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Part 8. Working with Office's Graphics Tools > Task 1 How to Draw Basic Shapes

Task 1 How to Draw Basic Shapes

One of the easiest ways to add visual appeal to an Office project is to add a shape (such as a rectangle or oval) or a line. Shapes and lines can draw attention to parts of your text or other data, create a nice background effect, or function as a design element. You can also add arcs and freeform shapes using the drawing tools. The Drawing Canvas, a new addition to the Office XP programs, appears by default when you use the drawing tools. It's a framed area that keeps your shapes separate from the rest of the document area and allows you to move and resize them as a group. You can draw numerous shapes and lines inside the Drawing Canvas frame.

  1. Display the Drawing Toolbar

    The Office drawing tools are accessible from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. To view them, open the Drawing toolbar. Right-click over any toolbar and choose Drawing from the context menu. Or, click the Drawing button on the Standard toolbar. Note that the Drawing toolbar is displayed by default in PowerPoint.

  2. Select a Drawing Tool

    In the Drawing toolbar, click the tool for the shape you want to draw. To draw a rectangle, for example, click the Rectangle tool. Your mouse pointer takes the shape of a crosshair, and the Drawing Canvas appears onscreen.

  3. Drag the Shape

    Click and drag the mouse to draw the shape inside the Drawing Canvas. When the shape reaches the desired shape and size, release the mouse button. You can now resize, rotate, move, or format the shape object as needed.

  4. Resize the Drawing Canvas

    To adjust the Drawing Canvas to fit the size of the shape you've drawn, click and drag a resize handle on the Drawing Canvas or choose an option from the Drawing Canvas toolbar. For example, you can resize the Drawing Canvas frame to fit tightly around the shape you've drawn, or you can expand the canvas to allow more space around the shape.

  5. Set a Wrap Style

    You can set a text-wrap style for your shape by clicking the Text Wrapping button on the Drawing Canvas toolbar. Wrapping refers to how text flows around or through an object. For example, if you want the shape to appear behind the text, click the Text Wrapping button on the Drawing Canvas toolbar and choose Behind Text from the drop-down list.

  6. Deactivate the Drawing Canvas

    When you finish drawing a shape on the Drawing Canvas, click anywhere outside its frame. The Drawing Canvas frame closes, as does the Drawing Canvas toolbar.



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