Draw or delete a line, connector, or freeform shape

You can add lines to connect two shapes, to point to a piece of information, to create a blank signature line, or to separate text.

ShowWhat are lines, connectors, and freeform shapes?

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 in Microsoft Excel 2010 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, red dots appear on the shape outline. 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 draw a freeform shape. You can also draw a shape that looks like it was drawn with a pen or pencil.

What do you want to do?


Draw a line or connector

Draw a line with connection points

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.
    The Shapes group on the Insert tab.
  2. Under Lines, click the line or connector that you want to add.
  3. 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.

 Notes 

  • In Word 2010, you need to insert a drawing canvas before you can draw shapes and add connectors to those shapes. To insert a drawing canvas, on the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.
  • Attached connection points on the line appear as red circles.
  • To draw a straight line, click Line Button image, and then drag to draw the line.

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Draw a line without connection points

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.
    The Shapes group on the Insert tab.
  2. Under Lines, click FreeformButton image.
  3. Click one location in the document, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again.
  4. Double-click when you are finished drawing the line.

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Draw multiple lines or connectors

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.
    The Shapes group on the Insert tab.
  2. Under Lines, right-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 add, click one location in the document, move your pointer to a different location, and then click again. Double-click when are you 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.
  1. When you finish adding all of the lines or connectors, press ESC.

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Add an arrowhead to a line

  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.
  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Outline.
    The Shape Styles group on the Format tab
    If you do not see Drawing Tools or the Format tab, make sure that you selected a line. You might have to double-click the line to open the Format tab.
  3. 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

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.
    The Shapes group on the Insert tab.
  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.
  1. 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.
  2. To finish drawing the 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, see Convert a shape to a freeform shape.
  • To edit the points of a shape, see Edit points in a 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%.

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Edit points in a shape

You can edit the points of most shapes.

  1. Select the shape that you want to edit.
  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click Edit ShapeButton image, and then click Edit Points.
    The Insert Shapes group on the Format tab.
  3. 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.

ShowKeyboard shortcuts for editing points.

  • To open Edit Points mode, select the shape and then press ALT + J, E, E.
  • To add a point, click the shape outline while pressing CTRL.
  • To delete a point, click the point while pressing CTRL.
  • To have the point treated as a smooth point, press SHIFT while dragging either of the handles attached to the point. Once you stop dragging, the point will be changed to a smooth point. A smooth point joins two line segments of equal length.
  • To have the point treated as a straight point, press CTRL while dragging either of the handles attached to the point. Once you stop dragging the point will be changed to a straight point. A straight point joins two line segments of different lengths.
  • To have the point treated as a corner point, press ALT while dragging either of the handles attached to the point. Once you stop dragging the point will be changed to a corner point. A corner point joins two line segments with one segment going off in a different direction.
  • To cancel the change to the point and line segments, press ESC before releasing the mouse button.

 Note    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%.

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Delete lines, connectors, or a freeform shape

  • 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

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

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Applies to:
Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010