How to Format a Line in Office 2011 for Mac

In Office 2011 for Mac applications, you’re offered line-formatting options when you choose to format a line and when you format a solid shape. Solid shapes have lines around them, and those lines (outlines, really) can be formatted just like simple lines. In the Format Shape dialog, when you select Line in the left column, the first two tabs are Solid and Gradient. These two tabs work identically to the Solid and Gradient tabs of the Fill panel.

When you choose the Weights & Arrows tab, the Line Style options are available for all shapes. Arrows are available when you have chosen a line that is freestanding and has ends.

Sometimes it’s easier to work with fine adjustments to positioning lines if you use the zoom control to zoom in.

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The Line Style section of the Weights & Arrows tab has several pop-up menus, plus a spinner control that lets you adjust the weight, or thickness, of a line:

  • Style: Has several preset single-line weights, double lines, and a triple line from which to choose. You can adjust the weights further in the Weight option to its right.

  • Weight: Use this spinner control to adjust the line weight (thickness).

  • Dashed: Choose from preset dashes.

  • Cap type: Choose from three end-cap types. You probably won't notice a difference in cap type unless the line is at least 6 points in weight or more.

    • Square: Adds a box-style cap to a line.

    • Round: Adds a rounded cap on a line.

    • Flat: Does not add a cap to a line. It looks square and appears shorter because nothing is added.

  • Join type: When a line joins another line and at points within a line, you can make variations in join type styles. Like end-caps, these styles are easier to see on lines that have a weight of 6 points or more.

    • Round: Rounded.

    • Bevel: Cut off corner.

    • Miter: Sharp angle.

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When you make a line, you drag from a beginning point, and when you let go after dragging, you have an end point. You can format these line beginning and end points by turning them into arrows using the Arrows controls on the Weights & Measures tab of the Format Shapes dialog.

  • Begin style and End style: Choose from six different styles.

  • Begin size and End size: Choose from nine proportional sizes.

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