Drawing, Modifying, and Connecting Shapes

Drawing, Modifying, and Connecting Shapes

To emphasize the key points in your presentation, you might want to include shapes in addition to text. PowerPoint provides tools for creating several types of shapes, including stars, banners, boxes, lines, circles, and squares. With a little imagination, you will soon discover endless ways to create drawings by combining shapes.

To create a shape in PowerPoint, you click the Shapes button in the Illustrations group on the Insert tab, click the shape you want to insert, and then drag the crosshair pointer across the slide.


To draw a circle or a square, click the Oval or a Rectangle shape, and hold down the Shift key while you drag.

After you draw the shape, it is surrounded by a set of handles, indicating that it is selected. (You can select a shape at any time by simply clicking it.) The handles around a selected shape serve the following purposes:

  • You can drag the pale blue sizing handles to change the size of a shape.

  • If a shape has a yellow diamond-shaped adjustment handle next to one of the sizing handles, the shape is adjustable. You can use this handle to alter the appearance of the shape without changing its size.

  • You can drag the green rotating handle to adjust the angle of rotation of a shape.


After you create a shape, you can change its orientation on the slide by rotating or flipping it. (You can rotate and flip any type of image.) Rotating turns a shape 90 degrees to the right or left; flipping turns a shape 180 degrees horizontally or vertically. To rotate or flip a selected shape, click the Rotate button in the Arrange group on the Format contextual tab, and then choose the option you want. You can also rotate a shape to any degree by dragging the green rotating handle.

You can copy or cut a selected shape or multiple shapes and then paste the shapes elsewhere in the same presentation, in another presentation, or in any Microsoft Office program. To move a shape from one location to another on the same slide, you simply drag it. You can create a copy of a selected shape by dragging it while holding down the Ctrl key or by clicking Duplicate in the Paste list in the Clipboard group on the Home tab.

After drawing a shape, you can modify it by using the buttons on the Format contextual tab that appears when a shape is selected. For example, you can:

  • Add text to a shape. PowerPoint centers the text as you type, and the text becomes part of the shape. You can then format the text from the Font group on the Home tab.

  • Change the width or color of the shape's border.

  • Make the shape look three-dimensional.

You might want to experiment with the Shape Outline and Shape Effects options, as well as the styles available in the Shape Styles gallery, to get an idea of what is available.

Having made changes to one shape, you can easily apply the same attributes to another shape by clicking the shape that has the desired attributes, clicking the Format Painter button in the Clipboard group on the Home tab, and then clicking the shape to which you want to copy the attributes. If you want to apply the attributes of a shape to all shapes in the active presentation, right-click the shape and then click Set As Default Shape. From then on, all the shapes you draw in the active presentation will have the new default attributes.

If you want to show a relationship between two shapes, you can connect them with a line by joining special handles called connection points. Moving a connected shape also moves the line, maintaining the relationship between the connected shapes.

When you have multiple shapes on a slide, you can group them so that you can edit, copy, and move them as a unit. You can change the attributes of an individual shapefor example, its color, size, or locationwithout ungrouping the shapes. If you do ungroup the graphics, you can regroup the same shapes by selecting one of them and then clicking Regroup in the Group list.

In this exercise, you will draw several shapes, add text to them, and change their colors. You will duplicate and copy a shape and change the shape of another. Then you will connect shapes and format the connection lines. Finally you will group and ungroup the shapes.

USE the 04_Shapes presentation. This practice file is located in the Chapter06 subfolder under SBS_PowerPoint2007.

OPEN the 04_Shapes presentation.

Display Slide 5, and on the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click the Shapes button.

The Shapes gallery opens.


If you click a shape button and then change your mind about drawing the shape, you can release the shape by pressing the Esc key.

Under Stars and Banners in the gallery, click the 5-Point Star shape, and then drag the crosshair pointer in the middle of the slide to draw a star shape that spans the shadow of the hand in the background graphic.

The pale blue handles around the shape indicate that it is selected.

On the Format contextual tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the Shape Fill arrow, point to Texture, and then in the gallery, click the Purple mesh texture.

In the Insert Shapes group, click the Text Box button, click the center of the star, and then type ME.

Text Box

See Also

For information about working with text boxes, see "Adding and Manipulating Text Boxes" in Chapter 3, "Working with Slide Text."

In the Insert Shapes group, click the More button to display the complete Shapes gallery. Then under Block Arrows, click the Right Arrow shape, and draw an arrow to the right of the star.


With the arrow still selected, hold down the key, and drag a copy of the arrow to the left of the star.


Be sure to release the mouse button before you release the Ctrl key. Otherwise you will move the shape instead of copying it.

With the shape still selected, in the Arrange group, click the Rotate button, and then click Flip Horizontal.

You could have drawn a Left Arrow shape, but this technique ensures that the two arrows have the same proportions.

Adjacent to each arrow, add a heart shape, and then fill the shapes with the colors and text of your choosing.

Click the heart on the right. Then on the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click the Paste arrow, and then in the list, click Duplicate.

PowerPoint pastes a copy of the shape on top of the original.

Point to the new shape's border, hold down the key, and drag the shape down so that both shapes are visible.

While you are holding down the Shift key you can move the shape only horizontally or vertically in a straight line.

Point to the border of the second shape, hold down the key, and drag another copy of the shape above the original one.


If you release the mouse button too soon and need to drag the copy of the shape a little further to the right, drag without holding down the Ctrl key. Otherwise you will create another copy.

Click the heart on the left side of the star. Then on the Format contextual tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the Edit Shape button, point to Change Shape, and under Stars and Banners, click the first shape (Explosion 1).

Edit Shape

The heart changes to the selected shape, with all formatting and text intact.

Click the bottom heart shape. Then on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, display the Shapes gallery, and under Lines, click the Curved Connector shape.

Curved Connector

Point to the selected shape.

Red connection points appear, and the pointer changes to a crosshair.

Point to the top connection point in the heart, and then drag over to the star (don't release the mouse button).

When connection points appear on the star, point to the lower-right connection point, and release the mouse button.

Red handles appear at each end of the line, indicating that the shapes are connected.


If a blue handle appears instead of a red one, the shapes are not connected. Click the Undo button on the Quick Access Toolbar to remove the connection line, and then redraw it.

With the line still selected, in the Shape Styles group, click the Shape Outline arrow, and under Standard Colors, click the Purple box. Then click the Shape Outline arrow again, and change the Weight to 3 pt.

Right-click the line, and click Set as Default Line.

Draw another connection line between the top heart and top point of the star.

Click the bottom heart, point to its frame, drag it down and to the right, and then click a blank area of the slide to release the selection.

The connection line moves with the shape.

Select all the hearts by holding down the key as you click each on in turn.

Notice that each picture has its own set of handles.

On the Format contextual tab, in the Arrange group, click the Group button, and then in the list, click Group.

The shapes are grouped together as one object with one set of handles around the edge of the entire group.

In the Shape Styles group, click the Shape Outline arrow, and then under Standard Colors, click the last color (Purple).

The outlines around the three shapes change to purple.

Point to any shape in the group, and when the pointer changes to a four-headed arrow, drag down and slightly to the left.

The entire group moves, and the two connection lines adjust their positions accordingly.

On the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click the Group button, and then click Ungroup.

The object is ungrouped into individual pictures, which are all selected.

CLOSE the 04_Shapes presentation without saving your changes.

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