Once you add a shape to your PowerPoint slide, you may want to resize and / or rotate it. We have already covered resizing shapes in a separate tutorial, and now you will learn how you can rotate a shape. Rotation can be very useful, especially if you need to change the orientation of an arrow, or rotate a duplicated shape. Whatever your motive may be, rotation can be applied in more than one way in PowerPoint. Follow these steps to get started:
- Select the shape so that the green rotation handle on the top of the shape shown in Figure 1 is visible. Click the green handle to change your mouse cursor to a circle of arrows (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Selected shape, ready to be rotated
- Now, hold down the left mouse button, and drag towards the right or left to rotate the shape around it's center, as shown in Figure 2. Remember not to let go off the mouse button when you drag. Also notice that PowerPoint shows a tool tip that mentions the rotation degree (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Click and drag the green rotation handle to rotate the shape
- To rotate your shape with more control, hold the Shift key while you 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.
- You can also rotate by holding the Alt (Option) key, and then pressing either the Left or Right arrow keys to rotate the shape in 15 degree increments clockwise / counter-clockwise. This option rotates the selected shape without having to use your mouse at all.
- To rotate the shape in 90 degree increments, first double-click the selected shape. This activates the Format tab on the Ribbon. Within this tab, locate the Arrange group, click the Rotate button in it to access the Rotate gallery (see Figure 3). Choose either Rotate Right 90o or Rotate Left 90o (highlighted in red, in Figure 3). To rotate any shape by 180 degrees, click any of these Rotate options twice.
Figure 3: The Format tab includes Rotate button
- You can also right-click the selected shape, and from the resultant menu, chose the Format Shape option as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Format Shape option selected
- This opens the Format Shape dialog box. In this dialog box select the Size panel which includes the size and rotate edit options for shapes as shown in Figure 5. In this dialog box, enter the values (in degrees) in the Rotation spinner control (highlighted in red in Figure 5) to rotate the selected shape. You can 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!
- If you have already rotated an object manually, and want to now reset its rotation value, just type in 0 in the Rotation box to reset its rotation value.
Figure 5: Format Shape dialog box
- Click OK to apply the changes and get back to your slide.
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