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Use shapes to enhance your Excel charts [tip]



Here is a simple way to enhance your Excel charts – use shapes & pictures in your charts.

We will learn how to create something like this:


Looks interesting? Read on…

How to add drawing shapes / pictures to your charts

Watch this quick video tutorial to understand the process for adding shapes / pictures to your charts. We start by creating a simple chart filled with custom shape. Once the basic technique is clear, we then build an interactive chart that moves an arrow symbol based on user input. Pretty sweet.

Download shapes in your charts – Example workbook

Please download the example workbook and use it to understand this chart better.

More ways to use shapes in your charts

Check out few more fun & informative ways you can use shapes in your charts

Share your shapes in chart idea & you could win Amazon gift card

This post is part of Awesome August Excel festival @ Chandoo.org.

To celebrate Awesome August, I am giving away $31 worth Amazon gift card to one lucky winner per post. You can participate in this contest by,

  • Create a chart with shapes / pictures following the principles explained in the video
  • Take a screenshot of your chart
  • Upload the image to a free image hosting site like imgur or tinypic
  • Post the link along with why you made the chart in comments section of this post
  • One lucky participant gets $31 Amazon Gift card at the end of August.

Share this tip with your colleagues

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15 Responses to “Use shapes to enhance your Excel charts [tip]”

  1. excel says:

    The last part is a Great tip. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Swapnil says:

    Superb technic Chandoo.

  3. Othniel says:


    Great tip. I specifically liked the business use case. Typically I use shapes in charts to add comments on key changes. As you mentioned these things should be used sparingly. Thanks again.


  4. Floriana says:

    This is so great 😀 BTW Chandoo the scale by unit is really cool, for example with your data you can scale to 100 units and get one car per each hundredth and avoid the mental math! And make the sport car more visible, or add a legend for the audience 😉 awessssomeeee

  5. Naeem says:

    One of the most useful tips ever!!! a big thanksS to Mr. Chandoo.

  6. Herbert says:

    I liked this very much. Very good video demo.

  7. Subhash Bose says:

    You have just made excel so user friend and seemingly easy, loved this video....Nice work!!

  8. Enjoyed the "use shapes to enhance your excel charts" I will try it sometime. Thanks I find your website very helpful!

  9. Sanjeev says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Awesomeness and the business case scenarios are ultimate.
    You explained everything so well. I am working in a sales organization and going to implement this soon in my work soon.

    Thank you.

  10. Dear Chandoo,

    Excellent tip . Especially the last one

  11. Sandhya says:

    Awesome.. Very useful tip

  12. Fayley says:

    I need these instructions in TEXT. The fact that your instructions are in words is the reason I use you. Videos are no good. Can't watch videos at work. Take much longer than just reading instructions. Can't refer back quickly for refresher.

  13. Franck says:

    I tried this tips on my report to enhance the look n feel, but cause we use Excel service to generate our report on our organisation all the bar format disapear 🙁 I've learned Excel service won't show shapes.

  14. Asel says:

    really smart way to use shapes! Thanks a lot for sharing it!

  15. Ameya says:

    Wonderful tip. Great going

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