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

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

AddGradient intro

Add Gradient Fill to an Existing Shape

1. Select the existing shape in your worksheet.


A new tab on the Ribbon  shows up called Shape Format.

2. In the Ribbon, select Shape Format > Shape Styles > Shape Fill > Gradient.

AddGradient ribbon select gradient

3. You can either select the Gradient from the preset gradients shown, or you can select More Gradients.

AddGradient ribbon gradienttype

4. If you select More Gradients, a task pane opens in the right hand side of your Excel screen called Format Shape.

AddGradient task pane


5. Select Gradient fill, and then select the type from the drop-down box (I have selected Linear). You can then select the Direction you want your gradient to go.

AddGradient format shape

6. 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 you need to amend the background color of the cell.

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

AddGradient ribbon font settings

2. In the Format cells dialog box, (1) click the Fill tab and then, (2) click Fill Effects.

AddGradient ribbon format cells

3. In the Fill Effects dialog box, (1) Select the two colors you would like in your gradient, and then (2) select the Shading style and variant you want.

AddGradient-ribbon fill effect

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

AddGradient ribbon cell gradient


Add Gradient Fill to Shapes in Google Sheets

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

1. In the drawing in your Google sheet, select the shape you want.

AddGradient gs shape

2. In the toolbar, select Fill color and then select Gradient.

AddGradient gs gradient

3. Select the Type of gradient, and the angel, and then, if required, add gradient stops to your gradient. You can adjust the color of each stop as well as the starting color and ending color of the gradient.


AddGradient gs custom

4. Click OK, and then click Save and Close to return to your Google sheet.


AddGradient gs shape gradient