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Duplicate Shapes by Dragging in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to duplicate shapes by dragging them to make copies on a slide in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. This is a quick and intuitive way to quickly end up with duplicated shapes.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher





Shapes in PowerPoint are very useful in representing design or content, but when you create a slide that has such a framework, it is common to have several shapes of the same size and other attributes on a slide. Figure 1 shows a sample where the same shape has been used multiple times.

Same shape used for multiple times
Figure 1: Same shape used for multiple times

Yes, you can go ahead and insert the same shape into PowerPoint repeatedly, but that's causing you to lose so much productive time you could have used elsewhere! There are quicker alternatives for duplicating shapes that can be learned if you follow these guidelines:

  • Select the shape, and press the Ctrl key so that your cursor now has a plus sign, as shown in Figure 2. This plus sign in the cursor indicates that a copy of the selected shape (or a selection of multiple shapes) will be created when you drag it and drop it elsewhere on the slide. Once your shape has been duplicated, you can release the Ctrl key.
  • Changed cursor
    Figure 2: Changed cursor
  • Holding the Ctrl key, drag the shape anywhere on the slide to create a copy (see Figure 3).
  • Create duplicates of the selected shape
    Figure 3: Create duplicates of the selected shape
  • As you can see in the previous example, you can drag a duplicated copy of the shape anywhere on the slide, but sometimes you want a copy of the selected shape to be created in the same horizontal or vertical plane as the original. To do so, select the shape you want to duplicate, press the Ctrl and Shift keys together and drag the shape to create a copy, you will find that PowerPoint constrains your dragging so that new copies of the shape are only created exactly up, down, left, or right in 90° increments, as shown in Figure 4.
  • Shape copied exactly upwards at 90° (perpendicular to the original)
    Figure 4: Shape copied exactly upwards at 90° (perpendicular to the original)
  • If you press Ctrl + Shift, and drag the selected shape towards right, you create a copy of the shape at 0°, as shown in Figure 5.
  • Shape copied at 0°
    Figure 5: Shape copied at 0°
  • Ctrl + Shift drag the selected shape towards left to create a copy of the shape at 180°, as shown in Figure 6.
  • Shape copied at 270°
    Figure 6: Shape copied at 180°
  • Ctrl + Shift drag the selected shape to the bottom to create a copy of the shape at 270°, as shown in Figure 7.
  • Shape copied at 180°
    Figure 7: Shape copied at 270°
  • Release the Ctrl and Shift keys when you are done duplicating.
Tip: You can select multiple shapes and Ctrl drag (or Ctrl + Shift drag) to create copies of all selected shapes at one go. Also, these dragging and duplicating options work with anything you can select on a slide in PowerPoint, and is not limited to shapes alone.

See Also:

Duplicating Shapes, and Drawing Multiple Shapes: Duplicate Shapes by Dragging in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Duplicate Shapes by Dragging in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Duplicate Shapes by Dragging in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Duplicate Shapes by Dragging in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Duplicate Shapes by Dragging in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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