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Types of Points (Vertexes) in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn about different types of points (vertexes) in PowerPoint 2016.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






Every shape in PowerPoint is created using both points and segments. Points, also known as vertexes are pronounced areas of the shape, and segments are straight or curved lines that connect these points. It is easy to understand the relationship between points and segments using a connect-the-dots analogy. The points represent the dots whereas the segments represent the lines you draw between the dots. Both segments and points are only visible within Edit Points mode. We discuss segments in a subsequent tutorial; for now, let us explore different types of vertexes (points) in PowerPoint 2016. Essentially, there are three types of points:

  • Smooth Point
  • Straight Point
  • Corner Point
Note: In PowerPoint, the terms vertex and point are often used interchangeably.

Follow these guidelines to see different types of points (vertexes) in PowerPoint 2016:

  1. Insert a shape in PowerPoint (you can use any shape, for this tutorial we have used a Rectangle). Switch to Edit Points mode (right-click and choose the Edit Points option from the contextual menu). Now place the cursor over any point, and the cursor will change to a four-directional arrow, as shown in Figure 1 (notice the top right corner point).

    Place cursor over the point
    Figure 1: Place cursor over the point
  2. Now, right-click to get the context menu, as shown in Figure 2. The contextual menu has other options too; for reasons of clarity, options which are not related to point types are faded out in Figure 2. Within this contextual menu, the Corner Point option is selected, indicated by a tick mark placed in front of the option in Figure 2. This means that the point we have selected is a Corner Point type (refer to Figure 2 again).

    Corner Point type selected
    Figure 2: Corner Point type selected
Note: For the Rectangle shape, all the four points are Corner Point type. Different shapes may have different point types.

Corner Point Type

As you have already learned, when any of the corner points in the Rectangle is selected, it shows up with two blue handles as shown in the example on the left side in Figure 3. Now if you move any one of these blue handles outwards, the opposite handle will not move (see on the right side of the Figure 3). To make changes to the opposite side, you will have to manipulate the opposite handle separately, or change the point from a Corner Point to either a Smooth Point or a Straight Point; we discuss these other Point types next.

Corner Point
Figure 3: Corner Point

Smooth Point Type

Make sure you are in Edit Points mode (right-click and choose the Edit Points option from the contextual menu). Place the cursor over the point and right-click to summon the contextual menu. From this menu, choose Smooth Point option, as shown in Figure 4.

Choose Smooth Point type
Figure 4: Choose Smooth Point type

This changes the Corner Point to a Smooth Point (shown on the left side in Figure 5). Now if you drag a handle of any one side outwards (drag further, closer, or even sidewards), the opposite side handle also moves symmetrically (see on the right side of the Figure 5).

Corner Point changed to Smooth Point
Figure 5: Corner Point changed to Smooth Point

Tip: To move only one handle without affecting the opposite handle, hold the Alt key when you manipulate the handle.

Straight Point Type

Now we'll see how to change the Corner Point type to a Straight Point type. Select the shape and switch to Edit Points mode (right-click and choose the Edit Points option from the contextual menu). Place the cursor over the point and right-click to bring up the contextual menu. From this menu, choose the Straight Point option, as shown in Figure 6.

Choose Straight Point type
Figure 6: Choose Straight Point type

This changes the Corner Point to a Straight Point (shown on the left side on Figure 7). Now if you drag a handle of any one side outwards (drag further or closer), then the opposite handle won't move (see on the right side of the Figure 7). However if you drag it sidewards, then the opposite handle will also move proportionately.

Corner Point changed to Straight Point.
Figure 7: Corner Point changed to Straight Point

Note: It takes a while getting used to manipulating the shape's structure using the points. The more you practice, the better you will understand how they work.

See Also:

Types of Points (Vertexes) in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Types of Points (Vertexes) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Types of Points (Vertexes) in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Types of Points (Vertexes) in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
PowerPoint Online for Windows and 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.



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