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Types of Points (Vertexes) in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

Learn about different types of points (vertexes) in PowerPoint 2003.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2003
OS: Windows 7, Vista, and XP






Every shape in PowerPoint is a combination of segments (lines) and points (vertexes) -- and these segments and vertexes are only visible within Edit Points mode. We won't discuss segments for now, but let us help you explore different types of vertexes (points) in PowerPoint 2003. Essentially, these are of four types:

  1. Auto Point
  2. Smooth Point
  3. Straight Point
  4. Corner Point
Note: In PowerPoint, the terms vertex and point are often used interchangeably.

Follow these guidelines to learn about different types of points (vertexes) in PowerPoint 2003:

Select the shape and switch to Edit Points mode (just right-click and from the contextual menu that appears, choose the Edit Points option). Now place the cursor over the point, the cursor will change to a small four directional arrow, as shown in Figure 1 (top-right corer).

Cursor placed over the point
Figure 1: Place cursor over the point

Note: Couldn't see the Edit Points option within the right-click contextual menu? That means you have right-clicked an Autoshape -- the default PowerPoint shape. In PowerPoint 2003, Autoshapes won't have Edit Points. We have used the freeform tool to draw the Rectangle that is shown in Figure 1, above. For the Rectangle shape drawn, all the four points are Auto Point type. Different shapes may have different point types.

Now right-click to get the contextual menu, as you can see in Figure 2 (the options which are not related to the types of points are faded out). In this menu Auto Point option has a tick mark infront of it -- that means the point we have selected is an Auto Point (refer to Figure 2 again). In PowerPoint 2003 whenever you add a new point to a shape, it will be an Auto Point by default.

Auto Point option selected
Figure 2: Auto Point option selected

Let us explore all four point types:

Auto Point

There are no blue handles for an Auto Point as you can see towards the left within Figure 3. So, if you drag the Auto Point outwards as shown towards right in Figure 3, you wont see any kind of curve effect on any of the two segments emerging from it.

Auto Point
Figure 3: Auto Point

To make changes to the segments you have to change the point to a Smooth Point, a Straight Point, or a Corner Point -- we discuss these other Point types next.

Smooth Point

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

Smooth Point option
Figure 4: Smooth Point option

This changes the selected point to a Smooth Point (shown towards the left in Figure 5). You can now see two blue handles on both sides of the point. If you drag the handle on any one side outwards (drag further, closer to the point, or even towards left or right side), the opposite side handle also moves symmetrically (see towards the right side of Figure 5).

Selected point changed to Smooth Point
Figure 5: Selected point changed to Smooth Point

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

Straight Point

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

Straight Point option
Figure 6: Straight Point option

This changes the selected point to a Straight Point (shown on the left side on Figure 7). Now you can drag a handle on any one side outwards (drag further or closer to the point), without effecting the opposite handle (see towards the right side of the Figure 7). However if you drag it towards left or right side, then the opposite handle will also move proportionately.

Selected point changed to Straight Point
Figure 7: Selected point changed to Straight Point

Corner Point

To change the selected point type to a Straight Point type select the shape and switch to Edit Points mode (just right-click and from the contextual menu that appears, choose the Edit Points option). Place the cursor over the point and right-click to get a contextual menu, from this menu choose the Corner Point option, as shown in Figure 8.

Corner Point option
Figure 8: Corner Point option

When any of the corner points is selected, it shows up with two blue handles as shown in the example towards the left side in Figure 9. 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 9). To make changes to the other side, you will have to manipulate the opposite handle separately, or hold down the Ctrl key while you manipulate.

Selected point changed to Corner Point
Figure 9: Selected point changed to Corner 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

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

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