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Insert and format autoshapes

Insert an autoshape

To add an autoshape on a slide,

  1. in the slide list on the left, select the slide you want to add the autoshape to,
  2. click the Shape icon Shape icon at the Home or Insert tab of the top toolbar,
  3. select one of the available autoshape groups: Basic Shapes, Figured Arrows, Math, Charts, Stars & Ribbons, Callouts, Buttons, Rectangles, Lines,
  4. click on the necessary autoshape within the selected group,
  5. in the slide editing area, place the mouse cursor where you want the shape to be put,

    Note: you can click and drag to stretch the shape.

  6. once the autoshape is added you can change its size, position and properties.

    Note: to add a caption within the autoshape make sure the shape is selected on the slide and start typing your text. The text you add in this way becomes a part of the autoshape (when you move or rotate the shape, the text moves or rotates with it).

Adjust autoshape settings

Some of the autoshape settings can be altered using the Shape settings tab of the right sidebar. To activate it click the autoshape and choose the Shape settings Shape settings icon icon on the right. Here you can change the following properties:

Shape settings tab

  • Fill - use this section to select the autoshape fill. You can choose the following options:
    • Color Fill - to specify the solid color you want to apply to the selected shape.
    • Gradient Fill - to fill the shape with two colors which smoothly change from one to another.
    • Picture or Texture - to use an image or a predefined texture as the shape background.
    • Pattern - to fill the shape with a two-colored design composed of regularly repeated elements.
    • No Fill - select this option if you don't want to use any fill.

    For more detailed information on these options please refer to the Fill objects and select colors section.

  • Stroke - use this section to change the autoshape stroke width, color or type.
    • To change the stroke width, select one of the available options from the Size drop-down list. The available options are: 0.5 pt, 1 pt, 1.5 pt, 2.25 pt, 3 pt, 4.5 pt, 6 pt. Or select the No Line option if you don't want to use any stroke.
    • To change the stroke color, click on the colored box below and select the necessary color. You can use the selected theme color, a standard color or choose a custom color.
    • To change the stroke type, select the necessary option from the corresponding dropdown list (a solid line is applied by default, you can change it to one of the available dashed lines).

To change the advanced settings of the autoshape, right-click the shape and select the Shape Advanced Settings option from the contextual menu or left-click it and press the Show advanced settings link at the right sidebar. The shape properties window will be opened:

Shape Properties - Size tab

The Size tab allows to change the autoshape Width and/or Height. If the Constant proportions Constant proportions icon button is clicked (in this case it looks like this Constant proportions icon activated), the width and height will be changed together preserving the original autoshape aspect ratio.

Shape Properties - Weights & Arrows tab

The Weights & Arrows tab contains the following parameters:

  • Line Style - this option group allows to specify the following parameters:
    • Cap Type - this option allows to set the style for the end of the line, therefore it can be applied only to the shapes with the open outline, such as lines, polylines etc.:
      • Flat - the end points will be flat.
      • Round - the end points will be rounded.
      • Square - the end points will be square.
    • Join Type - this option allows to set the style for the intersection of two lines, for example, it can affect a polyline or the corners of the triangle or rectangle outline:
      • Round - the corner will be rounded.
      • Bevel - the corner will be cut off angularly.
      • Miter - the corner will be pointed. It goes well to shapes with sharp angles.

      Note: the effect will be more noticeable if you use a large outline width.

  • Arrows - this option group is available if a shape from the Lines shape group is selected. It allows to set the arrow Start and End Style and Size by selecting the appropriate option from the drop-down lists.

Shape Properties - Text Padding tab

The Text Padding tab allows to change the autoshape Top, Bottom, Left and Right internal margins (i.e. the distance between the text within the shape and the autoshape borders).

Note: this tab is only available if text is added within the autoshape, otherwise the tab is disabled.

Shape Properties - Columns tab

The Columns tab allows to add columns of text within the autoshape specifying the necessary Number of columns (up to 16) and Spacing between columns. Once you click OK, the text that already exists or any other text you enter within the autoshape will appear in columns and will flow from one column to another.

Shape Properties - Alternative Text tab

The Alternative Text tab allows to specify a Title and Description which will be read to the people with vision or cognitive impairments to help them better understand what information there is in the shape.

To replace the added autoshape, left-click it and use the Change Autoshape drop-down list at the Shape settings tab of the right sidebar.

To delete the added autoshape, left-click it and press the Delete key on the keyboard.

To learn how to align an autoshape on the slide or arrange several autoshapes, refer to the Align and arrange objects on a slide section.

Join autoshapes using connectors

You can connect autoshapes using lines with connection points to demonstrate dependencies between the objects (e.g. if you want to create a flowchart). To do that,

  1. click the Shape icon Shape icon at the Home or Insert tab of the top toolbar,
  2. select the Lines group from the menu,

    Shapes - Lines

  3. click the necessary shape within the selected group (excepting the last three shapes which are not connectors, namely shape 10, 11 and 12),
  4. hover the mouse cursor over the first autoshape and click one of the connection points Connection point icon that appear on the shape outline,

    Using connectors

  5. drag the mouse cursor towards the second autoshape and click the necessary connection point on its outline.

    Using connectors

If you move the joined autoshapes, the connector remains attached to the shapes and moves together with them.

Moving joined shapes

You can also detach the connector from the shapes and then attach it to any other connection points.

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