Insert Shapes, Images and Icons in Excel  Detailed Guide ▷ 2020

When you are working with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, you will be able to reinforce the information by graphics what will allow the reader to have a better understanding of the data.

You will be able to choose shapes, icons and images as supported graphic elements. The advantage of using them is that you can edit them to suit your needs.

If you want to know how to do it, you are going to have to read this post until the last paragraph. We affirm this because We will show you when you can use one or another element, as well as all the aspects that you can edit of each one.

When is it more convenient to insert a shape, icon, or image into a spreadsheet?

When is it more convenient to insert a shape, icon, or image into a spreadsheet?

It will be convenient for you to use “Shapes” in a spreadsheet when you need to perform tasks that are related to flowcharts, flowcharts or with any other dynamics of data sequences. With these tools you can create your own customizations with quick and simple steps.

Instead, whenever you want have by default different types of drawings in which you will not be able to change the thickness of the outline or the color of the fill, as is the case with “Shapes”, you can use a “Icon” to represent ideas or get the reader’s attention.

But if what you are looking for is have a layout that is not predetermined by Microsoft Excel and you want to expose any kind of Photography, you’re going to have to use the function “Insert images”. Which you can choose from the web or directly from your computer.

Formats of graphic elements in Excel What are all the changes that I can make?

You can modify different aspects of the graphic elements that you can insert in Excel, which we will show you below:


You can modify the following aspects to this type of element:

  • You can remove the background of the parts you do not want, as well as editing different areas to remove marks.
  • You can also improve brightness, sharpness and contrast of the image so that it is more in accordance with the style you want to give it.
  • Color is another point that you can Modify, getting better saturation and hue. In addition, you can color the picture with shades of different styles.
  • If you prefer, you can use tools that they grant artistic effects so you can have a minimalistic, old and blurred look, among others.
  • In case you consider that the image is large, you can compress its size to fit the document space.
  • Other things you can do is create your own style. For this you can generate different types of squares, lighting, 3-dimensional tilt, reflections and many more designs.
  • You can change the width, style and color of the borders of the image to establish an outline that is suitable with the document model you have.
  • In addition, you will be able to create different image designs using smart graphics so you can include them in their predefined styles.


You can change some of these aspects to the icons:

  • Enlarge or reduce its size. This will allow you to better adapt to space what do you have destined for this graph.
  • You will also have the possibility of modify their colors and orientation.


With respect to this type of graph you can change these points:

  • You will be able edit the shape so that it has a relation of its sides completely different from the original.
  • You can also add texts, the fill color or directly delete it and edit the outline of the shape. With the latter you can remove it, change the thickness and color of the lines.
  • The effects you can create with shapes will allow you to generate a feeling of shadow, reflection, internal lighting, smooth edges and have an appearance in 3D.
  • Another thing you can do is work with WordArt. So you can edit the outline, lighting, filling and color of the letters that you have incorporated into the figures.

Learn how to insert graphic elements into Excel like a pro

We will show you below the steps you must take to incorporate different graphic elements in a spreadsheet:



In case you need to add an image in Excel, you will have to follow this guide:

  • Select menu “Insert”.
  • In the group “Illustrations”, click on the option “Images”.
  • Choose if you want to obtain the graph from the device or through the tool “Images online …”. When you have found what you were looking for you will have to click on “Insert”.


If you are looking to insert shapes, you should do this step by step:

  • When you have clicked on “Insert” you will find in the tools group “Illustrations” the function “Shapes” so you will have to select it by clicking on it.
  • You will see that I know displayed a menu in which you will have to choose the figure you need. If you want to add more, you will have to repeat the steps.
  • Once you have finished and you want to write inside these forms, you will have to right click and choose the function “Insert text”.
  • For join the different pieces so that you can move them easily and edit their size, you must click on the tool “Group”. For this it will be necessary to press the right button of the mouse.
  • In case you want change fill or outline color, with the right click (once you have selected the shape) choose “Shape format …”. You should do the same in case you need modify the outline style.



For insert an icon in a spreadsheet you must have Microsoft Excel 365.

We will show you the steps you must follow in this case:

  • Go to the tab “Insert” and look for the group “Illustrations”.
  • Click on the function “Icons”.
  • You will find one window showing icons separated by categories. Choose the one that suits you.
  • To finish click on “Insert”.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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