We have explained the basics of
formatting shape outlines in PowerPoint 2016. Now we
take you further ahead to explore how you can change line weight to make the outlines thinner and thicker. So why would you want to alter the
weight of an outline? There are many reasons -- more often than not, you may want a line that's almost invisible or very thin -- this lets your
audience focus on other areas. At other times when you want the attention of your audience to focus on a particular line, then you can do so
by thickening its weight. In this tutorial, we will also cover compound lines such as those that encompass double or triple lines.
Weight is the thickness attribute of the shape outline. You can change the weight all the way from a hairline thin line to a chunky thick
line. Figure 1 shows you some weight variations in outlines.
Figure 1: Width (weight) variations in outlines
Tip: You can change the outlines for shapes (and borders for pictures) -- you can also add a shape outline to an inserted movie
using the same options!
Follow these steps to change the outline weight of a shape
in PowerPoint 2016:
Open your presentation and select the shape that you want to
Alternatively, if you want to start from scratch, launch PowerPoint. You will see the
Presentation Gallery -- here, select the
Blank Presentation option to open a blank presentation with a new slide -- you can
change the Slide Layout to Blank by selecting
the Home tab | Layout | Blank option. Then,
insert a shape and select it.
- We selected a Rectangle shape, as shown in Figure 2. Selecting the shape brings up the Drawing
Tools Format tab in the Ribbon, as shown highlighted in
red within Figure 2. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it.
Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
The Drawing Tools Format
tab is a contextual
tab. These tabs are special tabs in the
that are not visible all the time -- they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using
- Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the right side portion of the Shape Outline button (highlighted
in red within Figure 3). This brings up the Shape Outline drop-down gallery, as
shown in Figure 3. From the Shape Outline drop-down gallery, choose Weight to bring up
the Weight sub-gallery, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Shape Outline drop-down gallery
Within the Weight sub-gallery, choose any weight (thickness) value for the selected shape. Or choose the More Lines
option as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above.
- This opens the Format Shape Task Pane that you can
see in Figure 4. Make sure that the Fill tab is selected (highlighted in red
within Figure 4), then access the Line section. Within this section, select the Solid line
radio button (highlighted in blue within Figure 4).
Figure 4: Format Shape Task Pane with Line options
The Format Shape Task Pane provides lot of options to format the line, but we will only explore options related to the weight
attribute on this page as marked in Figure 4, above:
- Width: Adds a weight for the selected line in points. You can opt to create a really thick line -- even 100 pt or more!
However, choose something that works best for you. You can either type in the outline width in the box, or use the up and down arrow buttons in
the control to adjust the outline width. You will see an immediate preview within your selected shape on the slide.
- Compound type: Selecting this option reveals a drop-down from where you can choose any of the compound types available for
outlines, as shown in Figure 5. Note that compound lines in PowerPoint are limited to two or three lines compounded to each
other. You need to choose the compound line options that PowerPoint provides and cannot create your own custom compound line.
Figure 5: Compound types for outlines
- Dash type: This option allows you to apply dash attribute to the shape outline. Learn more about
Formatting Outlines for Shapes in PowerPoint
2016 -- Dash tutorial.
- Cap type: This allows you to choose between a Square, Round, or Flat
line end type, as shown in Figure 6. This option only works with outlines within open shapes. Also, if you apply this option to
a dashed line, it influences all individual dashes within the line.
Figure 6: Cap types
- Join type: This allows you to choose between Round, Bevel, and Miter
joins, as shown in Figure 7. This influences the joins in an outline such as a corner of a triangle or rectangle.
Figure 7: Join types
- Arrow settings: Arrow settings work only with outlines used as open shapes. We have covered this in our
Formatting Arrows (Arrowheads) in PowerPoint 2016
- After choosing required shape outline attributes you can see the changed shape outline, as shown in Figure 8. Note that
the outline weight of the Rectangle shape that was selected earlier has been increased to 6 pts.
Figure 8: Shape with outline weight changed
- Don't forget to save your presentations often.
Formatting Outlines for Shapes in
PowerPoint 2013 for Windows -- Weight
Formatting Lines (and Shape Outlines) in
PowerPoint 2011 for Mac -- Weight
Formatting Outlines for Shapes in
PowerPoint 2010 for Windows -- Weight
Formatting Outlines -- Weight and Dash Type in
PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado?
Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?
Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.