Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Drawing constrained objects
When you drag a handle to resize a previously drawn object, the object remains
centered on its original center point and resizes equally in all directions.
When you drag an object to move it, holding down Ctrl creates a copy of the object,
leaving the original in place.
You can use Ctrl+Shift to create symmetrical objects such as squares, circles, and stars
that are centered on the point you click.
Holding down the Alt key also causes a constraint. You can hold down Alt while creating
objects to use the gridlines on a worksheet as a drawing grid. The edges of your objects are
then forced to follow the gridlines. Note, however, that if you use Shift and Alt together to
draw a square or a circle aligned to the grid, Excel does its best, but the result might not be
perfect because the default height and width of the cells on a worksheet might not provide
an ideal grid for perfect squares or circles.
INSIDE OUT Selecting objects
When you work with objects, it’s almost as if another program with a transparent
desktop is floating over the worksheet—as if the objects you draw are in another
dimension. In a sense, they are. What goes on in the grid of Excel has little to do with what
goes on in the drawing layer, although you do have opportunities to create interaction
between objects and worksheets using macros and formulas.
When you are working in cells, you can click any graphic object to select it and then
click the worksheet to select cells. You can hop back and forth between the object and
worksheet, no problem. But they are still parallel universes, which becomes apparent
when you try to select multiple items. For example, you can drag to select a range of
cells, but you cannot drag a selection rectangle around a group of objects to select
them; instead, you end up selecting a cell in that “other dimension” as soon as you
click. You can press Ctrl and click to add nonadjacent cells to a selection on the
worksheet, and this method works similarly with objects. In fact, you can select an object,
hold down either Shift or Ctrl, and click additional objects to add them to the
selection—either method accomplishes the same result. You can also press Ctrl+A to “select
all” in either the worksheet or the object layer. If you do so with a cell selected, all cells
are selected; if you do so with an object selected, all objects are selected. But you can’t
select cells and objects together, which you might want to do when you’re copying a
portion of a worksheet to another location and want to copy adjacent objects as well.
You can actually accomplish this by selecting the underlying cells and pasting them in
the new location. The objects might not be selected, but they are usually linked to a
cell location. Unless you specify otherwise, objects travel with their underlying cells if
you move or copy them. For more information, see “Positioning objects” later in this