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Creating Diagonal Callouts in PowerPoint

Learn how to create diagonal callouts in PowerPoint.


Product/Version: All PowerPoint Versions
OS: Windows and Mac

Creating diagonal callouts in PowerPoint is quite simple as long as you know which tools you need to create them. Even before we show you how these can be created, let us first explore what exactly a “diagonal callout” is.

Look at Figure 1, where you can see the parts of a human face that are indicated using callouts. Each callout is essentially a diagonal line that evolves into another straight line to indicate the part of the face being referenced.

Parts of a human face indicated using Diagonal Callouts
Figure 1: Parts of a human face indicated using Diagonal Callouts

You won’t find this callout within the Callout category of PowerPoint’s Shapes gallery. However, you can easily create this type of callout using the Freeform line tool within the same Shapes gallery. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Navigate to the slide containing the picture to which you want to add Callouts. In Figure 2 you can see the sample slide that we started with.

    Slide with a picture
    Figure 2: Slide with a picture

  2. Now access the Shape gallery, and choose the Freeform shape within the Lines category. Your cursor will turn into a cross-hair, as shown in Figure 3, below.

    Getting started with the Freeform shape tool
    Figure 3: Getting started with the Freeform shape tool

  3. Click once and let go to create the starting point of your diagonal callout. Then click again at the point where you want your callout to bend. Thereafter place your cursor in a diagonally opposite position, as shown in Figure 4, below. Don't click now -- rather double-click to establish the end point of your diagonal callout shape.

    Creating a diagonal callout
    Figure 4: Creating a diagonal callout

  4. You will end up with a Diagonal Callout on your slide, as shown in Figure 5, below.

    First Diagonal Callout added on the slide
    Figure 5: First Diagonal Callout added on the slide

  5. Duplicate and reposition the first Diagonal Callout to create more callouts. If required, you can resize them and also flip some callouts horizontally and/or vertically as shown in Figure 6.

    More Diagonal Callouts added
    Figure 6: More Diagonal Callouts added

  6. To make your Diagonal Callouts look prominent, you will need to work on their line (outline) attributes. For example, you can change the outline color and increasing the outline thickness, as shown in Figure 7.

    Diagonal Callouts with changed color and thickness
    Figure 7: Diagonal Callouts with changed outline color and thickness

  7. Now, insert text boxes and label various parts of the picture that are being pointed by the Diagonal Callouts, as shown in Figure 8.

    Text boxes added
    Figure 8: Text boxes added

  8. Now, align the Diagonal Callouts and the text boxes so that they looks more organized, as shown in Figure 1, earlier on this page.

  9. Save your presentation often.

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