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Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn about different types of shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. In many ways, shapes are the building blocks of PowerPoint slide design.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






What do you think about when you say the word "shape" aloud? Do you imagine a square, a circle, a heart, or even a smiley shape? Yes, all those are shapes—as are the hundreds of other recognizable outlines or figures that we call shapes in our everyday parlance. Shapes play a significant role within any slides you create for your PowerPoint presentation. In more ways that you may want to count, shapes are like the building blocks of almost anything you do on your PowerPoint slides. PowerPoint 2013 provides hundreds of shapes efficiently categorized into 9 types. You can do so much with these shapes. For example, you can combine shapes to create your own unique shapes, format shapes with fills, lines, and effects—and even group or layer them to create more amazing graphics. You can even create flowcharts with these shapes. This tutorial explores the various types of shapes available within PowerPoint.

To look at these different type of shapes, choose the Insert tab (or even the Home tab) of the Ribbon. Then, click the Shapes button to bring up a drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 1.

Shapes drop-down gallery
Figure 1: Shapes drop-down gallery

PowerPoint 2013 sorts these different shape types into nine categories, as explained below:

1. Lines

Straight and curved lines, with or without arrowheads (see Figure 2). Also, you'll find options to create freeform paths and scribbles. In addition, lines also work as connectors, which link individual shapes and other slide objects via straight, curved, or elbow branches.

Lines
Figure 2: Lines

Tip: The first 9 line types also work as "connectors". These can be especially useful if you need to create flowcharts. For more info, explore our Using Flowchart and Connector Shapes Together tutorial.

2. Rectangles

Other than the ubiquitous simple rectangle, PowerPoint provides several types of other rectangles including those with rounded and snipped corners (see Figure 3).

Rectangles
Figure 3: Rectangles

3. Basic Shapes

Common shapes such as ovals, triangles, cubes, hearts, etc. (see Figure 4).

Basic Shapes
Figure 4: Basic Shapes

4. Block Arrows

A comprehensive assortment of arrow shapes (see Figure 5).

Block Arrows
Figure 5: Block Arrows

5. Equation Shapes

Common mathematical and equation symbols (see Figure 6).

Equation Shapes
Figure 6: Equation Shapes

6. Flowchart

Several standard flowchart symbols such as Process, Decision, Data, etc can be found within this category (see Figure 7).

Flowchart
Figure 7: Flowchart

Tip: Learn more about the various flowchart shapes in our Flowchart Symbols: What They Represent? tutorial.

7. Stars and Banners

Stars with 4 until 32 points, explosions, scrolls, and banners (see Figure 8).

Stars and Banners
Figure 8: Stars and Banners

8. Callouts

Provides speech and thought bubbles, and line callouts too (see Figure 9).

Callouts
Figure 9: Callouts

9. Action Buttons

A special category of buttons that enables you to add push style buttons that allow you to add navigation between slides and other interactivity (see Figure 10).

Action Buttons
Figure 10: Action Buttons

Other than the categories mentioned above, the Shapes drop-down gallery also includes a Recently Used Shapes category right on top that lists any shapes that you use often (see Figure 11). All these shapes are also visible in their normal location in the Shapes drop-down gallery.

Recently Used Shapes
Figure 11: Recently Used Shapes


See Also:

Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Types of Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 and 2007 for Windows
Types of Shapes in PowerPoint Online


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