How to Draw a Line in Excel 2007

By Danielle Cort

A line can separate information in your table, point out something interesting or enliven an otherwise dull graph. Excel offers a number of tools for illustration purposes, including different types of lines. You need not be limited to straight lines; Excel offers arrows, curved lines, and free-form lines you can add as needed. After adding a line, you can customize it by adjusting its thickness and color.

Straight Lines

Step 1

Launch Excel 2007. Open an existing document if you do not need to start with a blank worksheet.

Step 2

Click "Insert" on the ribbon and select "Shapes."

Step 3

Click on a line style from the "Lines" section of the drop-down menu. A thin, black cross will appear on your worksheet.

Step 4

Click and drag the line down or across to create the line. Hold down "Shift" while dragging if you want a line with exactly a zero-, 45- or 90-degree angle. The line will appear with a circle on each end.

Step 5

Click a circle on the end of the line and drag it out to extend the line. Drag the circle up or down to change the slope of the line.

Step 6

Click on the line and select a different color or thickness from the Shape Styles menu to change the look of the line.

Curved Lines

Step 1

Click the "Insert" tab on the ribbon and select "Shapes."

Step 2

Select a curved line style from the "Lines" group in the menu. You can select a curve, a free-form shape or a scribble.

Step 3

Click and drag the thin, black cross around the worksheet to create a curved or free-form line. If you select a curve or a free-form shape, you will need to click each time you want to define a peak and valley on your curve or bends in your free-form shape. If you select a scribble, you can simply let go of the mouse button once you are done drawing the line.

Step 4

Double-click when you are done defining the line. Excel will outline your shape with a box with points, allowing you to further manipulate other aspects of the shape.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you simply want to underline text, do not use the line feature as lines can shift when you are adding or deleting cells or rows. Use "Ctrl+U" to underline specific text in cells.
  • You should also use the border icon in the "Font" group in the "Home" tab to draw a line underneath a row of headings if you need to make something like a table.