Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 for Windows
Learn about different types of shapes in PowerPoint.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 and 2010
OS: Windows 7, Vista, and XP
Date Created: November 19th 2010
Last Updated: November 19th 2010
Shapes are the building blocks of almost anything you do on your PowerPoint slides -- and PowerPoint provides hundreds of shapes categorized into 9 types (in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010). All these shapes can be used in various ways -- you can combine the shapes, format the shapes with fills, lines, and effects, and even group or layer them to create more complex shapes. This tutorial explores the various types of shapes available to create within PowerPoint.
To look at these different type of shapes, choose the Insert tab (or even the Home tab) of the Ribbon and click the bottom part of the Shapes button to bring up the dropdown Shapes gallery, as shown in the Figure 1.
Figure 1: Shapes gallery
You'll see that PowerPoint categorizes all these different shape types into nine categories, which are explained below:
- Lines: These are straight and curved lines, with or
without arrowheads (see Figure 2). Also, you'll find options
to create freeform paths and scribbles. In addition, lines also work
as connectors, which link individual shapes and other slide objects
via straight, curved, or elbow branches.
Figure 2: Lines
Tip: The first 9 line types also work as "connectors" -- these can be especially useful if you need to create flowcharts -- for more info, explore our Using Flowchart and Connector Shapes Together in Windows tutorial.
- Rectangle: Other than the ubiquitous squares and
rectangles, PowerPoint provides several types of other rectangles
including those with rounded and snipped corners (see Figure
Figure 3: Rectangle
- Basic Shapes: These include common shapes such as
ovals, triangles, cubes, hearts, etc. (see Figure
Figure 4: Basic Shapes
- Block Arrows: This category provides a comprehensive
assortment of arrow shapes (see Figure 5).
Figure 5: Block Arrows
- Equation Shapes: This category contains common mathematical
and equation symbols (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Equation Shapes
- Flowchart: Several standard flowchart symbols such
as Process, Decision, Data, etc. can be found within this category
Figure 6: Flowchart
Tip: Learn more about the various flowchart shapes in our Flowchart Symbols: What They Represent? tutorial.
- Stars and Banners: This category includes a variation
of stars with 4 until 32 points, explosions, scrolls, and banners
Figure 8: Stars and Banners
- Callouts: Provides speech and thought bubbles and
line callouts too (see Figure 9).
Figure 9: Callouts
- Action Buttons: A special category of
buttons that enables you to add push style buttons that allow you to
add navigation between slides and other interactivity (see Figure
Figure 10: Action Buttons
Other than the categories mentioned above, the Shapes gallery also includes
a Recently Used Shapes category right on the top that lists any shapes that
you use often (see Figure 11). All these shapes are also visible in their
normal location in the Shapes gallery.
Figure 11: Recently Used Shapes
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 E-Book.