Draw a curve or circle shape

You can draw ovals, circles, and freeform curves. In addition, you can edit the points of most shapes to create new, customized shapes or lines.

For information about how to draw lines, see Draw or delete a line, connector, or freeform shape.

What do you want to do?


Draw a curve

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.
    The Shapes group on the Insert tab.
  2. Under Lines, click Curve Button image.
  3. Click where you want the curve to start, drag to draw, and then click wherever you want to add a curve.
  4. 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 

  • You can edit the points that create to make it look smoother. For more information about how to edit the points of a shape, see Edit points in a shape.
  • By default, a closed shape is filled. To make sure that the shape doesn't obscure the cells underneath, select the shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Fill, and then click No Fill

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Draw a circle

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

The Shapes group on the Insert tab.

  1. Under Basic Shapes, click Oval Oval shape image.
  2. Click where you want the circle to start. To make the shape a circle, press and hold SHIFT while you drag to draw.

 Notes 

  • You can change the look of your circle or curve by adding a shape fill or shape effect or changing the shape border.
  • If you want to create a more advanced diagram like overlapping circles, an organizational chart, or a flowchart, you can create a SmartArt graphic instead of drawing each shape manually.
  • By default, a circle or oval is filled. To make sure that the shape doesn't obscure the cells underneath, select the shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Fill, and then click No Fill.

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Edit points in a shape

  1. Select the shape.
  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.
    If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, you may not have selected a shape. You might have to double-click the shape to open 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, curve, or scribble shape.

ShowKeyboard shortcuts for editing points

  • To open Edit Points mode, click 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.

 Notes 

  • 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%.
  • To increase your drawing control, set your pointer to the slowest speed available, in Control Panel.

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Applies to:
Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010