# Finding Length of a Diagonal Line in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to find out the length of a slanted (diagonal) line in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

**Author:** Geetesh Bajaj

**Product/Version:** Microsoft PowerPoint 2011**OS: **Mac OS X

February 19th 2014

Did you ever draw a line in PowerPoint that was slanted or sloped -- and then you wanted to know the length of your
line? Believe it or not, there is no option to do this within the program! Look at **Figure 1**, where you
can see a straight line -- yes, the line itself is straight but it is not horizontally or vertically straight within the
slide! In other words, this is a diagonal line.

**Figure 1: **A diagonal line on a PowerPoint slide

We now right-click (or **Ctrl**+**Click**) the line to bring up the contextual menu you see in
**Figure 2** -- within this menu, select the **Format Shape** option.

**Figure 2:** Format Shape option within the right-click contextual menu

This brings up the **Format Shape** dialog box as shown in **Figure 3** -- click the
**Size** option within the sidebar and notice that you see both a **Height** and a
**Width** value (highlighted in red within **Figure 3**) but no
Length value!

**Figure 3:** Format Shape dialog box includes Height and Width values

You might be curious about how a line can have a Height and a Width rather than just a Length?

**Tip:**Want to change a diagonal line to a straight horizontal or vertical line? Look at our Change a Diagonal Line to Horizontal / Vertical Line in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.

The actual answer is that these values are not for the line but an imaginary rectangle that spans the line. In **
Figure 4**, you can see that we have placed this imaginary rectangle behind the line. The Height and Width you saw
earlier within the **Format Shape** dialog box in **Figure 3** pertain to this rectangle!

**Figure 4:** Imaginary rectangle that contains the diagonal line

Look closely at **Figure 4** -- you will notice that the diagonal line in question not only created an
imaginary rectangle, but it also created two imaginary right-angled triangles that are exactly the same. When you draw a
diagonal line connecting two opposite corners of a rectangle, you end up creating the imaginary triangles shown
in **Figure 5**, below.

**Figure 5:** Two imaginary triangles are created with a diagonal line

The Width and Height values that we saw within the **Format Shape** dialog box (see **
Figure 3 **shown previously on this page) thus also are the lengths of two sides of any one of the triangles. Since we already know the length of
two sides of our triangle, we can easily use a little geometry to find the length of the line we started with!

How many of you remember the Pythagoras' theorem from your school days? If we use the logic behind the Pythagoras'
theorem, you will know that **A²+B²=C²** (**A**, **B**, and **C**
are the three sides of our triangle, as shown in **Figure 6**, below).

**Figure 6:** A, B, and C are the three sides of our imaginary triangle

The values that we know so far are:

**A: **2.9

**B:** 5.56

Thus, **2.29²+5.56²=C²**

We actually created an Excel sheet for you that already has these formulas inserted -- you just need to type in your
values for **A** and **B**, and will instantly see the value for **C**!

Thus the length of our original line is **6.01**.

You can similarly use the embedded Excel sheet on this page to find the length of any diagonal line within PowerPoint.

**See Also:**
Finding Length of a Diagonal Line in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

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