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Insert Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to insert shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. There is more than one way to add shapes in PowerPoint.

Shapes let you do so much in PowerPoint. Once you master them, 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. PowerPoint 2011 makes it easy to do so.

Follow these steps to insert shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac:

  1. Within PowerPoint, open the presentation (or create a new one), and select the slide where you want to insert a shape. You can change the slide layout to Blank or Title Only, as shown in Figure 1, below.

  2. Figure 1: Slide with Blank layout
  3. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon, and locate the Insert group. From within this group, click the Shape button to bring up the drop-down Shape gallery, as shown in Figure 2, below.

  4. Figure 2: Shape gallery
  5. In this gallery, PowerPoint provides options to choose several sub-galleries of Shape types such as Lines and connectors, Rectangles, Basic Shapes, Block Arrows, Stars and Banners, Callouts, etc. If you want to see all shapes placed within one gallery, select the Shape Browser option (the last option in the Shape gallery). Doing so will open the Shapes tab of the Media Browser with all shapes together in one gallery, as shown in Figure 3, below.

  6. Figure 3: Shapes tab within Media Browser


  7. Based on your requirement, choose any Shape by clicking on it. As you can see in Figure 4, below, we chose the Rectangle shape.

  8. Figure 4: Rectangle Shape selected
  9. Thereafter, use any of the following three options to place the Shape on your slide:
  10. 1. Click to place

  11. Click anywhere on the slide to insert the Shape in a predefined size (typically 1 inch x 1 inch), as shown in Figure 5, below.

  12. Figure 5: Shape inserted by clicking on the slide
  13. 2. Click and drag to place

  14. Click and drag on the slide to create an instance of the Shape in the size you desire, as shown in Figure 6, below.

  15. Figure 6: Shape inserted by dragging on the slide
  16. Use the Shift and Ctrl Modifier Keys

  17. Hold the Shift key while dragging to constrain the height and width proportions. Hold the Alt (Option) key to draw a Shape from the center. You can also draw while holding both the Alt (Option) and Shift keys.
  18. PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

    Do you want more keyboard shortcuts?

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

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  19. Drag the shape from Shape Browser to the slide, as shown in Figure 7, below.

  20. Figure 7: Shape inserted by dragging from the Shape Browser
  21. Save the presentation often.

See Also:

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

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