Add patterned lines to PowerPoint AutoShapes

Are your PowerPoint AutoShapes boring? Add a bit of razzle dazzle using patterned lines.

You probably know how to add a pattern to fill an AutoShape, but that's just the beginning. Not only can you fill an AutoShape, you can outline it with a patterned line. The process is simple and the possibilities are almost endless. To add a patterned line to an AutoShape, do the following:

  1. Add an AutoShape to a slide. You'll find that option on the Drawing toolbar. Use any AutoShape you like, but start out with something simple.
  2. With the AutoShape selected, choose a contrasting color for the border using the Line Color tool on the Drawing toolbar.

  3. Using the Line Style tool, choose 6 pt. A thick line shows the pattern best. At this point, you have a thick, contrasting border.

  4. Now, you're ready to add a pattern. From the Line Color icon, choose Patterned Lines.
  5. Select a pattern and click OK. The finished product is an AutoShape with a patterned border.

Getting the right look can take a bit of experimentation, but it's worth it.

By Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.