Illustrations and Charts Grayed Out on Ribbon

Summary: If you cannot access Illustrations and Charts in Excel 2007, make this configuration change.

In some situations when working with Microsoft Excel 2007, you may have difficulty adding or editing charts and illustrations. When this occurs, the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon has two grayed out sections – “Illustrations” and “Charts”.

The “Illustrations” and “Charts” groups on the “Insert” tab of the Excel 2007 Ribbon, grayed out

Even more irritating, this behavior may occur for some workbooks, but not others.

If this has ever happened to you, a simple configuration fix can re-enable these features.

1. Access the Microsoft Excel 2007 Options menu.
2. When the “Excel Options” dialog box appears, select “Advanced” in the left pane.
3. In the right pane, underneath “Display options for this workbook”, you will see two radio buttons underneath “For objects, show”. Click the “All” radio button.

4. Click “OK” to close the “Excel Options” dialog box.