Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2013
Learn about different types of shapes in PowerPoint 2013.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8
What do you think about when you say the word "shape" aloud? Do you imagine a square, a circle, a heart, or even a smiley shape? Yes, all those are shapes -- as are the hundreds of other recognizable outlines or figures that we call shapes in our everyday parlance. Shapes play a significant role within any slides you create for your PowerPoint presentation. In more ways that you may want to count, shapes are like the building blocks of almost anything you do on your PowerPoint slides -- PowerPoint 2013 provides hundreds of shapes efficiently categorized into 9 types. You can do so much with these shapes -- for example, you can combine shapes to create your own unique shapes, format shapes with fills, lines, and effects -- and even group or layer them to create more amazing graphics. You can even create flowcharts with these shapes. This tutorial explores the various types of shapes available within PowerPoint.
To look at these different type of shapes, choose the Insert tab (or even
the Home tab) of the
Ribbon -- and click the Shapes button to bring up a drop-down gallery, as shown
in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Shapes drop-down gallery
PowerPoint 2013 sorts these different shape types into nine categories, as explained below:
- Lines: Straight and curved lines, with or without arrowheads
(see Figure 2). Also, you'll find options to create freeform paths and scribbles.
In addition, lines also work as connectors, which link individual shapes and other slide objects
via straight, curved, or elbow branches.
Figure 2: Lines
Tip: The first 9 line types also work as "connectors" -- these can be especially useful if you need to create flowcharts -- for more info, explore our Using Flowchart and Connector Shapes Together tutorial.
- Rectangles: Other than the ubiquitous simple rectangle, PowerPoint provides
several types of other rectangles including those with rounded and snipped corners (see Figure
Figure 3: Rectangles
- Basic Shapes: Common shapes such as ovals, triangles, cubes, hearts,
etc. (see Figure 4).
Figure 4: Basic Shapes
- Block Arrows: A comprehensive assortment of arrow shapes
(see Figure 5).
Figure 5: Block Arrows
- Equation Shapes: Common mathematical and equation
symbols (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Equation Shapes
- Flowchart: Several standard flowchart symbols such as Process, Decision, Data,
etc can be found within this category (see Figure 7).
Figure 7: Flowchart
Tip: Learn more about the various flowchart shapes in our Flowchart Symbols: What They Represent? tutorial.
- Stars and Banners: Stars with 4 until
32 points, explosions, scrolls, and banners (see Figure 8).
Figure 8: Stars and Banners
- Callouts: Provides speech and thought bubbles, and line callouts too
(see Figure 9).
Figure 9: Callouts
- Action Buttons: A special category of buttons that enables you to add push
style buttons that allow you to add navigation between slides and other interactivity (see
Figure 10: Action Buttons
Other than the categories mentioned above, the Shapes drop-down gallery also
includes a Recently Used Shapes category right on top that lists any shapes
that you use often (see Figure 11). All these shapes are also visible in their
normal location in the Shapes drop-down gallery.
Figure 11: Recently Used Shapes
Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts 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 E-Book.