Tip of the week # 469
9 December 2015

Draw straight lines or arrows (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Outlook) *

Have you ever had the need to draw a perfectly straight horizontal or vertical line or arrow?

Here's how:

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes and select the appropriate Line or Arrow tool. (In PowerPoint Shapes can also be found on the Home tab, in the Drawing group.)
  2. Press and hold down the SHIFT key and drag the mouse pointer until the line or arrow is the desired size at the preferred angle.
  3. Release the mouse button.
  4. Release the SHIFT key.

The line or arrow will "snap" to a perfect 45-degree angle, either horizontally or vertically. And remember, you can also use this trick to draw a perfect square or circle; see tip_144.html As a matter of fact, if you hold down the SHIFT key while inserting any of the ready-made shapes, it will be added with equal proportions.

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.