How to Use Sizing Handles in Excel

Resizing a Chart with the Sizing Handles in Excel
Excel Chart Sizing Handles. © Ted French

The sizing handles are used to change the size of objects located in an Excel and Google Spreadsheets worksheet.

These objects include clip art, pictures, text boxes, and charts and graphs.

Depending on the object, the sizing handles may be different shapes. They may appear as small circles, squares, or, as is the case with an Excel charts, as a group of small dots.

Activating the Sizing Handles

The sizing handles are not normally visible on an object.

They only appear when an object has been selected by clicking on it once with the mouse or by using the tab key on the keyboard.

Once an object has been selected it is outlined by a thin border. The sizing handles are part of the border.

There are eight sizing handles per object. They are located in the four corners of the border and in the middle of each side.

Using the Sizing Handles

Resizing is done by placing your mouse pointer over one of the sizing handles, holding down the left mouse button and dragging the handle to increase or decrease the size of the object.

When the mouse pointer is located over a sizing handle the pointer changes to a small two-headed black arrow.

The corner sizing handles allow you to resize an object in two directions at the same time - both length and width.

The sizing handles along the sides of an object only re-size in one direction at a time.

Sizing Handles vs. the Fill Handle

The sizing handles are not to be confused with the Fill Handle in Excel.

The Fill Handle is used to add or copy data and formulas located in worksheet cells.