How to Connect Shapes in PowerPoint

Written by sonia waring
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How to Connect Shapes in PowerPoint
Group shapes to make them part of a new whole. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

There are two basic ways to connect shapes in Microsoft PowerPoint; the better method for a given situation depends on how you want the connection to display. You can draw a third shape to connect two existing shapes, such as an arrow or line between the two shapes, or you can group the shapes so they move and resize together, in effect becoming one composite shape. With the former method, the two shapes remain visually distinct. With the latter, it's possible to make the shape look like a single entity by removing any border lines.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

    Connect Shapes

  1. 1

    Click "Insert" and then the "Shapes" drop-down menu.

  2. 2

    Choose a shape from the "Lines" group for a line or arrow connector, or from another group.

  3. 3

    Click and hold down the left mouse button, dragging it from near one shape to near another other. Keep the button depressed to alter the shape's length, width or angle, using the on-screen preview as your guide. Release the mouse button.

  4. 4

    Click and drag the points on the inserted shape to adjust its dimensions, or click once and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to adjust its position.

  5. 5

    Repeat as necessary to connect more shapes.

    Combine Shapes

  1. 1

    Click to select one of the shapes.

  2. 2

    Hold down the "Ctrl" key and click another shape to select it. Repeat as necessary for more shapes.

  3. 3

    Click the "Drawing Tools | Format" tab.

  4. 4

    Click the "Group" drop-down menu and choose "Group."

  5. 5

    Click "Shape Outline" and choose "No Outline" to remove any visible lines between the shapes, if you want the shapes to appear as one. Colour all groups shapes using the "Shape Fill" drop-down.

Tips and warnings

  • In PowerPoint, unlike in Microsoft Word, you can move and format grouped shapes individually, but when you select any grouped shape, a dotted line appears around the entire group, letting you move, rotate, recolor and resize the whole group at once.

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