Drawing Arcs in PowerPoint
Explore how you can draw an Arc shape in PowerPoint.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: All PowerPoint Versions
There are so many shapes in PowerPoint -- from the basic Rectangle and Oval to the fancy Pie and Smiley Face! You can use these shapes as they are, or you can use the Merge Shape commands to create your own unique shapes. However, even if you do not create new shapes, there are some existing shapes that can be used in myriad ways -- one of these is the Arc shape, that we will explore today. The Arc shape is quite easy to use -- and in fact, you'll find so much similarity between how the Arc and the Pie shapes appear and work -- and some differences too. Let's first explore how you draw an Arc shape. Thereafter we will explore differences between the Arc and the Pie shapes.
Follow these steps to draw the Arc shape in PowerPoint:
- Create a new presentation in PowerPoint. You can
change the slide layout to
Blank by selecting the Home tab | Layout |
- Access the Shapes Gallery, as shown in Figure 1, below. You'll find the
Arc shape (highlighted in red within Figure 1)
within the Basic Shapes category.
Figure 1: Arc shape selected
- Now, click anywhere on the slide to add the Arc shape in a predefined size (typically 1 inch x 1 inch). Or,
click and do not let go off the primary button on your mouse (or other input device). Continue dragging until
you create a large enough Arc shape on your slide, as shown in Figure 2. Let go off the
mouse button now.
Figure 2: Two handles at both the ends
- Notice two handles (highlighted in red within
Figure 2, above) placed on both the of the Arc shape. You can drag any of these handles to increase the curvature of the inserted Arc shape. Figure 3 shows the handle
being dragged downwards.
Figure 3: Handle being dragged
Note: Learn more about these handles in our Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Squares/Diamonds in PowerPoint tutorial.
- Drag further upwards to created a Pie shape without a fill, as shown in
Figure 4: Pie shape created
- Apply a solid fill to the
Arc shape to get something as shown in Figure 5. Although this resultant
shape looks like a Pie, it really isn't since the outline of the shape doesn't surround it entirely-- we will
explore this difference later on this page.
Figure 5: Pie shape with solid fill
- You can even drag the handle to the maximum extent to create a full circle, as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Circle created using Arc shape
- Save your presentation often.
Difference Between a Pie and an Arc
In Figure 7, below you will find the Pie shape on the left while the Arc can be found
right-wards. Notice that they look the same except for the partial outline within the Arc shape (pointed by
arrows in Figure 7). In comparison, the Pie shape sports a full outline.
Figure 7: Pie and Arc shape look similar but can be different
Figure 8: The Block Arc shape
Once drawn, you will see two handles on the Block Arc shape, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 9, below.
Figure 9: Two handles can be found within the Block Arc shape
Drag the left handle to make your Arc smaller or larger, as shown within the top shape within Figure 10, below. The right handle, on the other hand allows you to make your Arc shape thinner or thicker, as shown in the bottom shape within Figure 10, below.
Figure 10: The Block Arc shape can also create Arcs
See Also: Drawing Pies in PowerPoint
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