How To Draw Shapes In Microsoft Word

Shapes are good for helping you illustrate the points you want to make to your readers and Microsoft Word 2010 now has a huge selection of shapes that you can draw in your documents. After you add one or more shapes, you can add text, bullets, numbering, and Quick Styles to them.

To insert a shape, click Insert > Illustrations > Shapes. The panel that opens shows the shapes you can insert.

Drawing Shapes In Microsoft Word

The shapes are organised in the following categories:

  • Recently Used Shapes - the last few shapes you inserted into a document.
  • Lines - you can insert straight lines, straight lines with corners, curved lines, lines with arrows on and closed polygons. Learn how to add lines with arrows in Word.
  • Rectangles
  • Basic Shapes - triangles, polygons and an assortment of other common "basic" shapes.
  • Block Arrows - you can add block arrows that face all the different directions and you can also add some interesting variations on the block arrow.
  • Equation Shapes - basic symbols used in equations, such as '+', '-', 'x' etc.
  • Flowchart - if you need to create a flowchart, Microsoft Word 2010 has all the flowchart shapes covered.
  • Stars and Banners
  • Callouts - callouts are lines that end in a box for you to type in. They are useful for explaining a certain element on the page.

Adjusting A Shape

Once you've inserted a shape into your document, you'll find that it is easy to resize it. Click the shape to select it and you should see resize handles appear at each corner and along each edge of the shape's bounding box. Click and drag on any of those handles to resize. Note that you can keep the shape's proportions by dragging a corner handle. If you want to "squash" the shape, drag one of the handles along an edge.

Resizing A Shape In Microsoft Word

Additionally, you can change a shape's orientation by rotating it. With the shape still selected, you should see a green rotation handle at the top and set away from the other handles. If you hover the mouse over that handle, the cursor will change to a rotation symbol. Click and drag to the left or right to rotate the shape anticlockwise or clockwise respectively.

To delete a shape from your document, select it and press the delete key on your keyboard, or the backspace key.