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Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to rotate shapes approximately and accurately in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. Rotation at precise angles or even quickly using some keys can achieve amazing results.

Normally you may want to add a shape to your PowerPoint slide and then resize it and/or rotate it. Like most other things, rotation can be applied in more than one way in PowerPoint. Follow these steps to get started with PowerPoint 2010 for Windows.

  1. Select the shape so that the green rotation handle shown in Figure 1 is visible. Click the green handle so that your cursor changes to the circular arrow shown again in Figure 1.

  2. Figure 1: Select the shape
  3. Now drag the green handle towards the right or left to rotate around the center of the shape, as shown in Figure 2.

  4. Figure 2: Drag the green rotation handle to rotate the shape
  5. Hold the Shift key and drag the green handle to rotate in 15 degree increments. At every 15 degree increment, you will find that the shape snaps into place—thus if you rotate rightwards through four 15 degree snaps, you would have rotated your shape by 60 degrees.


  6. You can also rotate by holding the Alt key, and then pressing either the Left or Right arrow keys to rotate the shape in 15 degree increments clockwise/counter-clockwise.
  7. To rotate the shape in 90 degree increments select the shape. This activates the Drawing Tools Format tab on the Ribbon (see Figure 3). Within the Arrange group, click the Rotate button to access the Rotate gallery (see Figure 3 again). Choose either Rotate Right 90o or Rotate Left 90o (highlighted in red, refer to Figure 3). To rotate any shape by 180 degrees, click any of these Rotate options twice.

  8. Figure 3: The Drawing Tools Format tab includes Rotate button
  9. Within the Rotation gallery (refer to Figure 3 above) you can click More Rotation Options to bring up the Format Shape dialog box, as shown in Figure 4. Change the Rotation option to any value from -3600o to 3600o or type a zero rotation value to restore the original placement of the shape. Now the question that arises is why does PowerPoint let you do a 3600 degree rotation at all. Our guess is that this has nothing to do with mere rotation since a full rotation is only 360 degrees, and 3600 degrees would suggest 10 rotations!

  10. Figure 4: Format Shape dialog box

See Also:

Basics About Shapes: Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Rotate Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac