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Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 365 for Windows

Learn how to insert shapes in PowerPoint 365 for Windows. There is more than one way to add shapes in PowerPoint.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 365 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 10 and higher



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Shapes are the building blocks of most of the content you create in PowerPoint. Did you know that a text box that you add to your slide is also a shape that has no fill applied? Also, all charts and tables are groups of individual shapes. Once you get proficient with shapes, you can do so much more. For example, you can combine multiple shapes to create fancier shapes.

To work better with shapes, you must start with the very basics, and there's so much to learn even at this foundation level. The first task you need to do is to insert a shape. Fortunately, PowerPoint makes it easy to do this task.

Follow these steps to insert shapes in PowerPoint 365 for Windows:

  1. Launch PowerPoint and you will see the Presentation Gallery. Here, select the Blank Presentation option to create a blank presentation with a new slide. The resultant slide will most certainly include Title and Content placeholders, but you can have an entirely blank slide. If you want a blank slide, change the Slide Layout to Blank by accessing the Home tab of the Ribbon. Then, click the Layout button and choose the Blank option in the resultant gallery. You will end up with a blank slide, as shown in Figure 1, below.
  2. Blank layout slide in PowerPoint 365 for Windows
    Figure 1: Slide with Blank layout in PowerPoint 365
  3. Now, access the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and click the Shapes button. Doing so brings up the Shapes drop-down gallery, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2, below.
  4. Shapes gallery in PowerPoint 365 for Windows
    Figure 2: Shapes drop-down gallery in PowerPoint 365
  5. Shapes Gallery from Home and Insert Tabs

  6. The Shapes drop-down gallery can also be accessed from the Home tab. If you see no Shapes button on this tab, you might find a part of the Shapes gallery already visible in the tab, as shown in Figure 3, below. To see the entire drop-down Shapes gallery, click the More button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.
  7. Access the Shapes gallery from the Home tab
    Figure 3: Access the Shapes gallery from the Home tab
  8. Within the Shapes drop-down gallery, PowerPoint provides options to choose shapes from several categories such as Lines, Rectangles, Basic Shapes, Block Arrows, Stars and Banners, Callouts, etc. Learn more about shape types in our Types of Shapes in PowerPoint tutorial. For now, choose any shape by clicking on it. Thereafter use any of these options to place an instance of the shape on your slide:
  9. 1. Click to place

  10. Click anywhere on the slide to add the shape in a predefined size, as shown in Figure 4, below. For most shapes, this predefined size is set to typically 1 inch x 1 inch.
  11. Predefine shape placed on the slide
    Figure 4: Shape placed on the slide
  12. 2. Click and drag to place

  13. Alternatively, click but do not let go of the primary button on your mouse or another input device yet! Continue dragging until you create a large enough shape on your slide, as shown in Figure 5, below.
  14. Drag and draw a shape in PowerPoint 365
    Figure 5: Drag and draw a shape as large or small as you want
  15. Use the Shift and Ctrl Modifier Keys

  16. Hold the Shift key while dragging to constrain the height and width proportions. Hold the Ctrl key to draw a shape from the center. You can also draw while holding both the Ctrl and Shift keys.
  17. PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

    PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

    Do you want more keyboard shortcuts?

    Explore our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences Ebook that is updated for all PowerPoint versions.

  18. You can similarly insert as many shapes as you want. Save your presentation often.

People Also Ask:

Can you download more shapes for PowerPoint?

No, this cannot be done within PowerPoint, but you can turn to the web for help. Just like you can find free recipes for almost anything online, you can find free icons or icon sets that can be customized for PowerPoint. By visiting a few free and commercial icon websites, you should be able to find the building blocks for the idea you want to visualize.

Why are shapes important in PowerPoint?

Shapes are like the seasoning of your presentation: a little can go a long way in adding interest and excitement. PowerPoint's shapes are especially great because you can format them with colors, 3-D effects and shadows to really make them pop. And unlike real life, they always look perfect, even when you scale them really large or very small. So play around with shapes to add a little variety and personality to your next presentation.

How do you change shapes in PowerPoint?

It is easy to change shapes in many of the standard Microsoft 365 programs, such as PowerPoint, and it works just like you can change clothes. When you do so, all the existing attributes of the original shape, including the fill color, outline color, or any text in the shape remain the same after the change. So if you're looking to update your appearance, simply choose a new shape and voila!

See Also:

06 01 02 - Basics About Shapes: Insert Shapes in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 365 for Mac
Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows
Insert Shapes in PowerPoint for the Web

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