We have already explored how to format shape outlines and change their weight. In this tutorial, you will learn how to apply a Dash style to shape outline. A dashed line can have plenty of variations: from a line with fewer dashes to ones with longer or smaller dashes, or even alternating small and long dashes. Figure 1 shows you some variations in Dash styles available in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. So why do you add a Dash style to your outline? That's a good question and the answer is quite simple, sometimes, Dash styles can add value to visual content, but use them judiciously. Many diagrams use dashed lines as a way to differentiate them from other content that have conventional, non-dashed lines.
Figure 1: Dash style variations in outlines
Follow these steps to change Dash styles for shape outlines in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows:
- Open your presentation and select the shape that you want to format.
- Alternatively, if you want to start from scratch, launch PowerPoint. You will see the Presentation Gallery, here, select the Blank Presentation option to open a blank presentation with a new slide, you can change the Slide Layout to Blank by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Blank option. Then, insert a shape and select it.
- We selected a Rectangle shape, as shown in Figure 2, as you can see in the figure, we have increased the weight of the outline of the Rectangle so that the dash effect we apply later can be clearly visible. When the shape is selected, you can see the Drawing Tools Format tab in the Ribbon, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it.
Figure 2: Rectangle shape inserted and selected
- Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the right side portion of the Shape Outline button (highlighted in red within Figure 3). This brings up the Shape Outline drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 3. From the Shape Outline drop-down gallery, choose Dashes to bring up the Dashes sub-gallery, as shown in Figure 3. You can choose from any of the available options here.
Figure 3: Shape Outline drop-down gallery
- These same options are also available within Format Shape Task Pane as shown in Figure 4. To access this Task Pane, you just have to click the More Lines option highlighted in blue within Figure 4, above.
Figure 4: Dash type option in the Format Shape Task Pane
- Within the Format Shape Task Pane select the Dash type option to reveal a drop-down list from where you can choose any of the Dash styles available for shape outlines, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Dash types in the Format Shape Task Pane
- After choosing required dash type, you can see the changed shape outline, as shown in Figure 6. Note that the Rectangle we started with has a Square Dot Dash style applied. You can identify the Dash style via a tool tip that shows when you hover your cursor over any of the available options (see Figure 5, above).
Figure 6: Shape with Square dot Dash style applied to the outline
- Save your presentation often.
Shape Lines: Formatting Line Dashes for Shapes (Glossary Page)
Formatting Line Dashes for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Formatting Line Dashes for Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Formatting Line Dashes for Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Formatting Line Dashes for Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows