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Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn about the special handles that allow you to manipulate shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Using these handles, learn how you can modify shape appearance.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






There are so many different types of shapes that PowerPoint provides you with, and you can format these shapes by resizing, rotating, flipping, etc. Other than these basic formatting tasks, you must explore the special yellow square handles. Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows generally when selected, display eight resizing handles and a single rotation handle. In addition, some shapes also have one or more yellow square handles. These yellow square handles enable you to change some facets of the selected shape, or in some cases you can change the entire shape. Figure 1 shows a Hexagon with one yellow square and a U-turn arrow with five yellow squares.

The Hexagon has one yellow square handle and the U-turn arrow has five of them
Figure 1: The Hexagon has one yellow square handle and the U-turn arrow has five of them

Note: Some shapes such as the Line, the Oval, and the Rectangle may have no yellow squares. Also if you are a long-time PowerPoint user, you probably know that these yellow square handles used to be diamond shaped handles until PowerPoint 2010, the previous version of the program. It really doesn't matter though because the squares work the same way as the diamond handles used to.

By dragging the yellow square handles, you can perform simple changes in the structure of the shape, such as increasing or decreasing the corner curvature of a rounded rectangle. Some shapes show more changes. The following section includes examples of how dragging the yellow square handles can change the shape altogether, to some extent.

Dragging the yellow square handle of a Hexagon shape from right to left gives you almost a rectangle, and if the square is dragged from left to right it changes the shape into a diamond handles, as shown in Figure 2.

A Hexagon can be changed to both a rectangle and a diamond
Figure 2: A Hexagon can be changed to both a rectangle and a diamond

Dragging the yellow square handle of the 7 pointed Star towards the center makes the star more acute and pointed, and dragging the square handle outwards makes the star look almost like an oval (see Figure 3).

A 7 pointed star gets more pronounced and blurred
Figure 3: A 7 pointed star gets more pronounced and blurred

By dragging the five yellow square handles on a U-turn arrow, you can adjust almost every characteristic of the arrow, as shown in Figure 4. Most of the arrow shapes comprise more than one yellow square handles, which alter the arrowhead, lines, curves, etc.

A U-turn Arrow with a modified curve and arrowhead
Figure 4: A U-turn Arrow with a modified curve and arrowhead

As you can see in Figure 5 below, a Smiley Face shape can be changed to a straight face or a sad face by merely dragging the yellow square handle on its lip.

Smiley Face shape is changed to a straight face and a sad face by dragging the yellow square handle
Figure 5: Smiley Face shape is changed to a straight face and a sad face by dragging the yellow square handle


See Also:

Advanced Shape Techniques: Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Manipulating Shapes by Dragging Yellow Handles in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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