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Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn how to rotate shapes approximately and accurately in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






When you insert any shape into your PowerPoint slide, more often than not you will want to make some changes to the default shape that you end up with. Mainly, you may want to resize and rotate the shape.

This is something we do a lot in our everyday life, like rearranging our work desks, or even changing the position of our favorite chair so that we feel more comfortable. Similarly, all objects on your slide need to be arranged in a way that feels appropriate, rotation is one way of making this change happen. In PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, rotation can be applied in more than one way. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Select the shape you want to rotate, so that the white rotation handle is visible (highlighted in red within Figure 1).
  2. Select the shape
    Figure 1: Select the shape
  3. Click the rotation handle so that your cursor changes to a circle of arrows (shown in Figure 2).
  4. Now drag this cursor rightwards or leftwards to rotate the shape, as shown in Figure 2. The rotation always happens around the center of the selected shape, and you will see the rotation value in degrees as you drag.
  5. Drag the rotation handle to rotate the shape
  6. Figure 2: Drag the rotation handle to rotate your shape
  7. To gain more control over the rotation, hold the Shift key while you drag, as doing so will rotate the shape in 15 degree increments. At each increment of 15 degrees, you will find that the shape snaps into place, almost as if a magnet is pulling it into position. Thus, if you rotate rightwards through four 15 degree snaps, you would have rotated your shape by 60 degrees.
  8. Tip: You can also rotate without using a mouse. To do that, hold the Option key, and then press either the Left or Right arrow key to rotate the shape in 15 degree increments clockwise/counterclockwise.
  9. To rotate the shape in 90 degree increments, select the shape. This activates the Shape Format tab on the Ribbon (see Figure 3). Within the Arrange group, click the Rotate Objects button to access the Rotate Objects drop-down gallery (see Figure 3 again). Choose either Rotate Right 90o or Rotate Left 90o (highlighted in red, within Figure 3). To rotate any shape by 180 degrees, click any of these Rotate options twice.
  10. Rotate Objects drop-down gallery
    Figure 3: Rotate Objects drop-down gallery
  11. Tip: If you have worked aplenty with text in PowerPoint, you'll notice that text within the shape can be rotated by 90° and 270°, but not by 180°. Explore our Rotate Text 180° within Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac to find a workaround for this problem.
  12. Within the Rotate drop-down gallery (refer to Figure 3 above), you can click More Rotation Options (highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above) to bring up the Format Shape Task Pane. Make sure you select the Size & Properties tab, highlighted in blue within Figure 4. Change the Rotation option (highlighted in red, within Figure 4) to any value from -3600o to 3600o or type a zero rotation value to restore the original placement of the shape.
  13. Format Shape Task Pane
    Figure 4: Format Shape Task Pane
  14. Counterpoint: Now the question that arises is why does PowerPoint let you do a 3600 degree rotation at all. Our guess is that this has nothing to do with mere rotation since a full rotation is only 360 degrees, and 3600 degrees would suggest 10 rotations!
  15. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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