Drawing AutoShape Objects

When you look at Figure 27.8, you probably see a Manhattan cocktail with a cherry. But really, the figure consists of two trapezoids, a rectangle, an oval, a circle, and a curved line. Each of these objects has also been formatted to create a particular effect.

Figure 27.8. You can use PowerPoint's drawing objects to make a simple picture.



Even though you can't tell at a glance, the shapes in this picture have also been grouped to interact as a single vector graphic.

Vector graphics are a type of graphic image composed of grouped shapes. The shapes are stacked in an order that creates a picture in the mind's eye. Think back to when you were in kindergarten. Remember cutting out a bunch of circles, squares, and triangles ? After gluing the shapes together, you had formed a picture of a house underneath clouds. Vector graphics work by the same principles.


PowerPoint has six line styles to choose from: three straight and three curved. Each line style can also be formatted with many options. PowerPoint always has the type of line you need for a project. The line, arrow, and double-arrow options all draw straight lines.

To draw a line, use the following steps:

  1. Select AutoShapes, Lines from the drawing toolbar to display the Lines submenu.

  2. Click a line style: Line, Arrow, or Double Arrow.

  3. Move the mouse to the area on the slide where you want the line to start. The mouse pointer should look like Figure 27.9, a thin cross (also called a crosshair).

    Figure 27.9. The mouse pointer is ready to draw a line.


  4. Click and hold down the left mouse button.

  5. Drag the mouse to the location where the line should end, and then release the mouse button.


If you selected Arrow, the arrow appears on the end of the line where you release the mouse button. Therefore, if you're drawing a line from left to right, the arrow appears on the right end of the line. Depending on the settings, the arrow might be so small that you can't see it. The later section, "Using Arrowheads," gives more information on formatting arrowheads.


If you want to draw a straight, or constrained, line, hold down the Shift key while dragging. This method keeps the line constrained to 15-degree angles and makes drawing less tedious .

Holding down the Ctrl key while dragging causes the line to draw in both directions from the starting point.

Use Ctrl+Shift while dragging the mouse to get a straight line drawn in both directions.


A connector is a valuable , time-saving drawing object used to visually connect two points. Using connector lines instead of normal lines is helpful when you move an object, because the lines stay connected (hence the name connectors ). To connect any object, use one of PowerPoint's three types of connector lines: straight, angled, or curved. Follow these steps:

  1. Select AutoShapes, Connectors from the drawing toolbar to display the Connectors submenu.

  2. Click the type of connector you want.

  3. Position the mouse on the first object to connect.

  4. Click a blue connection site.

  5. Move the mouse to the second object and click a connection site.

After you have connected two objects, the connection lines show locked connectors as red squares. If a connector isn't locked to an object (unlocked), the connector is shown as a green square. You can also use the yellow adjustment controls to "snake" the connector the way you want.

The rest of the AutoShape options behave in basically the same manner. The main difference between the objects is the specific shape. There are many closed shapes that can be easily drawn and grouped to create almost any kind of picture. Remember the sample cocktail shown at the beginning of this chapter? Your drawing can be very simple or extremely complexenough to create an intricate work of art.

Follow these steps to draw an AutoShape:

  1. Select AutoShapes from the drawing toolbar to open the AutoShapes submenu.

  2. Select Basic Shapes, Block Arrows, Flow Chart Symbols, Stars and Banners, or More AutoShapes to open the corresponding submenu.

  3. Select a shape.

  4. Click and hold the left mouse button on the upper-left corner of the imaginary box, and then drag to the lower-right corner of the imaginary box.

  5. Release the mouse.


A callout is a text description for part of a graphical image. Callout objects are useful AutoShapes when you need to use text with a connecting line back to an object. For example, you might need to describe a particular object, as shown in Figure 27.10. To create a callout, use the following steps:

  1. Select AutoShapes, Callouts from the drawing toolbar to open the Callouts submenu.

  2. Click the callout you want.

  3. Click where you want the callout to be attached and drag to the size you want.

  4. Type the text for the callout.

Figure 27.10. Use callouts to attach text to the object you are referencing (like comics in the newspaper).


Action Buttons

Action buttons , the last available option on the AutoShapes menu, enable you to create navigation buttons like the ones you see displayed on World Wide Web pages. You draw these buttons just as you do any other AutoShape. When you release the mouse button, PowerPoint displays the Actions Settings dialog box, where you can set the specific action you want the button to perform.

Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One (Sams Teach Yourself All in One)
ISBN: 0672325349
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 474
Authors: Greg Perry

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