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Types of Points (Vertexes) for Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn about different types of points (vertexes) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Did you know that there are three vertex types in PowerPoint?

Any given shape in PowerPoint is essentially an electronic drawing that is composed of both segments and points (vertexes). Think of a "connect-the-dots" drawing and the dots would be points, and the lines you draw between the dots would be segments. Both segments and vertexes are only visible as distinctly different drawing elements only in Edit Points mode. We discuss more about segments in a subsequent tutorial but for now, let us help you explore the different types of vertexes (points) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Essentially, these are of three types:

  • Smooth Point
  • Straight Point
  • Corner Point
Note: In PowerPoint, the terms vertex and point are often used interchangeably.

Follow these guidelines to see different types of points (vertexes) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac:

  1. Select the shape (you can use any shape, for this tutorial we have used a Rectangle) and switch to Edit Points mode (just right-click the shape and choose Edit Points option). Now place the cursor over the point, the cursor will change to a small square with four directional arrows around it, as visible for the top right point shown in Figure 1.

  2. Figure 1: Cursor placed over the point
  3. Now, right-click to get the contextual menu that you can see in Figure 2. In this contextual menu, you can see the three types of points you can choose from (highlighted in red in Figure 2). Also note the two blue handles emerging from the selected point.

  4. Figure 2: Three point options available in PowerPoint 2011


Note: In PowerPoint 2011 there is no way to ascertain the type of the selected point. In Figure 2, the type of the selected vertex is Corner Point, but as you can see in the contextual menu, the Corner Point type is neither ticked, nor highlighted to indicate that it is the type of the selected vertex.

Let us explore these point types one by one:

Smooth Point

From the contextual menu that you saw in Figure 2, select the Smooth Point option as shown in Figure 3.


Figure 3: Smooth Point option selected

This changes the selected Point to a Smooth Point (as shown on the left side of Figure 4). Now, if you drag any one of the blue handles outwards (drag further, closer, or even sidewards), the opposite side handle also moves symmetrically (see on the right side of the Figure 4).


Figure 4: Editing the shape with Smooth Point

Tip: To move only one handle without affecting the opposite handle, hold the Alt key when you manipulate the handle of Smooth Point.

Straight Point

Now, we'll see how to change the selected Point to a Straight Point. From the contextual menu that you saw in Figure 2, select the Straight Point option as shown in Figure 5.


Figure 5: Straight Point option selected

This changes the selected Point to a Straight Point (as shown on the left side of Figure 6). Now, if you drag any one of the blue handles outwards (drag further or closer), then the opposite handle won't move (see on the right side of the Figure 6).


Figure 6: Editing the shape with Straight Point

Corner Point

Select the vertex (point) which you want to change into a Corner point, right-click it and from the contextual menu that appears, select the Corner Point option as shown in Figure 7.


Figure 7: Corner Point option selected

This changes the selected Point to a Corner Point (as shown on the left side of Figure 8). Like any other point, it shows up with two blue handles as shown in the example on the left side in Figure 8. Now, if you move any one of these blue handles outwards or sidewards, the opposite handle will not move at all (see on the right side of the Figure 8).

Tip: However, if you want the other handle to also move, hold the Ctrl or the Shift key when you manipulate the handle of a Corner point.


Figure 8: Editing the shape with Corner Point

Note: It takes a while getting used to manipulating the shape's structure using the points. The more you practice, the better you will understand how they work.

See Also:

Types of Points (Vertexes) for Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Types of Points (Vertexes) for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Types of Points (Vertexes) for Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Types of Points (Vertexes) for Shapes in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows