See all How-To Articles

How to Create a Shape With Drawing Tools in Excel & Google Sheets

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a shape with drawing tools in Excel and Google Sheets.


drawing tools shape 12


Add the Draw Tab to the Ribbon

If you don’t see the Draw tab in the Ribbon, there is a simple way to add it. Just follow these steps:

1. First, in the Ribbon go to File, and from the drop-down menu choose Options.


drawing tools shape 1


2. In the Excel Options window click Customize Ribbon.


drawing tools shape 10


3. Under Customize the Ribbon, check the box next to Draw and click on OK.


drawing tools shape 3


Now the Draw tab appears in the Ribbon.


drawing tools shape 13


Right-Click to Customize the Ribbon

Instead of Step 1 above, you can also just place your cursor anywhere in the Ribbon and right-click it. After that, click on Customize the Ribbon and continue to Step 2 above.
drawing tools shape 2


Drawing Tools: Using Pens


drawing tools shape 14


In the Drawing Tools group, you will find two types of drawing textures: pens (two options) and highlighters. To draw a shape using them, just click on the one you want to use and start drawing.


drawing tools shape 4


If you want to change the color or the thickness of the line, just click on the arrow in the right, bottom corner of the pen icon. When you select your preference, click away from the menu to continue drawing.


drawing tools shape 5


Convert Your Drawing to a Shape: The Ink to Shape Feature

You can draw shapes by hand, then use the Ink to Shape tool to make them perfect.

1. First, use the pen to draw the shape you need.


drawing tools shape 6


2. After that, (1) click on the lasso icon (it will select ink by drawing a shape and all ink strokes in the shape will be selected) and then (2) click on the shape.


drawing tools shape 6 new


3. In the Ribbon, choose Ink to Shape (from the Convert group).


drawing tools shape 15


As a result of the previous steps, the Ink to Shape tool will recognize what type of shape you draw and it will correct all the imperfections.


drawing tools shape 7


Ink to Math

You can write math equations by hand and use the Ink to Math feature to transform them into properly formatted formulas in Excel.

1. First, in the Ribbon click on the Ink to Math feature.


drawing tools shape 16


2. After that, the Math Input Control window will open. In in, click on the Write option in the left, bottom corner, and then write the formula. When you are done, just click on the Insert button.


drawing tools shape 8


As a result, the Ink to Math tool will read what you wrote and translate it into a formatted formula like the one pictured below.


drawing tools shape 9


Note: You can use VBA code to delete shapes later if necessary.

Draw a Shape in Google Sheets

Google Sheets doesn’t have the Ink to Shape feature. You can “scribble” in the Drawing window, but to get proper shapes, you can only use Shapes.


drawing tools shape 23


1. To create a shape in Google Sheets, in the Toolbar, click on Insert and from the drop-down menu, choose Drawing.


drawing tools shape 17


2. After that, the Drawing window will appear. To create a shape choose any of the four options from the drop-down menu (in this example, Shapes). In the bar (1) click on the Shape icon, in the drop-down menu (2) click on Shapes, then (3) choose the desired shape (e.g., Oval).


drawing tools shape 19


3. Finally, just draw the shape in the desired size.


drawing tools shape 21


If you want, you can change the fill color, the border color, the border weight, and even the border dash of the shape.


drawing tools shape 22

See all How-To Articles