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Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn about different types of shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. In many ways, shapes are the building blocks of PowerPoint slide design.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher



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What does the word “shape” mean to you? Do you imagine a square, a circle, a heart, or even a smiley face? Yes, all those are shapes—as are the hundreds of other recognizable outlines or figures that we call shapes in our daily conversations. Shapes play a significant role within any slides you create for your PowerPoint presentation. In so many ways, shapes are like the building blocks of almost anything you do on your PowerPoint slides.

PowerPoint provides hundreds of shapes efficiently categorized into 9 types. You can do so much with these shapes—for example, you can combine shapes to create your own unique shapes, format shapes with fills, lines, and effects, and even group or layers them one over the other to create more amazing graphics. You can even create flowcharts with these shapes.

In this tutorial, we will explore the various types of shapes available within PowerPoint 2016 for Windows:

To look at these different types of shapes, choose the Insert tab (or even the Home tab) of the Ribbon. Then, click the Shapes button to bring up a drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 1, below.

Shapes drop-down gallery
Figure 1: Shapes drop-down gallery

PowerPoint 2016 sorts these different shape types into nine categories, as explained below:

Lines

Straight and curved lines, with or without arrowheads, as shown in Figure 2, below. Also, you'll find options to create freeform paths and scribbles. In addition, lines also work as connectors, which link individual shapes and other slide objects via straight, curved, or elbow branches.

Lines
Figure 2: Lines

Some Lines are Connectors

The first 9 line types also work as "connectors". These can be especially useful if you need to create flowcharts. For more info, explore our Using Flowchart and Connector Shapes Together tutorial.

Rectangles

Other than the ubiquitous simple rectangle, PowerPoint provides several types of other rectangles including those with rounded and snipped corners, as shown in Figure 3, below.

Rectangles
Figure 3: Rectangles

Basic Shapes

Common shapes such as ovals, triangles, cubes, hearts, etc., as shown in Figure 4, below.

Basic Shapes
Figure 4: Basic Shapes

Block Arrows

A comprehensive assortment of arrow shapes, as shown in Figure 5, below.

Block Arrows
Figure 5: Block Arrows

Equation Shapes

Common mathematical and equation symbols, as shown in Figure 6, below.

Equation Shapes
Figure 6: Equation Shapes

Flowchart

Several standard flowchart symbols such as Process, Decision, Data, etc. can be found within this category, as shown in Figure 7, below.

Flowchart
Figure 7: Flowchart

Flowchart Symbols

Learn more about various flowchart shapes in our Flowchart Symbols: What They Represent? tutorial.

Stars and Banners

Stars with 4 until 32 points, explosions, scrolls, and banners, as shown in Figure 8, below.

Stars and Banners
Figure 8: Stars and Banners

Callouts

Provides speech and thought bubbles, and line callouts too, as shown in Figure 9, below.

Callouts
Figure 9: Callouts

Action Buttons

A special category of buttons that enables you to add push style buttons that allow you to add navigation between slides and other interactivity, as shown in Figure 10, below.

Action Buttons
Figure 10: Action Buttons

Other than the categories mentioned above, the Shapes drop-down gallery also includes a Recently Used Shapes category right on top that lists any shapes that you use often, as shown in Figure 11, below. All these shapes are also visible in their normal location in the Shapes drop-down gallery.

Recently Used Shapes
Figure 11: Recently Used Shapes

As you learned from this tutorial, PowerPoint does provide an amazing assortment of shapes to use within your slides.


See Also:

06 01 01 - Basics About Shapes: Types of Shapes in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 365 for Windows
Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 365 for Mac
Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 and 2007 for Windows
Types of Shapes in PowerPoint for the Web

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