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Resizing Shapes in PowerPoint 365 for Windows

Learn how to resize shapes in PowerPoint 365 for Windows. You can resize shapes by dragging, or by using keyboard shortcuts.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 365 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 10 and higher



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You typically insert shapes on a slide, by clicking or click-dragging, but even then, you may realize that the shape you placed is not the perfect size. Do you want it larger, or a wee bit smaller? Either way, it's easy to make the size change in a jiffy, right inside PowerPoint.

Follow these steps to resize shapes in PowerPoint 365 for Windows.

Like most Microsoft Office programs, PowerPoint follows the concept of selection, then action. So, the first thing you need to do is to select the shape! Any shape that is selected shows several handles, as shown in both shapes you see in Figure 1, below.

PowerPoint 365 shapes
Figure 1: PowerPoint shapes have several handles

Look closely at Figure 1, and you'll find that any selected shape has several handles.

  • Four white handles on the corners; these are round.
  • Four white handles on the sides; these are round too.
  • One white rotation handle over the top-middle handle. To learn more, see our Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint tutorial.
  • One or more yellow round handle; these round handles do not appear on all shapes. If you look at Figure 1 above, you will notice that the shape on the left has no yellow handle but the one on the right does. To learn more, see our Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint tutorial.

You can resize shapes by either dragging them, using keyboard shortcuts, or by typing in exact values. We look at all these resizing options on this page:

1. Resize by Dragging

When you drag any of the eight white handles, you can resize the shape in various ways, depending upon certain factors, as explained below:

  • When you drag any of the handles inwards, you scale down the size of the shape.
  • When you drag any of the handles outwards, you enlarge the size of the shape.

Shift Drag and Draw

To maintain the width to height proportions of the shape, hold the Shift key while you drag one of the four corner handles, as shown in Figure 2, below.

Shift drag to maintain the width:height proportion while resizing a shape
Figure 2: Shift drag to maintain the width to height proportions

Ctrl Drag and Draw

To resize from the center of the shape rather than from a corner or side, hold the Ctrl key while you drag one of the four corner or side handles, as shown in Figure 3, below. Do note that doing so does not maintain the width to height proportions of the shape.

Ctrl dragging resizes from the center of a shape rather than from a corner or side
Figure 3: Ctrl dragging resizes from the center of a shape

Shift + Ctrl Drag and Draw

To resize from the center and still maintain the width to height proportion, hold both the Shift and Ctrl keys while you drag one of the four corner handles, as shown in Figure 4, below.

Combine both Ctrl and Shift dragging options to get the best of both worlds
Figure 4: Combine both Ctrl and Shift dragging options

Resize One Side

To resize only one side, drag the corresponding side handle, as shown in Figure 5, below.

Resize only one side
Figure 5: Drag from one side to resize only one side

Resize Opposite Sides Equally

To resize opposite sides equally, hold the Ctrl key while you drag a side handle, as shown in Figure 6, below. Doing so will resize the side you dragged, and the opposite side.

Resize two opposite sides at the same time, equally
Figure 6: Resize two opposite sides at the same time

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.

2. Resize using the Keyboard

We explored how you can use modifier keys such as Shift and Ctrl while dragging in the preceding section. Even without dragging, you can resize the selected shape by pressing the Shift key and then pressing any of the four arrow keys on your keyboard. This option takes the center of the shape as an anchor point to resize from. Use any of following command combinations to resize the shape.

  • Shift + Up Arrow increases the height of the shape
  • Shift + Down Arrow decreases the height of the shape
  • Shift + Left Arrow decreases the width of the shape
  • Shift + Right Arrow increases the width of the shape

3. Resize by Typing Exact Values

As you resize the shape, you can see the height and the width change dynamically within the Size group of the Shape Format tab of the Ribbon, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 7, below.

Manually enter the height and width values
Figure 7: The Shape Format tab includes the Size group

You can also enter values in the Height and Width boxes, highlighted in green and orange respectively. As you enter values, the height and width of the shape on your slide will change. You must press Enter after typing in a value. You can also use the increase or decrease buttons next to the numbers to increase or decrease the value.

Do you want the height and width to change proportionately? You can do so within the Format Shape pane, which we will explore later on this page.

To resize any shape to an exact size, you first select it. This activates the Shape Format tab on the Ribbon, as shown in Figure 7, above. Within the Size group, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 7, change the Height and the Width values to resize the shape.

To view even more resize options, click the small arrow dialog launcher located at the bottom right corner of the Size group, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 8, below.

Click the arrow dialog launcher to summon the Format Shape pane
Figure 8: Click the arrow dialog launcher to summon the Format Shape pane

Doing so brings up the Format Shape pane, as shown in Figure 9, below.

Format Shape pane
Figure 9: Format Shape pane

Make sure you select the Resize tab, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 9, above. Within this tab, you'll find the following options related to resizing shapes:

Height

Type in a value or use the increase/decrease buttons to change the height of a shape.

Width

Type in a value or use the increase/decrease buttons to change the width of a shape.

Rotation

Type in a value or use the increase/decrease buttons to rotate the shape.

Scale Height

Change the height based on percentage values.

Scale Width

Change the width based on percentage values.

Lock aspect ratio

Select this check-box, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 9, above, so any change in height reflects a proportionate change in the width, and vice versa.

The other options shown in Figure 9, are not relevant to resizing shapes.


See Also:

06 01 03 - Basics About Shapes: Resizing Shapes in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Resizing Shapes in PowerPoint 365 for Mac
Resizing Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Resizing Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Resizing Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Resizing Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Resizing Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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