Draw a curve or circle shape

This article discusses drawing curves, circles, and ovals. For information about drawing lines, see Draw or delete a line or connector. For information about freeform shapes and editing points in shapes, see Draw or edit a freeform shape.

Draw a curve

  1. On the Insert tab, click Shapes.

  2. Under Lines, click Curve.

  3. Click where you want the curve to start, drag to draw, and then click wherever you want to add a curve.

  4. To end a shape, do one of the following:

    • To leave the shape open, double-click at any time.

    • To close the shape, click near its starting point.

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Draw an oval or circle

  1. On the Insert tab, click Shapes.

  2. Under Basic Shapes, click Oval.

  3. Click where you want the oval to start, and drag to draw the shape.

  4. To draw a circle, press Shift while you drag.

    Notes: 

    • You can change the look of your circle or curve by adding a shape fill or effect or changing the border.

    • If you want to create a more advanced diagram like overlapping circles, an organizational chart, or a flowchart, you can create a SmartArt graphic instead of drawing each shape manually.

    • Circles and ovals are filled automatically. If you don't want the shape to obscure anything underneath it, such as text or cells, select the shape, and on the Format tab, click Shape Fill, and then click No Fill.

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Draw a curve

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.
    The Shapes group on the Insert tab.

  2. Under Lines, click Curve Curve shape image` .

  3. Click where you want the curve to start, drag to draw, and then click wherever you want to add a curve.

  4. To end a shape, do one of the following:

    • To leave the shape open, double-click at any time.

    • To close the shape, click near its starting point.

      Note: By default, a closed shape is filled. To make sure that the shape doesn't obscure the cells underneath, select the shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Fill, and then click No Fill

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Draw an oval or circle

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.

    The Shapes group on the Insert tab.

  2. Under Basic Shapes, click Oval Oval shape image .

  3. Click where you want the circle to start. To make the shape a circle, press and hold SHIFT while you drag to draw.

    Notes: 

    • You can change the look of your circle or curve by adding a shape fill or shape effect or changing the shape border.

    • If you want to create a more advanced diagram like overlapping circles, an organizational chart, or a flowchart, you can create a SmartArt graphic instead of drawing each shape manually.

    • By default, a circle or oval is filled. To make sure that the shape doesn't obscure the cells underneath, select the shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Fill, and then click No Fill.

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What do you want to do?

Notes: 

  • To adjust the curve to make it look smoother, click the shape. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click Edit Shape Edit shape button image , and then click Edit Points. Drag one of the vertexes that outline the shape. A vertex is the point, indicated by a black dot, where a curve ends or the point where two line segments meet in a freeform, curve, or scribble shape.

  • To make it easier to draw details, increase the magnification to 200 percent. On the View tab, in the Zoom group, click Zoom, and then click 200%.

  • To increase your drawing control, set your pointer to the slowest speed available, in Control Panel.

  • By default, a closed shape is filled. To make sure that the shape doesn't obscure the cells underneath, select the shape, and then under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Fill, and then click No Fill.

Which Office program are you using?

Outlook or Word

Excel

PowerPoint

Outlook or Word

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

    Word Insert tab

  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the More button Button image .

  3. Under Lines, click Curve Curve shape image` .

  4. Click where you want the curve to start, drag to draw, and then click wherever you want to add a curve.

  5. To end a shape, do one of the following:

    • To leave the shape open, double-click at any time.

    • To close the shape, click near its starting point.

Excel

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.

    Excel Insert tab image

  2. Under Lines, click Curve Curve shape image` .

  3. Click where you want the curve to start, drag to draw, and then click wherever you want to add a curve.

  4. To end a shape, do one of the following:

    • To leave the shape open, double-click at any time.

    • To close the shape, click near its starting point.

PowerPoint

  1. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Shapes.

    PowerPoint Home tab image

  2. Under Lines, click Curve Curve shape image` .

  3. Click where you want the curve to start, drag to draw, and then click wherever you want to add a curve.

  4. To end a shape, do one of the following:

    • To leave the shape open, double-click at any time.

    • To close the shape, click near its starting point.

Notes: 

Which Office program are you using?

Outlook or Word

Excel

PowerPoint

Outlook or Word

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

    Word Insert tab

  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the More button Button image .

  3. Under Basic Shapes, click Oval Oval shape image .

  4. Click where you want the circle to start. To make the shape a circle, press and hold SHIFT while you drag to draw.

Excel

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes.

    Excel Insert tab image

  2. Under Basic Shapes, click Oval Oval shape image .

  3. Click where you want the circle to start. To make the shape a circle, press and hold SHIFT while you drag to draw.

PowerPoint

  1. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Shapes.

    PowerPoint Home tab image

  2. Under Basic Shapes, click Oval Oval shape image .

  3. Click where you want the circle to start. To make the shape a circle, press and hold SHIFT while you drag to draw.

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