Although Excel is not designed as a comprehensive graphic design tool, we can create in Excel all kinds of shapes/illustrations, actually without limits. There are many ways to do that, and the main methods are:
- Obviously - charts: while primarily used for data visualization, the charting capabilities of Excel can be utilized to create simple illustrations. By manipulating the data (applying various conditional formatting rules) and using other formatting options, you can create visually appealing illustrations within the charting framework.
- Inserting predefined shapes: Excel provides a variety of predefined shapes that you can insert from the "Insert" tab on the ribbon. These shapes include rectangles, circles, arrows, lines, and more. They can be customized in terms of size, color, rotation, and other formatting options.
- Using drawing tools (to draw shapes): Excel allows you to draw custom shapes using the "Shapes" tool. You can choose from different shapes, such as polygons, curves, and freeform shapes. By selecting the "Draw" option, you can manually create the desired shape by clicking and dragging on the worksheet.
- Using SmartArt: this feature feature allows you to
create diagrams, flowcharts, and other visual representations. SmartArt
provides a variety of predefined layouts and styles, making it easy to
create professionally-looking illustrations. You can access SmartArt
through the "Insert" tab as well.
- Combining shapes: Excel also enables you to combine multiple shapes to create new ones. This can be done by selecting the desired shapes, right-clicking, and choosing the "Group" or "Combine Shapes" option.
- Editing shapes: Once a shape is created, you can further customize it by resizing, rotating, or changing its fill color, outline color, and other formatting options. This can be done by selecting the shape and using the available formatting tools.
- In addition, the Lasso Select tool is now available in Excel. This technique allows you to select non-contiguous cells or objects in Excel.