By Lois Lowe

You can draw your own via the Shapes tool in Word 2013. By combining and formatting shapes, you can create simple illustrations and annotate other artwork with lines and shapes that call attention to certain areas.

How to draw shapes in Word 2013

To draw a shape, use the Shapes command to open a palette of shapes and then click the one you want to draw. Then either click or drag in the Word document to create the chosen line or shape.

Certain shapes, such as circles and squares, are the same height and width by default, but if you drag to create them, you can distort their original aspect ratios to make ovals and rectangles. If you want to constrain a shape to its default aspect ratio as you draw it, hold down the Shift key while you drag.

  1. Press Ctrl+N to start a new blank document in Word.

  2. Choose Insert→Shapes, and on the menu that appears, examine the available categories of shapes and the individual shapes within each one.


  3. In the Rectangles section, choose Rounded Rectangle.

  4. Click anywhere on the document to place a 1-inch rounded square and then drag a side selection handle outward to increase the shape’s width to 2 inches.

  5. Choose Insert→Shapes again and then choose the isosceles triangle.

  6. Hold down the Shift key and drag on the document to the right of the rectangle to create a triangle that is 1.5-inches wide at its base.

    Holding down Shift maintains the original aspect ratio of the shape.

  7. Choose Insert→Shapes again, and in the Lines section, choose Curve.

  8. Move the mouse pointer to the document and then follow these steps to place the curve:

    1. Click below the rectangle to place the beginning of the line.

    2. Move the mouse pointer about 1 inch down and 1.5 inches to the right of the original point, and then click again to place the center of the curve.

    3. Move the mouse pointer 1 inch up and 1.5 inches to the right of the previous point, and then double-click to end the drawing of the curve.

    The following shows the drawings at this point. Your curve may look different from the one shown.


  9. Select the curve and press the Delete key to remove it.

  10. Choose Insert→Shapes again, and in the Stars and Banners section, choose Up Ribbon.

  11. Drag to draw a ribbon below the remaining shapes, approximately 5.5 inches wide and 0.5 inch high.

  12. Save the document.

How to choose a shape outline and shape fill in Word 2013

For a shape to be seen, it needs to have an outline, a fill, or both. By default, shapes you draw have both. The default fill color comes from the color scheme that’s in use; it’s the Accent 1 color (the fifth color from the left in the color palette).

A fill is an inside color or pattern for a shape, whereas an outline is a colored border around the outside of a shape.

The shape outline, if present, has a color, a weight (thickness), and a style (such as solid, dotted, or dashed). You can control all those options from the Drawing Tools Format tab.

Any shape (except a line) can also have a fill. This fill can be any of the following:

  • A solid color

  • A texture

  • A pattern, such as a checkerboard or pinstripe

  • A gradient

  • A picture

A texture is a repeating graphic that makes the fill look like a certain type of surface, such as marble, wood, or newsprint. A gradient is a gradual blending from one color to another.

Lines don’t have a fill. Their appearance is controlled by their Shape Outline setting.

In addition to the standard outline and fill choices, you can also apply Shape Effects, such as beveled edges, glow, shadows, reflection, and 3-D rotation, to drawn shapes. By combining different shapes, fills, and borders, you can create some very interesting effects.

  1. In a your document, select the rounded rectangle.

  2. On the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the More button in the Shape Styles group, opening the palette of shape styles, and then click the Intense Effect — Orange, Accent 2 style.

    The style is applied to the rounded rectangle.

  3. Select the triangle; then choose Drawing Tools Format→Shape Fill and click the Yellow standard color.

  4. Choose Drawing Tools Format→Shape Outline and click the Orange standard color.

  5. Choose Drawing Tools Format→Shape Outline→Weight and click the 1/4 point weight.

  6. Choose Drawing Tools Format→Shape Effects→Glow→More Glow Colors and then click the Orange standard color.

    The triangle and rectangle resemble the following at this point.


  7. Select the banner shape; then choose Drawing Tools Format→Shape Fill→Texture→White Marble.

  8. Choose Drawing Tools Format→Shape Outline→No Outline.

  9. Choose Drawing Tools Format→Shape Fill→Gradient→More Gradients.

    The Format Shape task pane opens.

  10. Select the Gradient Fill option if it’s not already selected.

  11. From the Preset Gradients drop-down list, choose Medium Gradient, Accent 4 (the gold gradient in the third row); from the Type drop-down list, choose Rectangular; and from the Direction drop-down list, choose From Bottom Right Corner.

  12. Close the task pane.

  13. Choose Drawing Tools Format→Shape Outline and then click the Orange standard color.

    The banner looks the one below.


  14. Save the changes to the document.