Join Dennis Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Inserting shapes, arrows, and other visual features, part of Excel 2016 Essential Training.
- We're on a worksheet called Shapes and there are actually no shapes on this worksheet right now but we can add some visual flair, we can add a company logo, we can add a picture, either from an online source or from a file that we have in a variety of different ways. Most of these features begin on the Insert tab. There's also a feature here called SmartArt. Possibly your display of this portion of the screen might look a little different, depending upon the resolution that you're using. So, possibly this feature here referred to as Shapes might be larger, you might even see the word Shapes next to it.
I'm going to click this and it reveals tons of options here. These shapes that we see, if they encompass space, could also include text. And we see some familiar images here, like a smiley face here and we see octagons, hexagons, pentagons, different size arrows here, equations. Tons of choices. Stars and banners, that sort of thing. If you'd like to draw one of these and then possibly add text, simply click it. For example, here's a rectangle up top, click it. I will simply drag this by clicking and dragging this way.
If you want this to be a perfect square, by the way, hold down the shift key and be sure to let go of the mouse first. Now, that may or may not be necessary but I'll let go of the mouse here so it's a perfect square. If you'd like to draw a circle, then pick the oval. Notice that after you've drawn one image, the format tab is active and we can make some changes here to the shape we've just drawn. And also off to the left we see some other shapes. Here's an oval right here, I'll click that. And that too could be an oval, a wide oval, a tall oval. If you want it to be a perfect circle, we hold down the shift key.
And that's true of other shapes as well. If we want to use a hexagon for example, I used that not so long ago so it's up in that little menu to the left. Choose hexagon, drag that. Could be very wide. Could be very tall, that sort of thing. Hold down shift to make it a perfect shape. Maybe I don't care this time, I want it to be wide. Certain shapes you'll see a yellow circle here. And you can drag that and it's hard to describe that in a coherent sentence but as you work with it, you see what's happening. This is approaching a diamond, or going the other way it's approaching a rectangle.
I might want to use that as a title. Now, any one of these can contain text. All you got to do is click it and maybe this is the annual reports so I'll type Semi-annual Report. That might or might not look okay. I can make this wider, maybe it'll look better that way. And then go to the Home tab and use some of those familiar features. Let's align this in the center, also in the middle. Let's use bold print. Here's a bigger font. All these kinds of things you might want to consider using. Make it italic. How about a different font color there? Not so good, possibly. Maybe that's better.
And so on and so on. All kinds of features. And remember there's a contextual format tab available too. Maybe blue's not your favorite for this. Use it on one of these possibly. How about that one? If we want this to be a title, we can insert a new row above row 1, simply using that. Maybe move this up here, simply drag that. And maybe make it a little bit wider that way possibly. Make row 1 taller, no. I think you can recognize this can be a real time waster. If you're real picky about these things it might take up a lot more time than you really need.
And I wouldn't say that's the greatest title ever, but I think you get the idea. Something to experiment with, possibly something to use. Bigger font here might help at this point. Something like that. An attention getter. Sometimes you want to highlight certain data. Maybe this number is unusually high and you want to congratulate Jan who's the Sales Manager for this particular number. We can go back to Insert, possibly on Shapes here. Choose an oval, that would make sense. Surround this number. Now when we do this, it looks like it's hiding it And it actually is, but then we can go to the format tab here, Shape Fill.
How about No Fill? Looking pretty good that way. If you want an arrow associated with it, there's an arrow over here. If it's not in the small panel here, we can scroll downward to see these all over again. There's an arrow. Let's draw an arrow to that. Maybe we'll drag this box up here. Put it right there. Change that box so it's got a border. Just click in here and say Great Job, Jan!!! That sort of thing and again, reconsider the shape and width and all that sort of thing.
You can even make the arrow go behind the box, too. I'm not going to necessarily do that. Bring Forward, Send Backward, etcetera. Some choices up here when the shapes are overlapping. So you can begin to see all kinds of features here. I'll move this out of the way and actually just get rid of it, delete, that sort of thing. There's smiley face in there too. There's some unusual stars and banners. And going back to Insert here, we can also add a picture. Now, shipping with this course are some pictures in the chapter for Exercise Files. I'll move this over a little bit. This is a sporting goods company.
Let's imagine putting their logo out there. Let's just double-click this or click and then insert. So we'll move this over here. Maybe change this title a bit by moving it this way. And dragging this upward and shrinking it. You want to be real careful with logos. You want to make sure you're not changing the proportion of height to width. And any time you have any of these objects, if you'd like to make it larger or smaller, without changing that ratio of height to width, then drag from one of the corners.
Maybe something like that. Then I can make this a little bit wider possibly. So something you have to experiment with and you can imagine again, spending a lot of time doing some of these. Any time you do create a shape, for example, here's that rectangle over here, if you want to make it larger or smaller, you can drag any of those eight handles any way you wish. When you're dragging a corner, you could drag it to be taller and wider and all that, but if you want to keep the same ratio of height to width, hold down the shift key. And that means you can only make it larger or smaller while maintaining that ratio of height to width.
And going back to pictures, if we go back to Insert here, I'm going to put in a picture of the sneakers right here, double-click. On these two, you probably don't want to drag the side or top handles. That would make these quite a bit different looking. So I'm going to undo that with control-Z. Here, too, make that a little bit smaller and possibly drag from the corner. And here you don't have to hold down the shift key, it automatically keeps that ratio of height to width. So you can imagine different items to add here by way of these pictures. You can also go online.
Back to the Insert tab here, Online pictures. I need a car here, for example. And we get lots of choices here. More choices that you've thought possible. Here's one right here and that's off to the right here, didn't see it at first and it's quite large so I'll make that smaller, here we are. And way too large for my purposes but again, for different reasons now this company that deals in sporting goods maybe is having a contest and this is the prize. Maybe they want to put that out there and so on.
You can imagine all kinds of reasons for wanting to add these. So, you can get the online pictures, you can get the pictures on files. You can also add some other features by way of what's called SmartArt. Now this would take us all day and longer to explore all the features. Once again, the icon on your screen could be larger. It tends to be under or near Shapes. Insert a SmartArt Graphic. I'm going to click this. Tons of choices. Over 200, believe it or not. Here's one that you might be familiar with, some various organization charts. Now I'm not going to do too much with this, but just point out if you choose one of these, I'll choose the basic one here, do notice that you get a preview to the right as to how these might look.
I'll just pick the first one here. Either double-click it or having clicked it, click OK. Now without going too far with this, I'll first shrink it. And just point out, I'll click where it says Text here and type in CEO and click right here. Now this is going to be the General Counsel, so I'll abbreviate that maybe. Notice how the size of the text shrinks a little bit. And down here's the IT Manager, and down here's the Sales Manager. That's about all the typing I want to do. Again, notice how the text will readjust here.
If I spelled out manager, see what it's doing automatically. And on one of these Sales Manager has a few persons working for him or her. I could right-click here and add a shape. And I can add a shape after or below. If I hit below, this happens. If I click back here and do it again, right-click Add Shape Below, the two people that work for the Sales Manager, and we can fill in those. You can easily build on these, and as soon as you do have a few of these done, you'll discover there's a Design tab and a Format tab.
And again, way too many choices maybe. Just depends upon how busy you are and how important this is, but you can imagine exploring some of these. Again, check these out. Insert tab, SmartArt. And not just the hierarchical ones but others as well. Here if you click All, you'll see all of them and it just goes on and on and on. Remember Venn diagrams, you may remember that from out of the past possibly or maybe you use them now, here's some cycle charts, all kinds of possibilities. All under the heading SmartArt Graphic.
So, we've got lots of tools here available on the Insert tab to add, as we saw here, something like an organization chart, we can gather images from online sources or from files, we can create shapes, put in text, add titles, bring in logos, all kinds of options available. And sometimes these are really important to make a drab report look a lot more interesting.
- Working with the Excel interface
- Entering data
- Creating formulas and functions
- Formatting rows, columns, cells, and data
- Working with alignment and text wrap
- Adjusting rows and columns
- Finding and replacing data
- Printing and sharing worksheets
- Creating charts and PivotTables
- Inserting and deleting sheets
- Using power functions such as IF and VLOOKUP
- Password-protecting worksheets and workbooks
- Sorting data
- Analyzing data with Goal Seek and Solver
- Creating and running macros