Draw or delete a line, connector, or freeform shape

In this article


Overview of lines, connectors, and freeform shapes

You may want to add a line to point to a piece of information, to create a blank signature line, or to separate text.

A connector is a line that has connection points at the ends of the line and stays connected to the shapes that you attach it to. The three types of connectors are straight, elbow (angled), and curved.

After you choose a connector, circular dots appear on shapes as you move your pointer over them. Red dots appear in Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, and blue dots appear in Microsoft Office Word 2007 and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. These dots indicate where you can attach a connector.

When you rearrange shapes that are joined with connectors, the connectors remain attached to and move with the shapes. If you move either end of a connector, that end detaches from the shape, and you can then attach it to another connection site on the same shape or attach it to another shape. After the connector attaches to a connection site, the connector stays connected to the shapes no matter how you move each shape.

After you rearrange connected shapes, you may need to reroute some connectors to make the most direct connections and keep connectors from crossing shapes.

If you want a shape that has both curved and straight segments, you can draw a freeform open or closed shape. You can also draw a shape that looks like it was drawn with a pen or pencil.

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Draw a line or connector

Connectors are lines that have connection points at the end and stay connected to the shapes that you attach them to.

Which program are you using?


Excel

Draw a line with connection points

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.

Excel Insert tab image

  1. Under Lines, click the line or connector that you want to add.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To draw a straight line, click Line Button image, and then drag to draw the line.

 Note   To make the line align horizontally or vertically, press and hold SHIFT as you drag. The line will "snap to" either the horizontal or vertical plane.

  • To draw a line that is not connected a shape, click anywhere in the document, and then drag to draw the line.
  • To draw a line connecting shapes, on the first shape, point to where you want to attach the connector, click the first connection site, point to the other shape, and then click the second connection site.

Connection sites appear as red circles as you move the pointer over a shape.

 Notes 

  • Attached connection points on the line appear as red circles. Unattached connection points on the line appear as light blue (almost transparent) circles.
  • You can also add a Quick Style, fill, or effect to the line.

Draw a line without connection points

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.

Excel Insert tab image

  1. Under Lines, click FreeformButton image.
  2. Click one location in the document, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again.

When you are finished drawing the line, double-click.

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Outlook

Draw a line with connection points

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the More button Button image.
  2. Under Lines, click the line or connector that you want.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To draw a line that is not connected to a shape, click anywhere in the document, and then drag to draw the line.
    • To draw a straight line, click Line Button image, and then drag to draw the line.

 Note   To make the line align horizontally or vertically, press and hold SHIFT as you drag. The line will "snap to" either the horizontal or vertical plane.

  • To draw a line connecting shapes, on the first shape, point to where you want to attach the connector, click the first connection site, point to the other shape, and then click the second connection site.

Connection sites appear as blue circles as you move the pointer over a shape.

 Notes 

  • Attached connection points on the line appear as red circles. Unattached connection points on the line appear as light blue (almost transparent) circles.
  • To constrain the line at 15-degree angles from its starting point, press and hold SHIFT as you drag.
  • You can also add a Quick Style, fill, or effect to the line.

Draw a line without connection points

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the More button Button image.
  2. Under Lines, click FreeformButton image.
  3. Click one location in the document, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again.

When you are finished drawing the line, double-click.

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PowerPoint

Draw a line with connection points

  1. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Shapes.

PowerPoint Home tab image

  1. Under Lines, click the line or connector that you want to add.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To draw a line that is not connected a shape, click anywhere in the document, and then drag to draw the line.
    • To draw a straight line, click Line Button image, and then drag to draw the line.

 Note   To make the line align horizontally or vertically, press and hold SHIFT as you drag. The line will "snap to" either the horizontal or vertical plane.

  • To draw a line connecting shapes, on the first shape, point to where you want to attach the connector, click the first connection site, point to the other shape, and then click the second connection site.

Connection sites appear as red circles as you move the pointer over a shape.

 Notes 

  • Attached connection points on the line appear as red circles. Unattached connection points on the line appear as light blue (almost transparent) circles.
  • You can also add a Quick Style, fill, or effect to the line.

Draw a line without connection points

  1. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Shapes.

PowerPoint Home tab image

  1. Under Lines, click FreeformButton image.
  2. Click one location in the document, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again.

When you are finished drawing the line, double-click.

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Word

Draw a line with connection points

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the More button Button image.
  2. Under Lines, click the line or connector that you want.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To draw a line that is not connected to a shape, click anywhere in the document, and then drag to draw the line.
    • To draw a straight line, click Line Button image, and then drag to draw the line.

 Note   To constrain the line at 15-degree angles from its starting point, press and hold SHIFT as you drag.

  • To draw a line connecting shapes, on the first shape, point to where you want to attach the connector, click the first connection site, point to the other shape, and then click the second connection site.

Connection sites appear as blue circles as you move the pointer over a shape.

 Notes 

  • Attached connection points on the line appear as red circles. Unattached connection points on the line appear as light blue (almost transparent) circles.
  • You can also add a Quick Style, fill, or effect to the line.

Draw a line without connection points

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the More button Button image.
  2. Under Lines, click FreeformButton image.
  3. Click one location in the document, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again.

When you are finished drawing the line, double-click.

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Draw multiple lines or connectors

Connectors are lines that have connection points at the end and stay connected to the shapes that you attach them to.

Which program are you using?


Excel

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.

Excel Insert tab image

  1. Under Lines, right-click the line or connector that you want to add, and then click Lock Drawing Mode.
  2. Click anywhere in the document, and then do one of the following:
    • For each line that you want to add, click one location in the document, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again. Double-click when you are finished drawing the line.
    • To add connectors to multiple shapes, on the first shape, point to where you want to attach the connector, click the first connection site that you want, point to the other shape, and then click the second connection site.

Repeat this procedure for each connector that you want to add.

Connection sites and connectors appear as red circles as you move the pointer over a shape. Unattached connectors appear as light blue (almost transparent) circles.

  1. When you finish adding all of the lines or connectors, press ESC.

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Outlook

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the More button Button image.
  2. Under Lines, click the line or connector that you want to add, and then click Lock Drawing Mode.
  3. Click anywhere in the document, and then do one of the following:
    • For each line that you want to draw, drag to draw the line.
    • To add connectors to multiple shapes, on the first shape, point to where you want to attach the connector, click the first connection site that you want, point to the other shape, and then click the second connection site.

Repeat this procedure for each connector that you want to add.

Connection sites appear as blue circles as you move the pointer over a shape and attached connectors appear as red circles. Unattached connectors appear as light blue (almost transparent) circles.

  1. When you finish adding all of the lines or connectors, press ESC.

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PowerPoint

  1. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Shapes.

PowerPoint Home tab image

  1. Under Lines, right-click the line or connector that you want to add, and then click Lock Drawing Mode.

 Note   To draw a straight line, click Line Button image, and then drag to draw the line. To constrain the line at 45-degree angles from its starting point, press and hold SHIFT as you drag.

  1. Click anywhere in the document, and then do one of the following:
    • For each line that you want to add, click one location in the document, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again. Double-click when you are finished drawing the line.
    • To add connectors to multiple shapes, on the first shape, point to where you want to attach the connector, click the first connection site that you want, point to the other shape, and then click the second connection site.

Repeat this procedure for each connector that you want to add.

Connection sites and connectors appear as red circles as you move the pointer over a shape. Unattached connectors appear as light blue (almost transparent) circles.

  1. When you finish adding all of the lines or connectors, press ESC.

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Word

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the More button Button image.
  2. Under Lines, click the line or connector that you want to add, and then click Lock Drawing Mode.
  3. Click anywhere in the document, and then do one of the following:
    • For each line that you want to draw, drag to draw the line.

 Note   To draw a straight line, click Line Button image, and then drag to draw the line. To constrain the line at 15-degree angles from its starting point, press and hold SHIFT as you drag.

  • To add connectors to multiple shapes, on the first shape, point to where you want to attach the connector, click the first connection site that you want, point to the other shape, and then click the second connection site.

Repeat this procedure for each connector that you want to add.

Connection sites appear as blue circles as you move the pointer over a shape and attached connectors appear as red circles. Unattached connectors appear as light blue (almost transparent) circles.

  1. When you finish adding all of the lines or connectors, press ESC.

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Add an arrowhead

Do the following for all programs listed in the Applies To at the top of the article.

  1. Select the line that you want to add an arrowhead to.

If you want to add arrowheads to multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines.

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Outline.
  2. Point to Arrows, and then click the arrow style that you want.

To create a custom arrow style, click More Arrows, and then choose the options that you want.

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Draw a freeform shape

Which program are you using?


Excel

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.

Excel Insert tab image

  1. Under Lines, do one of the following:
    • To draw a shape that has both curved and straight segments, click FreeformButton image.
    • To draw a shape that looks like it was drawn with a pen by hand, or to create smooth curves, click Scribble Button image.
  2. Click anywhere in the document, and then drag to draw.

To draw a straight segment, click one location, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again.

  1. To end a shape, do one of the following:
    • To leave the shape open, double-click at any time.
    • To close the shape, click near its starting point.

 Notes 

  • To convert any shape to a freeform shape, click the shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click Edit ShapeEdit shape button image, and then click Convert to Freeform. You can then redraw or adjust the shape.
  • To adjust a freeform shape to make it look smoother, click the freeform shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click Edit ShapeButton image, and then click Edit Points. Drag one of the vertexes that outline the shape. A vertex is the point, indicated by a black dot, where a curve ends or the point where two line segments meet in a freeform shape.
  • To make it easier to draw details, increase the magnification to 200 percent. On the View tab, in the Zoom group, click Zoom, and then click 200%.
  • Set your pointer to the slowest speed available in Control Panel. You have greater control when you draw at a slower speed.

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Outlook

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the More button Button image.
  2. Under Lines, do one of the following:
    • To draw a shape that has both curved and straight segments, click FreeformButton image.
    • To draw a shape that looks like it was drawn with a pen by hand, or to create smooth curves, click Scribble Button image.
  3. Click anywhere in the document, and then drag to draw.

To draw a straight segment, click one location, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again.

  1. To end a shape, do one of the following:
    • To leave the shape open, double-click at any time.
    • To close the shape, click near its starting point.

 Notes 

  • To adjust a freeform shape to make it look smoother, click the freeform shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click Edit ShapeButton image, and then click Edit Points. Drag one of the vertexes that outline the shape. A vertex is the point, indicated by a black dot, where a curve ends or the point where two line segments meet in a freeform shape.
  • Set your pointer to the slowest speed available in Control Panel. You have greater control when you draw at a slower speed.

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PowerPoint

  1. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Shapes.

PowerPoint Home tab image

  1. Under Lines, do one of the following:
    • To draw a shape that has both curved and straight segments, click FreeformButton image.
    • To draw a shape that looks like it was drawn with a pen by hand, or to create smooth curves, click Scribble Button image.
  2. Click anywhere in the document, and then drag to draw.

To draw a straight segment, click one location, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again.

  1. To end a shape, do one of the following:
    • To leave the shape open, double-click at any time.
    • To close the shape, click near its starting point.

 Notes 

  • To convert any shape to a freeform shape, click the shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click Edit ShapeEdit shape button image, and then click Convert to Freeform. You can then redraw or adjust the shape.
  • To adjust a freeform shape to make it look smoother, click the freeform shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click Edit ShapeButton image, and then click Edit Points. Drag one of the vertexes that outline the shape. A vertex is the point, indicated by a black dot, where a curve ends or the point where two line segments meet in a freeform shape.
  • To make it easier to draw details, increase the magnification to 200 percent. On the View tab, in the Zoom group, click Zoom, and then click 200%.
  • Set your pointer to the slowest speed available in Control Panel. You have greater control when you draw at a slower speed.

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Word

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the More button Button image.
  2. Under Lines, do one of the following:
    • To draw a shape that has both curved and straight segments, click FreeformButton image.
    • To draw a shape that looks like it was drawn with a pen by hand, or to create smooth curves, click Scribble Button image.
  3. Click anywhere in the document, and then drag to draw.

To draw a straight segment, click one location, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again.

  1. To end a shape, do one of the following:
    • To leave the shape open, double-click at any time.
    • To close the shape, click near its starting point.

 Notes 

  • To adjust a freeform shape to make it look smoother, click the freeform shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click Edit ShapeButton image, and then click Edit Points. Drag one of the vertexes that outline the shape. A vertex is the point, indicated by a black dot, where a curve ends or the point where two line segments meet in a freeform shape.
  • To make it easier to draw details, increase the magnification to 200 percent. On the View tab, in the Zoom group, click Zoom, and then click 200%.
  • Set your pointer to the slowest speed available in Control Panel. You have greater control when you draw at a slower speed.

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Delete one or more lines or connectors

Do the following for all programs listed in the Applies To at the top of the article.

  • Click the line or connector that you want to delete, and then press DELETE.

If you want to delete multiple lines or connectors, select the first line, press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines, and then press DELETE.

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Delete an arrowhead

Do the following for all programs listed in the Applies To at the top of the article.

  1. Select the line that you want to remove arrowheads from.

If you want to remove arrowheads from multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines.

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Outline.
  2. Point to Arrows, and then click Arrow Style 1 (no arrowheads).

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Delete a freeform shape

Do the following for all programs listed in the Applies To at the top of the article.

  • Click the freeform shape that you want to delete, and then press DELETE.

If you want to delete multiple shapes, select the first shape, press and hold CTRL while you select the other shapes, and then press DELETE.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Word 2007