PowerPoint - How to add shapes and customise them

How to add shapes and customise them

Images and text boxes can be shaped into more than just a square that we start with, as PowerPoint allows for custom shapes. This guide will show the steps required first generate a shape and then to edit it.

Inserting a shape (to customise)

Powerpoint can edit both shapes and textboxes. Both can be inserted from the 'insert' menu in the ribbon, as is explained in this guide here about textboxes. To insert a shape is also in the same menu, select what shape you'd like and then click and drag on the slide to place the shape:  Illustrative image

Editing a shape/Text box

Every object in any of the office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and etc) when selected, has the option in the menu to access it's 'contextual formatting'. What Is meant by this is that there is a section of the ribbon menu, that when an object is clicked on/selected, will offer you a menu with options pertaining to that object:  Illustrative image

Remember this will only appear if you have the object clicked on/selected, otherwise this space will be empty. 

once inside this menu you will see the option to 'edit shape' on the far left:  Illustrative image

In the 'Edit Shape' menu you will be given the option to change the shape or to edit it:  Illustrative image

  • If you select 'Change shape' you will be shown the same menu as the 'insert shape' menu to help revert back or change to a different shape entirely. This is useful when converting textboxes to a more interesting shape
  • If you select 'Edit points' you will see the shape begins to show black dots instead of resize handles. These are referred to as 'vertex/coner point' and can be clicked and dragged to move a corner of a shape:  Illustrative image
  • To add a vertex point on your shape, right click the shape's outline whilst in the 'edit points' mode and select add point:  Illustrative image
  • If you select a vertex/corner point by clicking on it, you will see a further two white 'handles' appear, these are called 'Bézier handles'. A Bézier handle can be clicked and dragged to affect the severity of a corner, if lined up in a straight line, these handles will create a smooth corner:  Illustrative image

Changing fill colour and outline

Shapes and textboxes can also have their colour altered. These generally fall into two categories; Fill colour and Outline colour.

  • Fill colour: Fill colour refers to the colour of the shape itself, this will be the background colour of shape. This can altered from the contextual formatting area as well by selecting the 'fill colour' button and also transparency added in the 'more fill colours' option :  Illustrative image
  • Shape outline: Shape outline refers to the colour and thickness of the line around the edge of a shape. It's possible to have no line or varying thicknesses of line as well as a perforated line:  Illustrative image



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