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Pattern Lines for Shapes in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows

Learn how to apply patterns to lines in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows. Pattern lines can provide a different and unique look to shapes.

In a previous tutorial, we showed you how you can format line attributes (outlines) in PowerPoint 2003 or earlier. In this tutorial you will learn more about the cool Patterned Lines option.

Related Link: We also have a page on Patterned Lines in our Cool Stuff section.

To see a Patterned Lines sample presentation, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Follow these steps to apply a Patterned Line to any AutoShape, remember, all lines in PowerPoint are also AutoShapes!

  1. Select the AutoShape that you want to format with a Patterned Line. 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. You can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting Format | Slide Layout, and then choose the Blank layout in the resultant Task Pane.
  2. You will find the rectangle AutoShape option in the Drawing toolbar located below the PowerPoint interface. Select this option, and click once on the blank slide to place a rectangle AutoShape.
  3. Select the AutoShape, and from PowerPoint's Drawing toolbar, choose Line color option as shown in Figure 1.

  4. Figure 1: Drawing toolbar
  5. This opens the Line Color flyout menu (see Figure 2). Choose the Patterned Lines option.

  6. Figure 2: Patterned Lines
  7. This opens the Patterned Lines dialog box, as you can see in Figure 3.

  8. Figure 3: Patterned Lines dialog box

  9. Choose any pattern style from 48 pattern styles available. Figure 3 shows that we selected the second pattern. This one is named 50%, probably because the lines in this pattern comprise 50% of the total pattern area. Similarly, there are patterns all the way from 5% to 90%! Other pattern names are more intuitive than these ones, and they are called Sphere, Wave, etc.
  10. Whichever pattern you choose, you can then choose the Foreground and Background colors for the pattern. Both options have downward arrows next to them that work in the same way as you would choose a color for line, as shown in a previous tutorial. If you don't want to change the foreground and background colors, and accept the default color values that PowerPoint uses, that's OK too.
  11. Click OK to apply and get back to AutoShape.

Here are some samples of Patterned Lines:

Note: Patterned lines work best when the line weight is thick, at least 10 pt. thick is good to start with, but you can make your lines even more thicker!
Related Link: Learn how to do more with AutoShapes in this free excerpt from my book: Cutting Edge PowerPoint For Dummies, read a free chapter called AutoShape Magic here.

Click below to view an online video about Patterned Lines

Shape Lines: Pattern Lines for Shapes (Glossary Page)