Add Gradient Fill to Shapes / Cells in Excel & Google Sheets

Written by

Mel Jenkins

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on May 15, 2023

This tutorial demonstrates how to add gradient fill to shapes and cells in Excel and Google Sheets.


AddGradient intro


Add Gradient Fill to a Shape

  1. Select the shape in your worksheet where you want to apply gradient fill.


add gradient existing shape


  1. A new tab, Shape Format, shows up on the Ribbon. Go to Shape Format > Shape Styles > Shape Fill > Gradient.


AddGradient ribbon select gradient


  1. You can either choose the Gradient from the preset gradients shown, or you can click More Gradients…


AddGradient ribbon gradienttype


  1. If you choose More Gradients, a task pane opens on the right side of your Excel screen called Format Shape.


AddGradient task pane


  1. Choose Gradient fill, and then choose the Type from the drop down (e.g., Linear). Then choose the Direction you want your gradient to go.


AddGradient format shape


  1. You can also add Gradient stops to your gradient and adjust the position and transparency of them. This changes the gradient appearance in the shape.


AddGradient ribbon gradient stops


Add Gradient Fill to a Cell

To add a gradient to a cell, edit the background color of the cell.

  1. Select the cell where you want the gradient to go, and then in the Ribbon, go to Home > Font and then click Font Settings.


AddGradient ribbon font settings


  1. In the Format Cells dialog box, click the Fill tab, and then click Fill Effects…


AddGradient ribbon format cells


  1. In the Fill Effects dialog box, pick the two colors you would like in your gradient, and then choose the Shading style and Variant you want.


AddGradient-ribbon fill effect


  1. Click OK and then OK once again to apply the gradient to the cell.


AddGradient ribbon cell gradient


Also see how to use VBA to change background color.

Add Gradient Fill in Google Sheets

You cannot apply a gradient to a cell in Google Sheets, but you can apply it to a shape.

  1. To create a shape in your Google sheet, in the Menu, go to Insert > Drawing.


gradientfill gs insert drawing


  1. In the drawing pane, click the Shape icon in the Toolbar, expand Shapes, and then choose a shape (e.g., rectangle).


gradientfill gs create shape


  1. Click and drag in the drawing palette to create your shape.


AddGradient gs shape


  1. In the Toolbar, click Fill color, and then go to Gradient.


AddGradient gs gradient


  1. Choose the Type of gradient and the Angle. Then optionally, add Gradient Stops. You can adjust the color of each stop as well as the starting color and ending color of the gradient.


AddGradient gs custom


  1. Click OK, and then click Save and Close to return to your worksheet.


AddGradient gs shape gradient

AI Formula Generator

Try for Free

See all How-To Articles