Need to create some simple web graphics? A Buy Now! button or a Download link, perhaps?

If you have Office 2007, look no further because you can create simple yet stylish graphics in just a few minutes. The new styles available for the built-in AutoShapes make it easy to drop a simple rounded rectangle, oval, circle, or arrow onto the spreadsheet and gussy it up for show and tell.

The first thing you’ll want to do is add the CopyPicture function to your personal toolbar, otherwise you stand no chance of finding it. I won’t go into how to customize your personal toolbar here, but it should be in the help file. Once that is done, creating a button just takes a few steps:

1. Click Insert from the ribbon menu.
2. Select a shape and click the worksheet and drag it to size with the left mouse button.
3. With the shape still selected, just type your text.
4. Click Format from the ribbon menu and drop down the Styles sub-menu and pick a style per your personal taste.
5. Right-click on the shape and set the font formatting as desired.
6. Click the CopyPicture icon you added to the personal toolbar and select Bitmap as the format.
7. Open Paint (or whatever image editor you have) and Paste it.

Save the image and Voila! – you’re done. Here are two samples I created:

Buy Now button Download button

By the way, the Download button is actually comprised of two shapes – a rounded rectangle and a down arrow, formatted separately then grouped together. It took just a few minutes to create the buttons, so if you’re graphically challenged and short on time, Excel 2007 works great in a pinch.

3 thoughts on “Excel 2007: The Poor Man’s Photoshop

  1. Well, isn’t it funny.
    I have used the new shape styles in the Office 2007 suite many times, in different documentation occasions. But I haven’t thought of using it to create good looking web icons. I have too struggled in Photoshop, and this is a really good tip. Thank You.

    However, step 6 and the CopyPicture dance seem to me rather unneccessary. You can achive the same result by holding down the shift key and right-click -> copy.



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