3. Creating Shapes and Lines

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Shapes and lines make your slides much more compelling to users. Here I show you how to create both and introduce a little object alignment.



- To add text to a shape, select the shape and just start typing
CLICK and DRAG on yellow marker: Alters one of the shape's dimensions
SHIFT + CLICK and Drag: Draw a perfect circle or square


SHIFT + CLICK and Drag: Draw horizontal and vertical lines
- Many shapes have red markers at their mid-points
- Connect a line to these markers to bisect a shape


Shapes and lines are very important in PowerPoint because they can make your slide look much more compelling to an audience. In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to create and format basic shapes such as rectangles before going on to create more elaborate shapes such as clouds and lightning bolts. At the end of this lesson, you'll have created an array of shapes which will look something like these.

Let's get started by creating a new slide and we'll call it Lines and Shapes.

We'll remove the placeholder and the first thing we'll do is draw a straight line. So, when we select a line, and drag it across the page, when we try and draw a horizontal line, we can see it's actually quite difficult to get it exactly horizontal. There's a simple solution to this and that is simply to hold shift which will automatically straighten the line.

Let's now draw another line and we'll draw it vertically. Again, hold shift, drag down on the mouse and it's very simple to draw a vertical line in this way.

Next, let's draw a rectangle. So, I'm going to select rectangle in the Drawing part of the ribbon, now let's click and drag.

You can see that the rectangle is automatically formatted with a blue fill. What I'd like is either a white fill or a no fill which would make the rectangle see through. Let's go to the dropdown arrow and click on No Fill and now we can see the lines behind our shape.

I'd like my lines to connect to the midpoints of the shape. To do this, let's select a line and simply drag the edge onto the midpoint of the shape. Let's do this on the other side.

And now we have a nice bisector of the rectangle. Let's also do it vertically, so click and select the edge of the line and drag it onto the right handle that exists at the midpoint of the rectangle side.

Let's do it one more time and we now have two bisectors of the rectangle. In the first quadrant, I'd like to draw a cloud. So, let's go into the Draw part of the ribbon, click on the dropdown arrow and select cloud.

Now just click and drag to create a cloud in this quadrant.

To enter some text in the cloud, just start typing.

And I'll increase the font by selecting the shape and making the font a lot bigger.

In the second quadrant, we'd like a lightning bolt for Usain Bolt, so let's select lightning bolt in the Drawing part of the ribbon, click and drag.

I'd like the lightning bolt to be yellow, so with the shape selected, I'll go to Shape Fill and select yellow.

We'll also need to create a text book for the name Usain Bolt, so let's select this icon in the Recently Used Shapes and start typing.

I'm also going to increase this font to 50.

And I'll narrow the text box so that it fits within my rectangle.

In the next quadrant, I'm going to create a speed limit sign.

To do this, I'll go back up to the Drawing part of the ribbon, select the appropriate shape, click and drag.

As with drawing a horizontal line, it can be hard to draw a perfect circle but let's hold the shift button and this makes it much easier.

We'd also need to adjust the width of the border and the line that goes through this shape and to do this, we just click on the yellow diamond which will help us adjust the width to what we want.

We'd also like to color this red, so I'll go up to Shape Fill and click on red. I'd also like the border to be red as well, so I'll go to Shape Outline and click red.

I'll now create the number behind this stop sign, so I'll find the text box icon, click and we'll say the number to be 50.

I'll increase this font to 110.

And now I'll need to put this number behind the stop sign and also align these two objects. Let's hold shift to select the other object, so now with both objects selected, and now let's select both objects and move them up a little.

I'm using the arrows to move these in small increments. You can do this to the left, to the right, up or down. And now I'll select the number and move it to the background.

In the last quadrant, we gonna put a target sign. Let's start by drawing a horizontal line by selecting Line, click, hold shift and drag.

We'll also create a vertical line, so select Line again, hold shift and drag.

Make this a little longer.

Let's now select circle, hold shift and drag.

I'll select it again.

Create a bigger circle and create one more which will be our larger circle.

Now I'd like all of my circles to have no fill. So, I'll select them by holding shift and then I'll fill with No Fill.

And I'll simply align all of these objects to create our target sign.

Align center and align middle and there is our target sign.

We may need to adjust the radius of the middle circle slightly, so we can just select, hold shift and drag and now we'll just need to realign all of the objects with align middle and align center.

And there's our complete target sign.

Before we finish, we'd like to make sure that our large object is in the center of the page. To do this, let's just select, and we'll group.

We'll then go to View, and click on Guides.

And we can see that we're slightly to the right of the middle of the page. Let's just use the arrows to make some incremental changes. There we go and now we're bang in the middle of the page.

Although these shapes may not be of direct use in your presentations, they do show you how easy it is to create and manipulate shapes in PowerPoint. To recap on all the commands used in this lesson, be sure to check out the show notes underneath this video. You'll also be able to find my final version of this slide to compare against your own.