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Drawing Shapes

Sometimes you don't need a complex image in your document—you just need something simple, such as an arrow or a box. Word's Drawing toolbar lets you quickly draw all manner of arrows, rectangles, ovals, callouts, banners, and so on. (You can also create text boxes, which are discussed at the end of this section.) Figure 16.14 shows one example of a drawing you can create with Word's drawing tools. After you have inserted a drawing object, you can modify the image in a variety of ways, as you'll see in the next hour.

Click the Drawing button on the Standard toolbar (see Figure 16.15).

Figure 16.15. The Drawing toolbar contains a wide variety of tools for creating and manipulating drawing objects.

The Drawing toolbar appears docked at the bottom of the Word window by default. In Figure 16.15, it has been moved and is floating over the Word window.

Click the drawing tool that you want to use. The tools for basic shapes (lines, arrows, boxes, and so on) are available directly on the toolbar. If you want a more unusual shape, click the AutoShapes button, point to the category that you want to use, and click the shape in the submenu. (In Figure 16.15, the Stars and Banners submenu is displayed.)

As soon as you click a drawing tool, an empty drawing canvas appears, along with the Drawing Canvas toolbar. The drawing canvas, which you'll learn more about in the next hour, can help you keep all of the shapes in your drawing together. (Don't worry, you'll also learn how to turn off the drawing canvas if you're used to earlier versions of Word that didn't use it.) Point with the crosshair mouse pointer to the upper-left corner of the spot where you want the shape to go, and drag diagonally down and to the right (see Figure 16.16). Or, in the case of lines and arrows, simply point to the location where you want the line or arrow to begin and drag to the location where you want it to end. (If you or someone else has already turned off the drawing canvas, you will draw your shape on the document itself.)

Figure 16.16. Drag over an area within the drawing canvas to create the shape.

Release the mouse button to finish drawing the shape (see Figure 16.17). The shape will be surrounded by two or more selection handles (white circles) and, in the case of two- or three-dimensional shapes, with one rotate handle (a green circle).

Figure 16.17. The object you drew is automatically selected.



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