A hidden feature in PowerPoint lets you create fluid curves like this. They’re called Bézier curves.
Follow these steps:
- Insert a shape from the Shapes gallery on the Home or Insert tab. (In 2003, you need to use a curve, freeform or scribble. Choose AutoShapes> Lines on the Drawing toolbar. In 2007, if you have a rectangle or other shape, select it, click the Format tab, and choose Edit Shape> Convert to Freeform.)
- Right-click the shape and choose Edit Points. (In PowerPoint 2003, select the shape and from the Drawing toolbar, choose Draw> Edit Points.) You now see the vertices displayed.
- Click on a vertex to display two handles on either side of the vertex.
- Drag the handles to create the Bezier curves, as you see here.
You can also do the following:
- Add a vertex: Press Ctrl and click anywhere on the outline.
- Delete a vertex: Press Ctrl and click any vertex.
- Straighten a segment: Right-click along a segment and choose Straight Segment.
- Make a straight segment curved: Right-click along a segment and choose Curved Segment.
- Create a corner point: Right-click a vertex and choose Corner Point. This ensures a sharp corner.
- Create a smooth point: Right-click a vertex and choose Smooth Point. This ensures a non-sharp corner.
- Create a straight point: Right-click a vertex and choose Straight Point. This disallows a corner.
How do you use Bezier curves? Leave a comment!
[…] Edit Points. (If you’ve never done this before, you might want to look at my tip, “Create Bézier Curves.” Your highlight will look like […]
I’d like to force a part of a curve to be perfectly horizontal. In other drawing programs, holding shift will restrict options to 90° (e.g. perfectly horizontal or vertical). However, when I’m moving my PowerPoint Bezier handle around, and holding shift down, it doesn’t let me know where the perfect horizontal is. Do I really just have to eyeball it? Thank you.
[…] Use Edit Points to adjust the shape. If you use this technique, it’s recommended to keep same number of points in both versions of the shape. I explain how to use this feature here. […]