Excel: Insert pictures, shapes or text boxes into a chart

“Excel insert”:YOUR OBJECTIVE

You plotted your company’s 2010 revenues in an Excel chart. Now you want enhance your chart’s expressiveness by adding to it a ready-made shape such as an arrow, a circle, etc. and a text box.

In this learning module “ Excel insert”, you will be shown how to insert shapes, text boxes and pictures into your chart.

Excel insert:HOW DOES IT WORK?

When you use Excel to generate a chart, you can make it more expressive by inserting shapes, text boxes and/or pictures.

To add additional design elements to your chart, first activate the chart by clicking on it once. The Chart Tools context tab along with its subordinated Design, Layout and Format tabs will appear in the Ribbon. Now go the Layout tab where, in the Insert group, three command buttons are available: Picture, Shapes and Text Box.

If you are using a relatively small window for Excel, you may see just one button instead, the excel Insert button. If you click the excel Insert button, the same three command buttons will appear:

Picture: Use this option to insert picture files from your hard disk, CD, DVD or USB storage device.

Shapes: Use this option to add a shape.

Text Box: With this option, you can place a text box onto the chart.

To add a shape to your chart, first select the option. This is just the same as clicking thebutton in the excel Insert group.

An AutoShapes selection catalog will open. Since you want to add a Left Arrow (block arrow) to the chart, choose that shape by clicking on it once (see illustration).

The mouse pointer will change in form to a small black cross .

 

Now move your mouse pointer (the black cross) to the place on the chart where you want to insert the shape. There, press and hold the left mouse button. You can now pull the inserted shape out until it has taken on the size you want. When you release the mouse button, your arrow will appear as a new element on your chart:

HINT

To reposition an AutoShape, click on it once. The mouse pointer will take on the following shape:  . Then, as long as you hold the mouse button depressed, you can move it to any other position within the graphic’s frame. Release the mouse button and the object will stay in that place. You can also resize such a shape. After clicking on it once, a box with drag handles surrounds the shape. If you position your mouse pointer over one of the corner drag handles (the pointer changes to a double-arrow), you can, while holding the mouse button depressed, push or pull it to resize the shape proportionally. Click and hold one of the side handles to resize the shape disproportionally.

To insert a text box, click the excel Insert    button (Chart Tools, Layout tab, Insert group) and select  (or the Text Box button directly). Now when you move the mouse pointer onto the chart, the pointer will take on a thin dagger shape. Click and hold the mouse button and pull the text box open. When you release the mouse button, you can type in the text that you wish to appear in the box. You can format this text in the usual way. In the current example (pictured below), we entered the text: “Cabernet Sauvignon”.

Because the text box is too small for its contents, you can adjust its size by pulling a drag corner. Point your mouse to the bottom-right corner; the mouse pointer will change shape. Now you can enlarge the box. While holding the left mouse button depressed, pull down and to the right:

Enlarge the box until it is large enough to display the entire text.

HINT

To delete a text box, an AutoShape or a picture, select the relevant item and then press [Del] or [Delete].

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