses for shapes in your Excel documents.
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