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Creating Semi-Circles in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

Learn how to create a semicircle in PowerPoint 2003.

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2003
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista

Date Created: September 11th 2009
Last Updated: September 11th 2009

PowerPoint 2003 and previous versions don't allow you to draw a semi-circle shape although that's not an issue within PowerPoint 2007. In this tutorial, I'll show you three ways in which you can add a semi-circle to your PowerPoint 2003 slide -- whichever way you choose, make sure you save one semi-circle so that you can copy-paste and reuse it again whenever required.

First Option: Find a friend who has PowerPoint 2007

Yes, this really is the easiest option:

  1. Find a friend or colleague who has PowerPoint 2007, and ask them to follow the steps in our Creating Semi-Circles in PowerPoint 2007 tutorial.

  2. Then tell them to save the resultant file as a PPT file, as opposed to PowerPoint 2007's default PPTX format.

  3. Thereafter whenever you need a semi-circle, just copy that shape from the PPT file you received, and paste it into any slide as required.

Second Option: Use a Block Arc

OK -- this must be one of the most counter-intuitive things in PowerPoint, but it can be done:

  1. Get started with a blank slide. Now access the Drawing toolbar, and choose AutoShapes | Basic Shapes | Block Arc, as shown in Figure 1.

    Basic Shapes
    Figure 1: Basic Shapes

  2. Place an instance of the Block Arc, as shown in Figure 2 -- note that there is a diamond handle in the left side of the arc tube. Drag it to the right very, very carefully until you end up with a semi-circle. I know, you may not be able to achieve the semi-circle the first time you try -- if that is the case, try again.

    Block Arc
    Figure 2: Block Arc

    Note: OfficeOne provides a PowerPoint add-in called ProTools (on the ProTools page, look for a section called Tips) that makes it easy to create a semi-circle in PowerPoint -- and PowerPoint 2007 creates an easy semi-circle too.

    3. Either way, you'll end up with an almost perfect semi-circle as shown in Figure 3.

    Figure 3: Semi-circle

    4. (Optional) Rotate the circle 180 degrees using the green rotation handle on top so that your semi-circle looks like what you can see in Figure 4.

    Rotate at 180 degrees
    Figure 4: Rotate at 180 degrees

    5. Save your presentation.

Third Option: Get Leftovers From A Chart!

Yes, you read that right -- you can create a semi-circle from a chart in PowerPoint 2003 -- follow these steps:

  1. Get started with a blank slide. Now choose Insert | Chart so that you are in PowerPoint's special charting mode called Microsoft Graph.

  2. Choose Chart | Chart Type to bring up the dialog box that you can see in Figure 5. As you can see, I chose the first option that's a regular pie. Click OK to exit this dialog box.

    Chart Type
    Figure 5: Chart Type

  3. If you cannot see the Datasheet, choose View | Datasheet so that you can see it as shown in Figure 6.

    Figure 6: Datasheet

  4. Clear the data within all the cells except for A1 and B1. In both these cells, type in identical values -- I typed in 100 in both of them (see Figure 6 again).

  5. Click anywhere on the slide outside the chart area to exit Microsoft Graph.

  6. Select your chart -- be careful not to double-click your chart since that will re-activate Microsoft Graph -- so just gently select it. Then choose Edit | Copy.

  7. Insert a new blank slide (Ctrl+M), and then choose Edit | Paste Special to bring up a dialog box of the same name as shown in Figure 7. Choose the Picture (Enhanced Metafile) option, and then click OK.

    Paste Special
    Figure 7: Paste Special

  8. Right-click the pasted chart graphic carefully, and choose the Group | Ungroup option in the resultant menu as shown in Figure 8.

    Figure 8: Ungroup

  9. PowerPoint will warn you that the chart picture will convert to a Microsoft Office drawing object (see Figure 9). Click Yes to proceed.

    Figure 9: Ungroup

  10. Right-click the ungrouped chart graphic carefully again, and choose the Group | Ungroup option one more time.

  11. You'll now find two semi-circles within the ungrouped leftovers from the chart! Select any of them, and copy-paste them wherever required.

Related Link: Learn how to do more with AutoShapes in this free excerpt from my book: Cutting Edge PowerPoint For Dummies -- read a free chapter called AutoShape Magic here...

See Also:

Creating Semi-Circles in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Creating Semi-Circles in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Creating Semi-Circles in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Creating Semi-Circles in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Semi-Circles Again in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

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