Tutorial – PowerPoint 2010 Basics Lesson 7: Inserting Shapes

This is Lesson 7 in a series of tutorials on Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. If you would like to start from the beginning of the series go to the Table of Contents at the end of this page. Previously, we started a new blank presentation, added a blank slide, and inserted a text box. We played with the fonts and backgrounds on the text box as well. Today, I would like to continue by showing you how to insert shapes and manipulate them in different ways.

Last week we inserted a text box and put a background in it. See mine, pictured below.

Text Box

Notice the green circle directly above my name. This is a rotation handle. You first have to have the text box selected to see this. If you put your mouse over it, the mouse turns into a circular arrow. If you click and hold that green dot, then move the mouse to the left and right, you should notice that the box rotates around. You can always hit the undo button if you don’t like the results. Go ahead and rotate your text box 90 degrees and place your name on the right side of the slide, see below.

Rotated Text

Notice the section on the ribbon labeled “Drawing”. There you will see a variety of shapes in a box with a downward pointing arrow to the right.

Drawing Toolbar

As shown below, click the arrow to drop down a selection of shapes you can add to a slide.


Notice that as you put your mouse over the various shapes that a little description pops up over the shape. The shapes are also categorized. Find the category called “Stars and Banners”. In that category select the shape called “Horizontal Scroll”. Your mouse will change into a cross. You can now click and drag across your slide and a shape will be created where you drag.


Notice in the picture above, the scroll is created and filled with a blue color. I am not real happy with the width so to change the width, I will position my mouse over the center dot on the right side of the scroll. Why the center dot? If I choose one of the corner dots, it will resize the entire shape. By clicking the center dot on the right side, and dragging to the right, I can lengthen the scroll.

Lengthened Scroll

Now I have the scroll covering most of my slide. With the scroll selected, as pictured above, start typing the words “Welcome to My Presentation”. Notice that the words are typed directly on the shape, but are very tiny. If you select the words on the shape, you will get a font box, as pictured below.


Go ahead and select the text and choose a different size, such as 40. Now the words are nice and large across the scroll. Now, let’s add some pizzazz to the words. With the words selected, click the “Text Effects” dropdown on the ribbon toolbar, as pictured below. Under the “Text Effects” menu, choose “Reflection”, then choose a reflection style.


Notice the subtle, yet effective contribution the reflection makes on your text. Let’s go ahead and save our presentation. Our next lesson will go more in depth with shapes. We’ll learn how to arrange and order shapes on a slide as well. As always, please feel free to comment on our tutorials or ask questions.

PowerPoint Basics Table of Contents

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Darrin Jenkins

Darrin is an IT manager for a large electrical contractor in Louisville KY. He is married and has 3 kids. He loves helping people with their technology needs. He runs a blog called Say Geek!