Shapes can be frustrating to work with in Excel until you find out there are two types of selections with shapes.
I will use a textbox and as an example, but these issues and solutions apply to most shapes and other graphic objects in Excel.
In the image below I have a textbox selected.
The important thing to notice is that the outline of the text box is a dotted line, not a solid line.
A dotted line means you are working WITHIN the textbox. If you press the Backspace or Delete key on the keyboard you will affect the text inside the textbox.
Compare the previous image with the image below.
This time the textbox has a solid line around it.
It is a subtle difference, but it makes a big difference.
You now have the whole textbox selected. If you like you are working WITH the textbox, not within it.
Pressing the Delete key on the keyboard will delete the textbox.
To change from a dotted line to a solid use the mouse to click on the border – see images below.
You can use the same technique to go back to the dotted line from a solid line.
When you have a dotted line selection you can change things inside the textbox e.g. text. With this selection you can change the font size of individual letters within the textbox. If you Copy and Paste with a dotted line selection, you won’t copy and paste the textbox.
When you have a solid line selection you can change things about the textbox e.g. fill colour. With a solid line selection you can change the font size of all the text in one action. If you Copy and Paste, you can copy and paste the textbox.
Keep an eye on the type of selection you have and make sure you use the correct selection for the type of change you are trying to make.