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Creating and manipulating shapes

From: Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts

Video: Creating and manipulating shapes

You can create shapes quickly and easily in Excel by going to the Insert tab and choosing Shapes. Bigger question might be, why do you want these? Well, you might be creating a flowchart. You might be creating a logo perhaps, just a little bit of design. You might want to put arrows on a worksheet to point to certain cells, a variety of reasons. Many of these shapes also certainly can include text for labeling. Sometimes you're doing it just to add a bit of flair to a worksheet, but a couple of approaches to these. General approach toward any of these shapes is if you want to draw one of them, you click the button here, you find the shape you want and maybe it's a hexagon, maybe it's an octagon, whatever. Here's a hexagon.

Creating and manipulating shapes

You can create shapes quickly and easily in Excel by going to the Insert tab and choosing Shapes. Bigger question might be, why do you want these? Well, you might be creating a flowchart. You might be creating a logo perhaps, just a little bit of design. You might want to put arrows on a worksheet to point to certain cells, a variety of reasons. Many of these shapes also certainly can include text for labeling. Sometimes you're doing it just to add a bit of flair to a worksheet, but a couple of approaches to these. General approach toward any of these shapes is if you want to draw one of them, you click the button here, you find the shape you want and maybe it's a hexagon, maybe it's an octagon, whatever. Here's a hexagon.

We draw it, wide, tall, narrow, however, but if you are drawing any shape, if you hold down the Shift key, things change a little bit. I'm still holding Shift. We're about to create a perfect hexagon or better stated, maybe a regular hexagon with equilateral sides and equilateral angles. Sometimes we want to do this. Hold down Shift, be sure to let go off the mouse first. Now, this is an oval. What if we want a circle here? Back to Insert, Shapes, here's an Oval. As we drag this, it could be very large, it could be very wide, it could be very tall, but if we hold down the Shift key, it's a perfect circle.

Let go off the mouse at some point. There we go. Same thing with rectangle. This was drawn as a rectangle. So, that's the way it looks, but if we wanted a square, we'd click the rectangle button, drag, and as we drag, we hold down Shift to get a perfect square. That's true of all the shapes here and there's a ton of them of course and we got all of these here and a variety of them, same general approach. Some of these shapes, for example this one and maybe you're going to use this for a particular purpose. I'm just going to drag it. I'm not holding down Shift necessarily, but let go.

You will see yellow diamonds from time to time, and it's hard to describe these except by example, but they usually affect the inner lines. Here it isn't even quite accurate, but drag this around a little bit and you see what's happening. We're not changing the overall frame, but we're certainly changing the way this looks. You are going to be approaching a rectangle at some point. You'll learn to be attuned to those. And here's our good old friend in here, smiley face, and that's there too. So, there's smiley face looking like Friday, and there's smiley face looking like frown-face Monday, whatever.

You drag this around as you wish and that could have been a circle, but I didn't bother holding down the Shift key. Once a shape has been created, for example this one, if you'd like to make it larger or smaller and keep the same aspect ratio, that's the ratio of height to width, as you drag any corner-- now remember it could go wide, tall, whatever. But if you hold down the Shift key, you'll be keeping that same aspect ratio. Do that. If you want to make an object larger or smaller but keep the same center, you want to hold down the Control key as I'm doing here.

Now, if I drag the right edge here, this is making it wider or narrower as you can see. I'm holding down the Control key, and maybe I'll let go and do a Ctrl+Z here. What if I wanted to make this larger around the same center, but keep all the sides equidistant from the center? Instead of just doing this, what happens if I hold down the Control key? This. So, I'm holding down Control now. I could do this. I'm holding Control, and what if I hold down Control and Shift? We're making it bigger.

Now, you can imagine, don't write any of this down. You just have to try this and in all cases here when you're trying these variations using the Control or the Shift key or both together, be sure if you want to keep the effect to let go off the mouse first then the keys. And so I think we all wished we had something like this back in the fourth grade, but it's a great fun sometimes, and of course, the real purpose probably in many cases is to apply some text here, and we can just right-click and choose Edit Text or if the text is already there, or to add text as well, but some ideas on creating these.

Sometimes you also want to create a series of objects that are the same. So, sometimes you have an object already created. If you press Ctrl+D, think of D for duplicate. We've duplicated this, and we will move one around and so on, as for design or flowcharts or whatever. So, Ctrl+D will duplicate a shape. Also, when you're creating a shape, and you know that you have to create a series of shapes and maybe they're not all going to be exactly of the same dimensions. Suppose you wanted to create a series of rectangles. Maybe this one doesn't exist.

On the Insert tab, when you choose Shapes, and you're about to choose Rectangle, you can right-click the choice and lock the Drawing mode, meaning I'll drag a rectangle. Now, this rectangle has to be somewhat wide and not so tall. I need another rectangle down here. It's going to be substantially larger. In other words, I don't want to duplicate the first one. I want a different rectangle, and notice that I'm still in Drawing mode. I need another rectangle here. By locking the Drawing mode, you allow yourself to create this shape indefinitely until you press Escape, and we're out of that mode now.

So, a couple of different approaches here for creating these shapes and making it a bit faster. There's a lot more to do with these, and this is not really a course on manipulating shapes, but just a couple of quick ideas for controlling the look of shapes and their placement and fast ways to get there.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts
Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts

64 video lessons · 17556 viewers

Dennis Taylor
Author

 
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  1. 1m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      20s
  2. 22m 45s
    1. Entering data or formulas in non-adjacent cells simultaneously
      2m 28s
    2. Converting formulas to values with a simple drag
      2m 34s
    3. Copying data or formulas down a column instantly
      2m 56s
    4. Adjusting all or selected column widths or row heights in a flash
      2m 21s
    5. Instantly displaying all worksheet formulas
      3m 16s
    6. Two quick shortcuts for creating charts
      1m 18s
    7. Print Preview
      1m 7s
    8. Instant date or time entry
      1m 16s
    9. Undo/Redo/Repeat
      3m 19s
    10. Zooming in and out quickly
      2m 10s
  3. 7m 37s
    1. Expanding and collapsing the Ribbon and Full Screen view
      1m 23s
    2. Keyboard command access
      2m 22s
    3. Quick Access toolbar display tips
      3m 52s
  4. 14m 30s
    1. Split screens and frozen titles in a flash
      5m 56s
    2. Repeating title creation and suppression
      6m 17s
    3. Customizing your display of Status Bar totals
      2m 17s
  5. 11m 31s
    1. Navigation shortcuts
      2m 30s
    2. Tips for navigating between workbooks
      3m 48s
    3. Navigating within worksheets
      5m 13s
  6. 11m 12s
    1. Selecting an entire row, column, or worksheet
      3m 20s
    2. Selecting noncontiguous ranges and visible cells only
      4m 39s
    3. Selecting the current region and moving around region corners
      3m 13s
  7. 22m 16s
    1. Accelerating data entry
      6m 27s
    2. Auto-Fill techniques for entering dates
      4m 59s
    3. Auto-Fill techniques for entering times
      2m 37s
    4. Custom lists for rapid entry
      5m 54s
    5. Cell editing tips
      2m 19s
  8. 12m 38s
    1. Copy/Move acceleration tips
      3m 27s
    2. Worksheet Copy/Move shortcuts
      2m 29s
    3. Dragging and inserting variations
      3m 47s
    4. Instantly displaying Paste Special options
      2m 55s
  9. 29m 31s
    1. Rapid formula creation
      3m 48s
    2. Selecting all cells that depend on the active cell
      5m 24s
    3. Selecting all cells that can affect the active cell
      2m 38s
    4. AutoSum shortcuts
      2m 57s
    5. Rounding shortcuts
      5m 14s
    6. Generating random numbers
      3m 16s
    7. Counting unique entries
      3m 11s
    8. Performing calculations without formulas
      3m 3s
  10. 17m 4s
    1. Controlling rows and columns
      5m 50s
    2. Realigning imported text
      2m 27s
    3. Handling blank cells
      4m 20s
    4. Collapsing and expanding detail
      4m 27s
  11. 28m 8s
    1. Formatting numbers
      6m 49s
    2. Aligning data
      3m 49s
    3. Adding background color for readability
      3m 43s
    4. Formatting data conditionally
      1m 54s
    5. Creating custom formats
      6m 23s
    6. Formatting periods over 24 hours
      3m 2s
    7. Applying strikethroughs and borders
      2m 28s
  12. 25m 46s
    1. Sorting shortcuts
      2m 40s
    2. Cleaning up spaces
      4m 47s
    3. Identifying duplicates
      6m 10s
    4. Splitting columns
      3m 57s
    5. Ensuring unique entries
      2m 46s
    6. Forcing dates to be weekdays only
      3m 56s
    7. Displaying unique items from large lists
      1m 30s
  13. 18m 38s
    1. Placing and adjusting charts
      2m 37s
    2. Creating chart titles from cell content
      2m 22s
    3. Creating and manipulating shapes
      5m 31s
    4. Linking and unlinking pictures
      8m 8s
  14. 9s
    1. Goodbye
      9s

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