Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating Other Shapes
You can change an object’s shape at any time. First, select the shape. Then, open
the Drawing Tools tab on the Ribbon, look in the Insert Shapes group, click the
Edit Shape button, and choose Change Shape from the menu that appears.
Many shape buttons have an extra handle shaped like a yellow diamond that
enables you to adjust some aspect of the object’s shape. For example, the
block arrows have a handle that enables you to increase or decrease the size
of the arrowhead. The location of these handles varies depending on the
shape you’re working with. Figure 12-5 shows how you can use these extra
handles to vary the shapes produced by six different shapes. For each of the
six shapes, the first object shows how the shape is initially drawn; the other
two objects drawn with each shape show how you can change the shape by
dragging the extra handle. (Note that the yellow handles aren’t shown in this
figure. When you select a shape that has one of these adjustment handles,
the handles will appear.)
Figure 12-5: You can create interesting variations by grabbing the extra handles on these shapes.
Drawing a polygon or free-form shape
Mr. Arnold, my seventh-grade math teacher, taught me that a polygon is a
shape that has many sides and has nothing to do with having more than one
spouse. (One is certainly enough for most people.) Triangles, squares, and
rectangles are polygons, but so are hexagons, pentagons, and any unusual
shapes whose sides all consist of straight lines. Politicians are continually
inventing new polygons when they revise the boundaries of congressional
One of the most useful shapes in the Shapes gallery is the Freeform Shape
tool. It’s designed to create polygons, but with a twist: Not all the sides have
to be straight lines. The Freeform Shape tool lets you build a shape whose
sides are a mixture of straight lines and free-form curves. Figure 12-6 shows
three examples of shapes that I created with the Freeform Shape tool.
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