Add, change, or delete shapes

You can add one shape to your file or combine multiple shapes to make a drawing or a more complex shape. Available shapes include lines, basic geometric shapes, arrows, equation shapes, flowchart shapes, stars, banners, and callouts.

After you add one or more shapes, you can add text, bullets, numbering, and Quick Styles to them.

 Note   For more information about using charts or SmartArt in your document, see When should I use a SmartArt graphic and when should I use a chart?.

What do you want to do?


Add a shape to your file

Which program are you using?


Excel

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

The Insert tab, with Shapes highlighted, in Excel 2010.

  1. Click the shape that you want, click anywhere in the workbook, and then drag to place the shape.

To create a perfect square or circle (or constrain the dimensions of other shapes), press and hold SHIFT while you drag.

 Tip   You can add individual shapes to a chart or add shapes on top of a SmartArt graphic to customize the chart or SmartArt graphic.

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PowerPoint

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

The Home tab, with Shapes highlighted, in PowerPoint 2010.

  1. Click the shape that you want, click anywhere on the slide, and then drag to place the shape.

To create a perfect square or circle (or constrain the dimensions of other shapes), press and hold SHIFT while you drag.

 Tip   You can add individual shapes to a chart or add shapes on top of a SmartArt graphic to customize the chart or SmartArt graphic.

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Word

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

The Insert tab, with Shapes highlighted, in Word 2010.

  1. Click the shape that you want, click anywhere in the document, and then drag to place the shape.

To create a perfect square or circle (or constrain the dimensions of other shapes), press and hold SHIFT while you drag.

 Tip   You can add individual shapes to a chart or add shapes on top of a SmartArt graphic to customize the chart or SmartArt graphic.

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Add multiple shapes to your file

Instead of adding individual shapes to create a drawing, you might want to create a SmartArt graphic. In a SmartArt graphic, the arrangement of the shapes and the font size in those shapes is updated automatically as you add or remove shapes and edit your text.

Which program are you using?


Excel

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

The Insert tab, with Shapes highlighted, in Excel 2010.

  1. Right-click the shape that you want to add, and then click Lock Drawing Mode.
  2. Click anywhere in the workbook, and then drag to place the shape. Repeat this for each shape that you want to add.

 Tip   To create a perfect square or circle (or constrain the dimensions of other shapes), press and hold SHIFT while you drag.

  1. After you add all the shapes that you want, press ESC.

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PowerPoint

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

The Home tab, with Shapes highlighted, in PowerPoint 2010.

  1. Right-click the shape that you want to add, and then click Lock Drawing Mode.
  2. Click anywhere in the on the slide, and then drag to place the shape. Repeat this for each shape that you want to add.

 Tip   To create a perfect square or circle (or constrain the dimensions of other shapes), press and hold SHIFT while you drag.

  1. After you add all the shapes that you want, press ESC.

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Word

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

The Insert tab, with Shapes highlighted, in Word 2010.

  1. Right-click the shape that you want to add, and then click Lock Drawing Mode.
  2. Click anywhere in the document, and then drag to place the shape. Repeat this for each shape that you want to add.

 Tip   To create a perfect square or circle (or constrain the dimensions of other shapes), press and hold SHIFT while you drag.

  1. After you add all the shapes that you want, press ESC.

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Add text to a shape

  • Click the shape that you want to add text to, and then type your text.

 Note    The text that you add becomes part of the shape — if you rotate or flip the shape, the text rotates or flips also.

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Add a bulleted or numbered list to a shape

Which program are you using?


Excel

  1. Select the text in the shape that you want to add bullets or numbering to.
  2. Right-click the selected text, and on the shortcut menu, point to Bullets, and then click Bullets and Numbering.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To add bullets, click the Bulleted tab, and then choose the options that you want.
    • To add numbering, click the Numbered tab, and then choose the options that you want.

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PowerPoint

  1. Select the text in the shape that you want to add bullets or numbering to.
  2. Right-click the selected text, and on the shortcut menu, do one of the following:
    • To add bullets, point to Bullets, and then choose the options that you want.
    • To add numbering, point to Numbering, and then choose the options that you want.

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Word

  1. Select the text in the shape that you want to add bullets or numbering to.
  2. Right-click the selected text, and on the shortcut menu, do one of the following:
    • To add bullets, point to Bullets, and then choose the options that you want.
    • To add numbering, point to Numbering, and then choose the options that you want.

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Add a Quick Style to a shape

Quick Styles are combinations of different formatting options that are displayed in a thumbnail in the Quick Style gallery in the Shape Styles group. When you rest your pointer over a Quick Style thumbnail, you can see how the Shape Style (or Quick Style) affects your shape.

  1. Click the shape that you want to apply a new or different Quick Style to.
  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the Quick Style that you want.

The Shape Styles group on the Format tab.

To see more Quick Styles, click the More button Button image.

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Change from one shape to another shape

  1. Click the shape that you want to change to a different shape.

To change multiple shapes, press CTRL while you click the shapes that you want to change.

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click Edit Shape Edit shape button image, point to Change Shape, and then click the new shape that you want.

 Tip    If you are using PowerPoint 2010, you can use the Combine Shapes feature to create complex new shapes. For more information about this, see Create a custom shape in PowerPoint 2010.

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Delete a shape from your file

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

 Tip    To delete multiple shapes, press CTRL while you click the shapes that you want to delete, and then press DELETE.

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Applies to:
Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010