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Changing Shapes in MS Office

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 by | Filed Under: MS Excel, MS Office Help, MS Outlook

Have you ever drawn a shape in an MS Office program only to find that you’ve changed you mind and want something different?

What did you do?

Most people I know would choose to start over… makes you want to just keep the original one, even if it’s not your first choice anymore, doesn’t it?

Well, today I’d like us to take a look how to change the shape without starting over or re-doing any formatting.

If you use AutoShapes then I’m sure you’re interested so let’s get to the good part.

Obviously, if we’re going to change a shape then you already have one drawn. Select it.

At this point, the location of the Change Shape command depends upon your program version.

If you’re using an older version of MS Office then you can change a shape through the Draw menu on the Drawing toolbar.


Choose Change AutoShape, a category and then the new shape you need in your file.

Poof! Shape changed but not all the formatting… Yeah!

Moving on to Office 2007…I found that in MS Word 2007 is different from Excel and PowerPoint.

Let’s start with Word 2007.

With your shape selected, go to the Format tab of the Drawing Tools section of the Ribbon.


In the Shape Styles section click the Change Shape button and you’ll find all the usual choices for you to choose from.

In PowerPoint and Excel 2007 I still found what I was looking for on the Format tab of the Drawing Tools section of the Ribbon, but this time you need to find the Edit Shape button.


From there choose Change Shape and you’ll have access to your replacement choices.

I do have one side note: if when trying to change the shape a new one is not active then you are trying to change something that cannot be changed this way. Sorry.

But for most situations the Change Shape knowledge will be a definite time saver… and who couldn’t use a little more time?

~ April

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