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How to work with shapes and lines in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

Pages, Numbers, and Keynote offer useful built-in shapes and lines that you can use to enhance your documents. Whether you’re creating a flowchart or diagram, or just want to add a subtle visual, you can easily insert and customize the available shapes and lines.

For converting straight lines to curved ones or adjusting a shape’s features, we want to help you make the most of using these items in your documents. Here are several tips for working with shapes and lines in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

Shapes and lines in in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

Here’s what we’ll cover in this tutorial…
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1)
Add a shape or line on Mac


1.1)
Change lines or points

1.2)
Adjust a shape’s features on Mac

2)
Add a shape or line on iPhone and iPad


2.1)
Adjust a shape’s features on iPhone and iPad

3)
More with shapes

Add a shape or line on Mac

It’s simple enough to pop a shape or a line into your document in all three applications. Click the Shape button in the toolbar or Insert > Shape or Line from the menu bar.

Tip: If you use the toolbar button, you can see all of the shapes and lines available by category or do a search.

Add a Shape in Pages on Mac

Click to insert a shape or line at your cursor point or drag one into your document where you want it.

Once it’s in your document, you can drag an edge or corner to resize it or drag the shape or line to move it.

Change lines or points

You can perform a decent amount of manipulation of a shape. By taking a simple square, you can turn it into a curved image or one with both curves and straight lines. You can also do the same type of thing with lines you insert.

Connector lines: To transform a straight line to a curved one or vice versa, double-click the green dot on the line.

Lines and arrows: To make changes, select the line or arrow and either right-click or click Format > Shapes and Lines from the menu bar. Choose Make Editable. You can then drag the red dot to make it curved and double-click to make it an angle.

Shapes: To make changes to the lines and points, select the shape and either right-click or click Format > Shapes and Lines from the menu bar. Choose Make Editable. You can then right-click a line or point and pick an option from the shortcut menu.

Change a Shape's Points in Pages on Mac

Adjust a shape’s features on Mac

Some shapes offer features that you can adjust. For instance, stars, polygons, and such let you add and remove points and sides. So, you can turn a five-point star into a seven-point shape.

Shapes that provide these types of changes have a green dot on them. And, you don’t have to make them editable first. Put your cursor on the green dot and the cursor will change to a four-sided arrow. Then, drag left to remove and right to add.

For our star example, you can see that if you drag the dot to the right, it adds a point for each move. Drag it to the left to decrease the number of points.

Change a Shape's Features in Pages on Mac

Add a shape or line on iPhone and iPad

It’s just as easy to insert a shape or a line into your document in all three apps on iPhone and iPad. Tap the plus sign at the top, select the Shape icon, and pick a shape or line.

Add a Shape in Pages on iPhone

Once it pops into your document, you can select and drag it to a new spot or drag an edge or corner to resize it.

Adjust a shape’s features on iPhone and iPad

While you can’t currently change the curves and points for shapes and lines like you can on Mac, you can still adjust its features.

You can do things like change the number of points on a star or sides on an octagon. For shapes and lines you can do this with, you’ll see that green dot. Tap the green dot and drag it around to the right to increase the number of points or sides or to the left to decrease them.

Change a Shape's Features in Pages on iPhone

More with shapes

Check out these related articles for additional help with shapes.

  • Fill shapes with colors, gradients or images in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote
  • Combine and break up shapes in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote
  • Resize, rotate and flip objects in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote
  • Create captions for objects in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote
  • Add a shadow or reflection to an object in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

Wrapping it up

Whether you use basic shapes like a square and circle or more complex ones like a telescope or fire truck, shapes are easy to add and customize in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. And don’t forget about the lines to connect shapes or arrows to point things out.

Are you going to take advantage of shapes or lines for your next document?

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