Working with Shapes

In Word shapes can be added and altered to add clarity and visual appeal. Use shapes in Word for all types of Word documents.

Using shapes

Video: Working with Shapes in Word 2010

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Word's large shape collection allows you to organize and design the image you want. While you may not need shapes in every document you create, they can add visual appeal. To use shapes effectively, you'll need to know how to insert a shape and format it by changing its fill color, outline color, and shape style, as well as add 3D effects.

To insert a shape:

  1. Select the Insert tab.
  2. Click the Shapes command.
    The Shape command The Shape command
  3. Select a shape from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click and drag the mouse until the shape is the desired size.
    Creating a new shape Creating a new shape
  5. Release the mouse button.

To resize a shape:

  1. Click the shape to select it.
  2. Click and drag one of the sizing handles on the corners and sides of the shape until it is the desired size.
    Resizing the shape Resizing the shape
  3. To rotate the shape, drag the green handle.
    Rotating the shape Rotating the shape
  4. Some shapes also have one or more yellow handles that can be used to modify the shape. For example, with star shapes you can adjust the length of the points.
    Modifying the shape Modifying the shape

If you drag the sizing handles on any of the four corners, you will be able to change the height and width at the same time. The sizing handles on the top or bottom of the shape will only allow you to resize vertically, while the handles on the left and right sides will resize the shape horizontally.

To change the order of shapes:

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 Forward or Send Backward to fine tune the ordering. You can also move a shape in front of or behind text.

  1. Right-click the shape you want to move.
    Right-clicking the shape Right-clicking the shape
  2. In the menu that appears, hover over Bring to Front or Send to Back. Several ordering options will appear.
    Selecting an ordering option Selecting an ordering option
  3. Select the desired ordering option. The shapes will reorder themselves.
    The reordered shapes The reordered shapes

In some cases, the ordering option you select will not affect the ordering of the shapes. If this happens, select the same option again or try a different option.