Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with shapes
Using connectors and callouts
Most shapes are easy to use and somewhat self-explanatory. Connectors and callouts,
however, have some special qualities that bear mentioning. If you ever spent time creating
drawings using simple lines and boxes, you know what a problem it can be when you need
to reposition any of the objects. You usually end up spending as much time fine-tuning
the drawing as you spent drawing it in the first place. Connectors , which are special kinds
of lines that are “sticky” on both ends, can help. You use them when you want to connect
shapes with lines that remain attached and stretch, making it easier to reposition objects
later with a minimum of tweaking.
The connector tools are the six tools located in the middle of the Lines group in the Shapes
gallery, as shown in Figure 10-12. After you click one of these tools, special points appear
when you rest the pointer on any existing shape. These are connection points , and if you
click one of them, the connector line attaches to that point. The second click attaches the
other end of the connector line to a point on another object and completes the connector
Connector tools
Figure 10-12 The connector tools appear in the Lines group in the Shapes gallery.
As Figure 10-13 shows, the resulting connector line stays attached to the two points even
when you move the shapes. You don’t have to attach connectors to anything. For example,
you can connect one end to a shape and leave the other end free to create your own
custom callout.
Connectors are particularly useful for creating low charts. First, sketch your ideas using
connectors with the Flowchart tools in the Shapes gallery. You can move low charts as you
work, and the connector lines reroute themselves as necessary.
You can also use SmartArt graphics to create low charts and other types of diagrams. For
more information, see “Creating SmartArt” later in this chapter.
Callouts are special text boxes with connector lines already attached. You can use them to
add labels to important information or to describe important items. The most familiar type
of callout is the kind you see in comics. Excel includes several of these balloon callouts,
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