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Media Browser (Shapes Tab) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn about the Shapes tab within the Media Browser in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011

OS: Mac OS X

The Shapes tab is the last tab within the Media Browser in PowerPoint 2011, as shown in Figure 1. Here you can find all the built-in shapes that PowerPoint provides to add to your slides. The shapes included in the Media Browser can also be found in the Insert tab of the Ribbon.

Shapes tab within Media Browser
Figure 1: Shapes tab within Media Browser

The options within the Shapes tab of Media Browser are explained below, as marked in Figure 1, above:

  1. Drop-down list: Click to bring up a drop-down list, as shown in Figure 2. Within this list, you can filter the shapes shown by choosing pre-selected categories such as Rectangles, Basic Shapes, Flowcharts, etc.

    Categories drop-down list
    Figure 2: Categories drop-down list
  2. Preview Pane: Displays previews of shapes in a selected category.
  3. Search: Just type in a Shape's name in the search field, and get that shape within the preview pane instantly.
  4. Number: Lists the number of shapes in your Preview Pane -- this value changes depending upon the category you are browsing, and also dynamically changes when you enter a search term in the Search box.
  5. Zoom Slider: Drag the slider to resize the Shape previews within the Preview Pane.
  6. Vertical Scroll Bar: Placed towards the right of the Media Browser window, this may not be visible when there are a few Shapes in the Preview Pane -- if there are more Shapes than what the Preview Pane can display, the vertical scroll bar allows you to scroll the window and view more Shapes. Click one of the double-headed arrows at the bottom of the vertical scroll bar, or drag the handle box in the vertical scroll bar to move up or down several Shapes at a time.

Inserting Shapes

Here are the procedures for inserting shapes in your presentation. Within the Shapes tab of Media Browser click the required shape, and insert it into the slide following any of these methods:

  1. Hold down the left mouse button and drag across the slide to draw a shape of the size you want as shown in Figure 3.

    Shape inserted by dragging and drawing on the slide
    Figure 3: Shape inserted by dragging and drawing on the slide
  2. Click on the slide to place the selected shape (see Figure 4).

    Shape inserted by clicking on the slide
    Figure 4: Shape inserted by clicking on the slide
  3. Simply drag the selected shape from the Shape browser onto the slide as you can see in Figure 5.

    Shape being dragged and inserted into the slide area
    Figure 5: Shape being dragged and inserted into the slide area
  4. Right-click on (Ctrl+click) your selected clip art graphic, and choose the Copy option from the resultant menu, as shown in Figure 6.

    Copy the selected shape
    Figure 6: Copy the selected shape

    Then right-click on the slide, and from the contextual menu chose the Paste option, or just press Command+V (see Figure 7).

    Paste the copied shape
    Figure 7: Paste the copied shape

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
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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?

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