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Creating Anchor Points for Connectors in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to create Anchor Points for connectors in PowerPoint 2011.


Author: Geetesh Bajaj

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

Date Created: March 5th 2012
Last Updated: March 5th 2012






At the time of attaching a connector to any slide object, you might have noticed that connectors can only be attached to an anchor point that appears on the slide object. In Figure 1 below, the small red squares that you can see on the edge of the triangle are the anchor points. Most of the time, the default anchor points may work well for you -- however, in certain scenarios, you may want additional anchor points at a particular location on the slide object.

Red anchor points indicate where connectors can be attached
Figure 1: Red anchor points indicate where connectors can be attached

The good news is that you can add new anchor points for slide objects such as shapes and text boxes using the technique explained below. For text placeholders though, you cannot add new anchor points. If you need more anchor points for pictures, it is suggested that you use any shape as a container for a picture fill, and add anchor points as required for the container shape. We have now established that you can add new anchor points for shapes (and text boxes) so that your connectors can be linked to exactly where you want them to be. Follow these steps to explore more:

  1. Insert two slide objects on a new slide. For example, we placed two shapes: a triangle and a circle -- we then linked them with a connector, as shown in Figure 2 below.

    Connector connecting a circle and a triangle
    Figure 2: Connector connecting a circle and a triangle

  2. Notice that the connector is attached to an anchor point on the edge of the triangle. The anchor point is located almost in the middle of the triangle's left edge (refer to Figure 2, above). However, we want to attach the connector’s right end to a lower position on the left edge of the triangle – but not as low as its base. We tried to do that and ended up with something you can see in Figure 3, below. Notice that the triangle end of the connector is no longer attached – rather it is a “disconnected” connector, as indicated by the white circle.

    Connector disconnected from the triangle's edge
    Figure 3: Connector disconnected from the triangle's edge

    Note: If your connector gets linked to a slide object, the end of the connector line displays a red circle (see the example on the left in Figure 3). If it does not get linked, you will see a white circle (see example on the right in Figure 3). It is important to understand that mere "touching" of a connector's end to a shape or slide object does not indicate that it has been linked to that shape or slide object. When you see a red circle on both of connector's ends, only then you can be assured that the ends are connected.


  3. To correct this, we need to add a new anchor point on the triangle at the exact position where we want to link the connector. To do this task, select the triangle. Then, carefully right-click (or Ctrl-click) the triangle and choose the Edit Points option in the resultant contextual menu, as shown in Figure 4.

    Edit Points option selected
    Figure 4: Edit Points option selected

    Tip: Want to learn more about Editing Points for shapes? Refer to our Edit Points for Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 tutorial.


  4. Notice that the triangle shows three points (vertexes) on its corners, as shown in Figure 5.

    Triangle showing three vertexes on its corners
    Figure 5: Triangle showing three vertexes on its corners

  5. To add a new point, carefully hover your cursor over the outline of the triangle at the position where you want to add a new anchor point. Notice that the cursor changes to a combo square-crosshair at this point of time, as shown in Figure 6 (highlighted in red).

    Cursor changed to a combo square-crosshair
    Figure 6: Cursor changed to a combo square-crosshair

  6. Carefully right-click (or Ctrl-click) at the same position. From the resultant contextual menu, choose the Add Point option, as shown in Figure 7.

    Add Point option selected
    Figure 7: Add Point option selected

  7. This adds a new point on the triangle’s outline as visible in Figure 8.

    New point added to the outline of the triangle
    Figure 8: New point added to the outline of the triangle

  8. Once the new point is added to the triangle at the required position, select the connector connecting the circle. Then, click on the disconnected right-edge of the connector (white circle) and pull it close to the position on the triangle where you added the new point. Notice that now this new point also functions as an anchor point for the connector, as shown in Figure 9.

    New point (vertex) added to the triangle functions as an anchor point
    Figure 9: New point (vertex) added to the triangle functions as an anchor point

    Note: After you add a new point (vertex) to a shape in Edit Points mode, you will end up with only the vertex points being anchor points. All non-vertex points will no longer show as anchor points. Compare the triangles in Figure 9 and Figure 1. In Figure 9, only the vertex points show as anchor points but in Figure 1, there are several other anchor points as well.


  9. Pull the connector to the new anchor point to link it to the triangle. Notice how the right-end of the connector in Figure 10 now shows a red circle, indicating a linked connector. Compare Figure 10, below to Figure 3 above, to view the difference.

    Connector connected to the new anchor point
    Figure 10: Connector connected to the new anchor point

  10. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Creating Anchor Points for Connectors in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Creating Anchor Points for Connectors in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

 

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