How to Add Shapes in Microsoft Excel

In Brief...

You can easily add a wide variety of shapes to your Microsoft Excel worksheets, including squares, circles, stars, arrows, smiley faces, lines, equation shapes, and callouts. To insert a shape into a worksheet, follow these four easy steps.

This feature works the same in all modern versions of Microsoft Excel: 2010, 2013, and 2016.


  1. From the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.
    Click Shapes Icon

  2. Select a shape by clicking on it.
    List of Shapes

  3. Your cursor will change to a plus sign.
    Plus Sign

  4. Click in your worksheet where you want to place the shape, drag your mouse until the shape is the size you want it to be, and then release your mouse.
    Smiley Face Example

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Author: Dave Dunn

Dave Dunn joined Webucator as Chief Operating Officer in early 2009. He has served as a CFO and COO for numerous small and medium-sized companies, including Summit Software Company, Insight Research Group, Avalon Consulting, and HealthcareOne. He has expertise in business development, financial management, marketing and human resources and particularly enjoys working with rapidly growing companies.

Dave received his Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College and his MBA from Syracuse University. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Montessori School of Syracuse since 2001.