Microsoft KB Archive/105123

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Knowledge Base

PPT: How to Modify Freeform Objects in PowerPoint

Article ID: 105123

Article Last Modified on 8/16/2005


  • Microsoft PowerPoint 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 3.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 3.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 4.0 for Macintosh

This article was previously published under Q105123


PowerPoint clip art can consist of two types of objects: shapes and freeform objects. Shapes such as circles and rectangles can be recolored and resized; however, their basic outline cannot be changed arbitrarily. Freeform objects are drawn with the freeform tool. Their outline is defined by the placement of vector points which are visible as black squares connected by lines, when the freeform is being edited. You modify freeform objects by moving, adding, and deleting vector points.


To modify PowerPoint clip art:

  1. In PowerPoint version 3.0, choose Open Clipart from the File menu. Open a clip art presentation. Copy a clip art object and paste it into your own PowerPoint presentation.

    In PowerPoint version 4.0 or 7.0, choose ClipArt from the Insert menu. Select the desired image from the ClipArt Gallery and click OK to return to your presentation.
  2. Convert the object into PowerPoint objects by choosing the Ungroup command. You will receive the following alert:

    This is an imported object, not a group. Converting to PowerPoint objects will permanently discard andy embedded data or linking information it may contain. Convert to PowerPoint objects?

    Choose OK.

    The object ungroups to form one ore more objects, each with a selection border around it.
  3. Click on the Selection tool (arrow) to deselect everything and then Select the single object you want to modify.
  4. If the Ungroup command is available, choose it.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the Ungroup command is no longer available (dimmed) which indicates that you have reduced the selection to its most basic PowerPoint object components.
  6. If the selected object is a freeform object you will see the following command appear in the Edit menu:

          Command                     PowerPoint Version
          ------------------------    ---------------------------
          Edit Freeform               PowerPoint version 3.x
          Edit Freeform Object        PowerPoint version 4.x, 7.0

    Choose the Edit Freeform or Edit Freeform Object command in order to modify the object by moving, adding or removing vector points.

The methods and interfaces are slightly different depending on the version of PowerPoint so check the manual or on-line help for specific instructions on editing freeforms for the version of PowerPoint that you are using.

NOTE: This same method (Steps 2 through 6) can be used to edit any vector-based graphic that has been imported into PowerPoint, such a Windows Metafiles (.WMF) and Computer Graphics Metafiles (.CGM).

Additional query words: 3.00 power point powerpt draw box resizing winppt handle clip art clipart pictures graphics images macppt 4.00 7.00

Keywords: kbhowto kbusage KB105123