Shapes I: Introductory basics you can't live without

Quick Reference Card

See also

Get shapes with a template

  1. On the File menu, point to New and click Getting Started.
  2. In the Template Categories list, click the category of drawing you want to create.
  3. Click the type of drawing you want to select it.
  4. Click the Create button.
  5. When you're done, notice the shapes inside the stencils on the left side.

Search for shapes

  1. On the View menu, click Shapes Window.
  2. In the Search for Shapes box, type one or more words that describe the shape you want.
  3. Press ENTER.

Save the search results for later use

  1. Right-click the title bar of the search results stencil, and then click Save.
  2. In the File name box at the bottom, type a name that describes the shapes, and then click Save.

If you should ever need that stencil again, it's readily available: On the File menu, point to Shapes, and then point to My Shapes. Find the descriptive name you gave the stencil, and then click it.

Browse for a shape

  1. Open a drawing.
  2. On the File menu, point to Shapes.
  3. Click the category that contains the stencils you want.
  4. Click the name of the stencil.
  5. The stencils will appear in the Shapes window on the left.

Use stencils provided by others

If someone gives you a stencil file (a .vss or .vsx file), you'll need to copy it to a special location on your hard drive to be able to access the stencil by using the File menu and Shapes submenu. That location is:

C:\Documents and Settings\user_name\My Documents\My Shapes (where user_name is your Windows user name).

Instead of trying to remember this path, you can do the following:

  1. On the File menu, point to Shapes.
  2. Point to My Shapes, and then click Organize My Shapes.

Windows Explorer will open the appropriate folder for you. After the file is copied to that folder, the stencil will be available on the My Shapes submenu.

Insert pictures

  1. On the Insert menu, point to Picture, and then click From File.
  2. Locate the folder that contains a picture you want to insert.
  3. Click the picture file, and then click Open.

Draw your own shapes

To draw your own shapes, use the Drawing toolbar.

  • On the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Drawing.