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Types of Points (Vertexes) for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn about different types of points (vertexes) in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Did you know that there are three vertex types in PowerPoint?


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






Every shape in PowerPoint is a combination of segments and points. The points are essentially what is also known as vertexes—and segments are straight or curved lines between these vertexes. These segments and points are similar to a "connect-the-dots" drawing and the dots would be points, and the lines you draw between the dots would be segments. Both the segments and vertexes are only individually visible within  Edit Points mode. We discuss more about segments in a subsequent tutorial but for now, let us help you explore the different types of vertexes (points) in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Essentially, these are of three types:

  • Smooth Point
  • Straight Point
  • Corner Point
Note: In PowerPoint, the terms vertex and point are often used interchangeably.

Follow these guidelines to see different types of points (vertexes) in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows:

  1. Insert a shape in PowerPoint (you can use any shape, for this tutorial we have used a Rectangle). Switch to Edit Points mode (just right-click and choose the Edit Points option from context menu). Now place the cursor over any point, and the cursor will change to a four-directional arrow, as shown in Figure 1 (notice the top right corner point).
  2. Place cursor over the point
    Figure 1: Place cursor over the point
  3. Now, right-click to get the context menu, as shown in Figure 2. The context menu has lot of other options too. For reasons of clarity, the options which are not related to the types of points are faded out in Figure 2. Within this context menu, the Corner Point option is selected (indicated by a tick mark placed in front of it). This means that the point we have selected is a Corner Point type (refer to Figure 2 again).
  4. Corner Point type selected
    Figure 2: Corner Point type selected
Note: For the Rectangle shape, all the four points are Corner Point type. Different shapes may have different point types.

Corner Point Type

As you have already learned, when any of the corner points in the Rectangle is selected, it shows up with two blue handles as shown in the example on the left side in Figure 3. Now if you move any one of these blue handles outwards, the opposite handle will not move (see on the right side of the Figure 3). To make changes to the opposite side, you will have to manipulate the opposite handle separately, or change the point from a Corner Point to either a Smooth Point or a Straight Point. We discuss these other Point types next.

Corner Point
Figure 3: Corner Point

Smooth Point Type

Make sure you are in Edit Points mode (or just right-click the shape and choose Edit Points option from the context menu). Place the cursor over the point and right-click to get a context menu, from the menu choose the Smooth Point option, as shown in Figure 4.

Choose Smooth Point type
Figure 4: Choose Smooth Point type

This changes the Corner Point to a Smooth Point (shown on the left side in Figure 5). Now if you drag a handle of any one side outwards (drag further, closer, or even sidewards), the opposite side handle also moves symmetrically (see on the right side of the Figure 5).

Corner Point changed to Smooth Point
Figure 5: Corner Point changed to Smooth Point

Tip: To move only one handle without affecting the opposite handle, hold the Alt key when you manipulate the handle.

Straight Point Type

Now we'll see how to change the Corner Point type to a Straight Point type. Select the shape and switch to Edit Points mode (just right-click the shape and choose the Edit Points option from the context menu). Place the cursor over the point and right-click to get a context menu. From this menu, choose the Straight Point option, as shown in Figure 6.

Choose Straight Point type
Figure 6: Choose Straight Point type

This changes the Corner Point to a Straight Point (shown on the left side on Figure 7). Now if you drag a handle of any one side outwards (drag further or closer), then the opposite handle won't move (see on the right side of the Figure 7). However if you drag it sidewards, then the opposite handle will also move proportionately.

Corner Point changed to Straight Point
Figure 7: Corner Point changed to Straight Point

Note: It takes a while getting used to manipulating the shape's structure using the points. The more you practice, the better you will understand how they work.

See Also:

Types of Points (Vertexes) for Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Types of Points (Vertexes) for Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Types of Points (Vertexes) for Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Types of Points (Vertexes) for Shapes in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

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