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Using the Drawing Tools and Format Features in PowerPoint

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  • 0:02 More Than Just Text
  • 0:19 Drawing Shapes
  • 1:42 Formatting Your Objects
  • 2:59 Quick Styles
  • 3:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

This lesson will introduce the different formatting and drawing tools in PowerPoint. Using the drawing tools, you can add lines, arrows, boxes and circles to help make your presentation unique and artistic.

More Than Just Text

There is more to PowerPoint than just adding text and bulleted lists to your slides. You can freehand a drawing, such as a rectangle, circle or arrow. The Drawing and Format tools and commands allow you to give your slides a more custom and unique look.

Drawing Shapes

There are many ways to communicate visually with our audience using PowerPoint. With Shapes, you can draw lines and arrows and create circles and rectangles easily and quickly. You can take it further and easily format these shapes or even add animation to them.

If you click on the Home tab, Drawing is one of the sub-categories in the ribbon. In this section, there is a box of shapes. If you click on the 'more' icon, or the triangle facing down in the bottom right-hand corner of the box, you will see that the shapes are categorized into several types: Recently Used, Lines, Rectangles, Basic Shapes, Block Arrows and so on.

Let's start with drawing a rectangle. Click on the 'more' icon to expand the Shapes tool box, and select the Rectangle option (please see the video starting at 01:13 for this action). Decide where you want to place it on a slide (and keep in mind we can move it later), and click in the upper-left corner of where you want to place your rectangle and drag to the lower-right corner to define the size. The click, hold, drag and release process can be applied to any shapes and is commonly referred to as freehand drawing of your shape.

Formatting Your Objects

Because of the intuitive nature of PowerPoint, immediately after drawing your shape, a new tab or menu appears atop the ribbon. These are your Drawing and Format tools and commands. These commands allow you to fill in the shape with color, change the outline color of the shape and add 3D-type effects to the shape. So, let's take a closer look.

If you click on the Shape Fill command, a palette of colors opens for you to choose from and then apply to the inside of your shape. You can instantly fill your rectangle or circle with the color of your choice. The Gradient option gives you several variance choices for editing the color, instead of a solid fill.

The Shape Outline command is just at it implies. Clicking on this command will give you the same color choices seen under the Shape Fill. The outline color of the object can be the same or different from the interior color, and you can change the thickness of the outline. This command also allows you to change the style of the lines, such as dotted or dashed. Finally, the Shape Effects command lets you add 3D-type effects to your shape, such as adding a glow or a shadow.

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