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Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to insert Shapes in PowerPoint 2010.

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP

Date Created: November 18th 2010
Last Updated: November 18th 2010

Shapes can often be combined to create more complex shapes -- for instance you can place circles of various sizes one on top of the other to create something that looks like a target. Similarly you can create seemingly complicated arrangements of shapes quite easily to create something that illustrates a concept or idea so much better than just bulleted text. To create any such graphic content, you need to start by inserting common shapes -- fortunately PowerPoint makes it easy to do so. To insert a Shape on your PowerPoint slide follow these steps:

  1. Within PowerPoint 2010, open the presentation (or create a new one) and select the slide where you want to insert a Shape and change its layout to Blank or Title only (see Figure 1).

    Slide with Blank Layout in PowerPoint
    Figure 1: Slide with Blank layout

  2. Access the Insert tab (or the Home tab) on the Ribbon and click the bottom part of the Shapes button to bring up the Shapes gallery, as shown in the Figure 2.

    Shapes gallery in PowerPoint
    Figure 2: Shapes gallery

    As shown in Figure 2 above, PowerPoint provides several categories of Shapes such as Rectangles, Lines, Basic Shapes, Block Arrows, Stars and Banners, Callouts, etc.

  3. Based on your requirement, choose any Shape by clicking on it. Thereafter use any of these two options to place a Shape on your slide:

    1. Click anywhere on the slide to add the Shape in a predefined size (typically 1 inch x 1 inch), as shown in Figure 3.
    2. Click and drag on the slide to create an instance of the Shape in the size you desire.

    Shape placed on the Slide in PowerPoint
    Figure 3: Shape placed on the slide

    Tip: 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.

See Also:

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 2007 for Windows
Inserting AutoShapes in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 for Windows


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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