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Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn about special yellow handles that allow you to manipulate shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






There are many different types of shapes PowerPoint provides, and you can format these shapes by resizing, rotating, flipping, etc. Other than these basic formatting tasks, you must explore the yellow square handles. When you select most shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, you can see eight resizing handles and a single rotation handle.

In addition, some shapes also have one or more yellow square handles. These yellow square handles enable you to change some facets of the selected shape, or in some cases you can change the entire shape. Figure 1 shows a U-Turn Arrow shape with five yellow square handles and a Hexagon shape with one yellow square handle.

The U-Turn Arrow has five yellow square handles and the Hexagon has just one
Figure 1: The U-Turn Arrow has five yellow square handles and the Hexagon has just one

Note: Some shapes such as the Line, the Oval, and the Rectangle may have no yellow square handles.

By dragging the yellow square handles, you can perform simple changes in the structure of the shape, such as increasing or decreasing the corner curvature of a rounded rectangle. Some shapes show more changes. The following section includes examples of how dragging the yellow square handles can change the shape altogether, to some extent.

Dragging the yellow square handle of a Hexagon shape from right to left gives you almost a rectangle, and if the square handle is dragged from left to right it changes the shape into a diamond, as shown in Figure 2.

A Hexagon can be changed to both a rectangle and a diamond
Figure 2: A Hexagon can be changed to both a rectangle and a diamond

Dragging the yellow square handle of the 7 Points Star shape towards the center makes the star more acute and pointed, and dragging the yellow square handle outwards makes the star look almost like an oval (see Figure 3).

A 7 Points Star shape gets more pronounced and blurred
Figure 3: A 7 Points Star shape gets more pronounced and blurred

By dragging the five yellow square handles on a U-Turn Arrow shape, you can adjust almost every characteristic of the arrow, as shown in Figure 4. Most of the arrow shapes comprise more than one yellow square handle, which alter the arrowhead, lines, curves, etc.

A U-Turn Arrow with a modified curve and arrowhead
Figure 4: A U-Turn Arrow with a modified curve and arrowhead

As you can see in Figure 5 below, a Smiley Face shape can be changed to a straight face or a sad face by merely dragging the yellow square handle on its lip.

Smiley Face shape is changed to a straight face and a sad face by dragging the yellow round handle
Figure 5: Smiley Face shape is changed to a straight face and a sad face by dragging the yellow square handle

See Also:

Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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These special circles have polygon centers: the centers are made of triangles, squares, pentagons, and hexagons! And based on the sides of the polygon, the rest of the circle has that many segments.

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