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Edit Points: Open and Close Paths in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how you can open and close paths for shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. This technique is very useful and will help you modify some complicated shapes easily.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher





The Shapes gallery in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows consist various shapes, both open and closed. Most of the shapes in this gallery are closed shapes (rectangle, ellipse, and triangle are some of the closed shapes). There are also a few open shapes such as the straight point to point line. Some other tools let you create both open and closed shapes. These are the Freeform Line, Curve, and Scribble tools. In addition, you can convert any closed shape to an open shape and vice versa, as you will learn in this tutorial.

Note: In PowerPoint, the terms vertex and point are often used interchangeably.

Open Shape (Path)

  1. Select a closed shape such as a rectangle and switch to Edit Points mode (just right-click and choose Edit Points). Place the cursor over any point. The cursor will change to a small rectangle with four directional arrows around it, as shown in Figure 1.
  2. Place cursor over the point
    Figure 1: Place cursor over the point
  3. Right click to get the context menu, as you can see in Figure 2. From the resultant menu choose Open Path.
  4. Open Path
    Figure 2: Open Path
  5. This converts the closed path to a open path (open shape), as shown in Figure 3. Essentially, the single point you selected is now two points. The gap between these two points is an open space.
  6. Closed shape changed to open shape
    Figure 3: Closed shape changed to open shape
  7. Select any of these two points and move it elsewhere, as shown in Figure 4. As you can see, the selected shape is no longer a closed shape as there is no outline path visible between these two vertexes.
  8. Opened shape
    Figure 4: Opened shape

Closed Shape (Path)

You can draw an open shape with Freeform Line, Curve, and Scribble tools.

  1. Select the open shape and switch to Edit Points mode (just right-click and choose Edit Points). Place the cursor over one of the open points at the end of the shape (path). The cursor will change to a small rectangle with four directional arrows around it, as shown in Figure 5.
  2. Place cursor over the opened point
    Figure 5: Place cursor over the opened point
  3. Right click to get the context menu, as you can see in Figure 6. From the resultant menu choose Close Path.
  4. Close Path
    Figure 6: Close Path
  5. PowerPoint automatically creates a segment between the two open points and thus closes the path (closed shape), as shown in Figure 7.
  6. A Closed Path
    Figure 7: A Closed Path
  7. The closed shape has no fill applied but you can apply any shape fill as required.

See Also:

Edit Points: Open and Close Paths in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Edit Points: Open and Close Paths in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Edit Points: Open and Close Paths in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Edit Points: Open and Close Paths in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Edit Points: Open and Close Paths in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

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