In Word shapes can be added and altered to add clarity and visual appeal. Use shapes in Word for all types of Word documents.
You can add a variety of shapes to your document, including arrows, callouts, squares, stars, and flowchart shapes. Want to set your name and address apart from the rest of your resume? Use a line. Need to create a diagram showing a timeline or process? Use flowchart shapes. While you may not need shapes in every document you create, they can add visual appeal and clarity.
Optional: Download our practice document.
Watch the video below to learn more about shapes in Word.
If you want, you can enter text in a shape. When the shape appears in your document, you can begin typing. You can then use the formatting options on the Home tab to change the font, font size, or color of the text.
If one shape overlaps another, you may need to change the ordering so the correct shape appears in front. You can bring a shape to the front or send it to the back. If you have multiple images, you can use Bring to Front or Send to Back to fine tune the ordering. You can also move a shape in front of or behind text.
In some cases, the ordering option you select will not affect the ordering of the shapes. If this happens, try selecting the same option again or try a different option.
If you have several shapes placed on top of each other, it may be difficult to select an individual shape. The Selection pane allows you to select a shape and drag it to a new location. To access the Selection pane, click Selection Pane on the Format tab.
Some shapes also have one or more yellow handles that can be used to modify the shape. For example, with banner shapes you can adjust the position of the folds.