In this tip you’ll learn how to link a cell to a shape in Excel 2007. You can do all kinds of things with shapes in Excel. For example, you can change the size, rotation, and curve of shapes. You can group them, reorder them, and align them. Did you know that you can also link a shape to a cell in Excel? And what exactly does linking a shape to a cell do? Any text that appears in the shape is dynamically updated when the text within the cell is updated. For example, as you can see in the image below, the text in the shape is the same as the text in cell reference B1.
If I update the text in cell B1, the text within the shape is automatically updated as well.
If you want to try this, your first step is to insert a new shape into your spreadsheet. Within Excel, click the Insert tab. Within the Illustrations group, click the Shapes button, as shown in the figure below.
From the list of available shapes, select the shape you want to use and insert it into your spreadsheet. With the shape selected, you can then type your text into the shape.
Now you’re ready to link a cell to the shape. Simply select the shape, type the appropriate cell reference in the formula bar, and press Enter. For example, if you want to link the shape to cell B1, type “=B1” in the formula bar and press Enter.
Now, as you can see from the figure above, when you select the shape, the cell that it is linked to appears in the formula bar. When you want to update the text, just update the text in the cell. Now, whenever anyone asks you how to link a cell to a shape in Excel, you’ll look like some kind of smarty pants.