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Charts and Graphics in Spreadsheet Documents

  • 4 minutes to read

This document provides information about embedded drawing objects - shapes, pictures and charts.

Actions covered here:

Create a Drawing Object

The Shape interface is a base interface for all drawing objects. These objects are stored in the ShapeCollection collection, accessible using the Worksheet.Shapes property.


Pictures and charts are contained in two collections: ShapeCollection and PictureCollection or ChartCollection, respectively.

Use the Shape.ShapeType property to determine a drawing object’s type in ShapeCollection.

The table below lists the supported drawing object types and methods used to create them.

Drawing Object Method
Shape ShapeCollection.AddShape
Shape Group ShapeCollection.GroupShapes
Text Box ShapeCollection.AddTextBox
Shape Connector ShapeCollection.AddConnector
Picture PictureCollection.AddPicture
Chart ChartCollection.Add

Move and Position a Drawing Object

Use an API from the table below to define a drawing object’s location.

Property Description
FloatingObject.Move Moves a floating object by a specified offset.
FloatingObject.Left Gets or sets the distance from the left edge of the worksheet to the top left corner of the drawing object.
FloatingObject.OffsetX Specifies a distance between the top left corner of the floating object and the left edge of the cell where the top left corner of the floating object is located.
FloatingObject.Top Defines the distance between the top edge of the worksheet and the top left corner of the floating object.
FloatingObject.OffsetY Gets a distance between the top left corner of the floating object to the top edge of the cell where the top left corner of the floating object is located.
FloatingObject.TopLeftCell Specifies a cell where the top left corner of a floating object is located.
FloatingObject.BottomRightCell Gets or sets a cell where the bottom right corner of a floating object is located.
Shape.ZOrderPosition Retrieves the position of the current drawing object in the Z-order. The default shapes’ Z-order value is equal to their numerical order in the ShapeCollection.
ShapeCollection.NormalizeZOrder Resets the shapes’ Z-order.

The image below illustrates the distances this API specifies.


Resize and Rotate a Drawing Object

You can specify the drawing object’s size and rotation angle using the following properties.

End-users can resize or rotate a drawing object with special handles, which are visible for selected objects.


The FloatingObject.Placement property determines whether the drawing object moves and/or resizes together with underlying cells. For example, set the Placement property to Placement.MoveAndSize to make the drawing object move and resize with cells, as shown below.


You can provide a hyperlink to the drawing object. When an end-user clicks the drawing object, the link navigates to a certain location on the Internet, or to a file, to a place in a workbook, or it sends an email. Use the Shape.InsertHyperlink method to specify a hyperlink for a drawing object, and use the Shape.RemoveHyperlink method to delete a hyperlink. Refer to the How to: Add a Hyperlink to a Picture topic for a code example.

Delete a Drawing Object

The following methods allow you to remove a drawing object.

Implement End-User Restrictions

The SpreadsheetControl allows you to prevent end-users from modifying drawing objects embedded in a worksheet. Use the following properties to implement end-user restrictions.

Set the desired property to DocumentCapability.Disabled or DocumentCapability.Hidden to make the operation unavailable, and disable or hide the corresponding commands in the SpreadsheetControl’s ribbon UI and popup menu.

See Also