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Drawing Target Diagrams in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to draw a target diagram with multiple circles in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Learning to create the target diagram also teaches you more about drawing circles, resizing them, and alignment.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






PowerPoint 2013 for Windows has a ready-to-use collection of shapes that can be inserted with a click or two. You can add multiple shapes on the same slide and then flip, rotate, reorder, or group them as required to create your own combined diagrams and designs within PowerPoint. These combined shapes help create more involved diagrams such as a target diagram. In this tutorial, we'll show you how simple it is to create a target by placing circles of various sizes one on top of the other using the techniques of formatting shapes already explained. Before we begin, let me show you how a target diagram created in PowerPoint can look like, as shown in Figure 1.

Target created using multiple circle shapes
Figure 1: Target created using multiple circle shapes

Follow these steps to create your own target diagram:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Most of the time, PowerPoint will open with a new slide in a presentation. You can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Blank option.
  2. Within the Home or Insert tab of the Ribbon, click the Shapes button to view the Shapes drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 2. Select the Oval shape, since we will use this shape variant to create a circle.
  3. Oval shape selected
    Figure 2: Oval shape selected
  4. Now either drag and draw, or click once on the blank slide to place a perfect circle shape, as shown in Figure 3.
  5. Circle shape placed on the slide
    Figure 3: Circle shape placed on the slide
  6. Double-click the selected shape to activate the Drawing Tools Format contextual tab in the Ribbon (see Figure 4). We do not need the options in this tab for now, but we will need them later in this tutorial.
  7. Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 4: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
  8. Create a duplicate of the circle, there are several ways you can duplicate:
    1. Duplicate a shape by dragging, or
    2. Duplicate a shape using the Ctrl + D shortcut , or
    3. Just use the Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste (Ctrl + V) shortcut keys.
  9. Figure 5 shows a duplicated circle placed over the original circle we created earlier.
  10. Circle's duplicate copy created
    Figure 5: Circle's duplicate copy created
  11. Now we have to resize the duplicated circle to an exact size that is a little smaller than the original circle. Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the small arrow dialog launcher (highlighted in red within Figure 6).
  12. Format Shape task pane launcher
    Figure 6: Format Shape task pane launcher
  13. This brings up the Format Shape Task Pane (see Figure 7). Make sure that the Shape Options tab (highlighted in green within Figure 7) is selected then select the Size button (highlighted in red within Figure 7), then select the Size option (highlighted in blue within Figure 7).
  14. Format Shape Task Pane
    Figure 7: Format Shape Task Pane
  15. First, make sure the Lock aspect ratio check-box is selected (highlighted in red within Figure 8).
  16. Thereafter, reduce the Height and Width values incrementally as required (we reduced by 0.5"). Previously, the Height and Width were 5" (refer in Figure 7 above). After reducing 0.5", these values become 4.5", as shown in Figure 8.
  17. Size values changed within the Format Shape task pane
    Figure 8: Size values changed within the Format Shape task pane
  18. This will resize the duplicated circle, as shown in Figure 9.
  19. Resized circle
    Figure 9: Resized circle
  20. Now create several such duplicated copies to end up with as many circles as you need (you will need to repeat steps 5 through 9 for each circle you add). We did this repeatedly to end up with ten circles, as shown in Figure 10.
  21. Ten circle shapes
    Figure 10: Ten circle shapes
  22. Now select all the circle shapes by pressing Ctrl + A on your keyboard (see Figure 11).
  23. You can learn more about ways to select objects in these tutorials:
  24. Select and Deselect Shapes, and
    Select Using the Selection Task Pane
  25. All the circle shapes are selected
    Figure 11: All the circle shapes are selected
  26. With all the circle shapes selected, access the Drawing Tools Format contextual tab again. Click the Align button (highlighted in red within Figure 12) to bring up the drop-down gallery shown in Figure 12.
  27. Align drop-down gallery
    Figure 12: Align drop-down gallery
  28. Make sure that the Align Selected Objects option (highlighted in green within Figure 12, above) is selected. Thereafter click both the Align Center and the Align Middle options (highlighted in blue within Figure 12, above) one after the other. This will align all the circle shapes to the center of the first circle we created, as shown in Figure 13. Learn more about alignment in our Aligning Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
  29. All the circle shapes aligned
    Figure 13: All the circle shapes aligned
  30. Now you can change the color of individual circles. To do that, select an individual circle. Then access the Drawing Tools Format contextual tab. Within this tab, click the down-arrow beside the Shape Fill button (highlighted in red within Figure 14). This brings up the drop-down gallery as shown in Figure 14.
  31. Shape Fill drop-down gallery
    Figure 14: Shape Fill drop-down gallery
  32. Select one circle at a time and apply any of shape fills. You can also change the outline color of individual circles, and you can also change both the fill and outline at the same time by applying a Shape Style.
  33. Figure 15 shows the created target diagram.
  34. Target created using multiple circle shapes
    Figure 15: Target diagram
  35. You can even add an Arrow shape on the target we created, as shown in Figure 16.
  36. Target with arrow shape added
    Figure 16: Target with arrow shape added
  37. Tip: It is a good idea to align the target to the center of the slide. To do that you first need to select all the circles (and other shapes such as the Arrow added) and then group them. Then align the target to center of the slide, as explained in our Align shape to center of slide in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

See Also:

Exotic Shapes: Target Diagrams (Index Page)

Drawing Target Diagrams in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Drawing Target Diagrams in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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