How to Create 3-D Drawings in Excel

By John Ruiz

Microsoft Excel lets you add various kinds of shapes to make your spreadsheets look better. However, all of the shapes originally appear as flat 2-D drawings and that may not match any of the 3-D graphs or other objects that you may have on your spreadsheet. Create 3-D drawings in Excel by drawing any 2-D object on the worksheet and adjusting "3-D Format" and "3-D Rotation" properties.

Step 1

Click the "Insert" tab on the Microsoft Excel toolbar and click the "Shapes" button in the "Illustrations" group. Choose any of the shapes you want as the basis of your 3-D drawing.

Step 2

Click anywhere on the spreadsheet to create the shape with the normal properties. Click on the shape and use the "Format" tab on the toolbar to make any adjustments to the shape. For instance, you can choose one of the "Shape Styles" or adjust the "Shape Fill" or "Shape Outline" colors. Click on any of the small circles or boxes on the borders of the shape and drag them if you want to change the size of upcoming 3-D drawing.

Step 3

Right-click the shape and select "Format Shape" to bring up a dialog that lets you customize the shape even further. Click "3-D Rotation" from the left panel and click the box next to "Presets." Select any of the 3-D presets that closely matches your preference. If you need to make any additional adjustments, increase or decrease any of the X, Y, Z, or perspective values and see how they affect the shape.

Step 4

Click "3-D Format" from the left pane and increase the "Depth" value as high as you like. This reflects the thickness of your shape and will render the 3-D effect. Click the paint bucket next to "Color" in the "Depth" group to change the color of the third dimension. Click "Close" after you finished your edits.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you finished designing your 3-D shape, you can go back to the "Format Shape" dialog and tinker with the other options in the "3-D Format" and "3-D Rotation" sections to further customize the 3-D attributes of the shape.