Shapes, such as lines, rectangles, block arrows, flowchart objects, and callouts, can enhance your presentations in a variety of ways.
To add shapes to a slide:
- On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes to open the shapes gallery.
- From the gallery, select the type of shape to add to your slide. Your cursor changes to a + sign.
- Click and drag to define the region on your slide where you want to insert the shape.
- Release the mouse button to add the shape to the slide. Notice the additional yellow handles on and/or near the sizing box. These allow you to further modify the shape.
Shapes in the gallery are categorized by:
Recently Used Shapes
Stars and Banners
Apply Borders to a Shape
To add borers to a shape, after it is inserted, select it and then from the Drawing Tools Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, select Shape Outline and use these options to add and format a border.
Modify Shape Backgrounds
You can change the background of a shape.
To modify a shape's background:
- Select the shape.
- Select the Drawing Tools Format tab.
- In the Shape Styles group, select Shape Fill.
- Select a color from the drop-down list, or another option, such as adding a picture or texture.
Aligning and Grouping Shapes
When adding multiple shapes, you may want to align them and/or group them.
To align shapes:
- Select the shapes you want to align.
- From the Drawing Tools Format tab, from the Arrange group, select Align.
- Select an alignment option from the drop-down list.
To group shapes:
- Select the shapes you want to group.
- From the Drawing Tools Format tab, from the Arrange group, select Group.
- Select Group from the drop-down list.
PowerPoint 2016 and 2019 allow you to create custom shapes by merging them.
- To unite shapes, select the shapes you wish to join.
- Select the Drawing Tools Format tab, and in the Insert Shapes group, click on Merge Shapes and choose Union.
- The shapes have now been combined as one shape.
- To subtract one shape from another, select the shapes.
- Select the Drawing Tools Format tab, and in the Insert Shapes group, click on Merge Shapes and choose Subtract.
- One shape has now been subtracted from the other.
Object Smart Guides
Smart Guides make it easier to line up items in your slideshows.
To use Smart Guides when working with multiple pictures, shapes, charts, and so on:
- Select the item you want to align.
- Notice the dashed lines that are displayed, showing alignment.
- The lines will change as you move the object to show various alignment options.
Apply Styles to a Shape
To add styles to a shape, after it is inserted, select it and then from the Drawing Tools Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, use the options to add styles to your shape.
Create a Custom Shape
Certain shape options in PowerPoint allow you to customize the shape you insert. for example, the curved connector, curve, and elbow arrow connector.
Displaying Gridlines for Shapes
When working with shapes, it may be useful to view gridlines while working in PowerPoint, in order to align your shapes.
To display gridlines in PowerPoint:
- Select the View tab of the Ribbon.
- From the Show group, select Gridlines.
- Gridlines now display on your slides.
Adding Text to Shapes in Columns
Once you have inserted a shape, you can add text to it and format it into columns.
- Select the shape and type the text, and then right-click it and select Format Shape.
- In the Format Shape pane on the right, select Text Options.
- Select Textbox and then select Columns.
- In the Columns dialog box, set a number of columns and click OK.