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Formatting Outlines (Weight/Thickness) in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

Change the weight attribute of shape outlines in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

OS: Windows XP / Vista






In a previous tutorial, we explained the basics of formatting outline in PowerPoint 2007 using the Shape Outline gallery. You can explore more advanced options for almost all formats you can do with an outline. In this tutorial, we'll show you how you can tweak the outline weight.

Weight is the thickness attribute of the outline: you can change the weight all the way from a hairline thin line to a chunky thick line. Figure 1 shows you some weight variations in outlines.

Width variations in outlines
Figure 1: Width variations in outlines

Tip: You can change the outlines for both shapes and pictures in PowerPoint 2007. You can also add an outline to an inserted video clip using the same options!

Follow these steps to change outline weight and dash type:

  1. Select the shape that you want to change the outline attributes for. Alternatively, if you just want to follow this tutorial step-by-step, launch PowerPoint. Most of the time, PowerPoint will open with a new slide in a presentation, PowerPoint 2007 users can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting Home tab | Layout | Blank.
  2. Under the Home or Insert tab of the Ribbon, choose the Shapes button to view the Shapes gallery that you can see in Figure 2. Select the Rectangle (or any other shape), and then either drag and draw, or click once on the blank slide to place an instance of the shape.
  3. Shapes gallery
    Figure 2: Shapes gallery
  4. Select the shape so that the Ribbon area now shows the Drawing Tools Format, as shown in Figure 3. Activate this Ribbon tab.
  5. Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 3: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
  6. Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a Contextual tab. These tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time, they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.
  7. From the Drawing Tools Format tab, locate the Shape Outline group, then select the Weight option to view the Weight sub-gallery that you can see in Figure 4. Within this gallery, choose any weight (thickness) value for the selected shape. Or choose the More Lines... option (again see Figure 4).
  8. Weight sub-gallery
    Figure 4: Weight sub-gallery
  9. This brings up the Format Shape dialog box as you can see in Figure 5.
  10. Format Shape dialog box
    Figure 5: Format Shape dialog box
  11. The Format Shape dialog box provides lot of options to format the outline, but we will only explore options related to the weight attribute on this page.
  12. Within the Format Shape dialog box, make sure you are on the Line Style tab.
  13. A. Width

  14. Add a weight for the selected line in pts. You can opt to create a really thick line, even 100 pt or more! However, choose something that works best for you.
  15. B. Compound Type

  16. Selecting this option reveals a drop-down from where you can choose any of the Compound type available for outlines, as shown in Figure 6.
  17. Compund types
    Figure 6: Compound types
  18. C. Dash Type

  19. We explain Dash Type options in our Formatting Outlines for Shapes (Dashes) in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows tutorial.
  20. D. Cap Type

  21. This allows you to choose between a Square, Round, or Flat line end type, as shown in Figure 7. This option only works with outlines within open shapes. Also, if you apply this option to a dashed line, it influences all individual dashes within the line.
  22. Cap Type
    Figure 7: Cap type
  23. E. Join Type

  24. This allows you to choose between round, bevel, and miter joins, as shown in Figure 8. This influences the joins in an outline such as a corner of a triangle or rectangle.
  25. Join Type
    Figure 8: Join type
  26. F. Arrow Settings

  27. Learn more about Arrow Settings in our Formatting Arrows (Arrowheads) in PowerPoint 2007 tutorial.
  28. Close the Format Shape dialog box to get back to your slide. Save your presentation often.
Related Link: My book Cutting Edge PowerPoint 2007 For Dummies covers many aspects of PowerPoint 2007. A free chapter excerpt PowerPointing with the Best of Them is available on this site.

See Also:

Formatting Outlines for Shapes (Weight/Thickness) in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Formatting Outlines for Shapes (Weight/Thickness) in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Formatting Outlines for Shapes (Weight/Thickness) in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Formatting Outlines for Shapes (Weight/Thickness) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Formatting Outlines for Shapes (Weight/Thickness) in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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