Office Design Tip

Image of how the design tip will look at the end

Image of how the design tip will look at the end


I’m often asked for help with, or to recommend a good (cheap) program for designing certain shapes like banners etc.

There are many good ways to do this out there, feel free to look into some yourself, this is what I usually tell people, but I also give them an Office design tip.

A way to design some of these shapes yourself using just Office.

The above example is similar to an image a person wanted to use, and to make it stand out on a Facebook page, they wanted to give it a ribbon-banner look.

This was done using only Excel and took less than 2 minutes to put together.


The Background

The first shape is the background.

In the above example. this is just the blue box.  The user was then going to put their advertisement above this.


The Foreground Ribbon

The green ribbon running across the top of the background is just a copy of background shape, the color is changed to green, it is made slightly wider than the background on both sides and the height is reduced.

Make this ribbon the top layer by right-clicking and sending to front


The Side Ribbons

To create the two side ribbons, I created 1 side ribbon and copied and flipped it for the opposite side.

  • Copy the foreground ribbon and reduce the width
  • Copy this ribbon and reduce the width again, until it is almost square shaped (doesn’t have to be exact)
  • Change the fill color to white and take away the line
  • Rotate the white box and position it against the other green box until it looks like this

Office Design Tip to create side ribbonsTo make this a bit more obvious, I have changed the background color to grey so you can see the position of the white box.

  • Click on the green box, hold down Ctrl and click on the white box – both should be selected now.
  • Group them together
  • Copy the group
  • Move across to the opposite side and rotate it so it is facing the opposite direction
  • Position both side ribbons slightly below the top of the foreground ribbon



Where the foreground ribbon is wider than the background, you may have noticed a slight shadow.

office design tip shadow

This is just a small triangle with a black fill and no line.

The image below shows this triangle when it is brought to the front

office design tip using triangle for shadow

Ordering The Shapes

Below is the order of how the shapes should be.

1 being the front (top layer), 2 being the next layer down, etc.

  1. Foreground Ribbon
  2. Background
  3. Foreground Ribbon Triangle
  4. Side Ribbons


It is not often that I have to come up with a design like this myself, which is why I usually find it easier and faster to create my own shape rather than looking into a program that could do it.


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