Insert Shapes

PPT Productivity PowerPoint add-in has 200+ time saving features. The 'Insert Shapes' features include Chevrons, Harvey Balls, Miniature slides and single click access to commonly used shapes.

Most of the Insert Shapes features can be found on the Format Toolbar for Power Tools users. Some of these features are available from the PPT Productivity Ribbon for Plus Tools and Basic Tools users. The Format Toolbar can be redocked to the top, bottom or either side of your screen. You can resize the Toolbar and easily toggle to show or hide features or feature groups.

PPT Productivity's features let you spend less time formatting so you can focus on the story.

Standard PowerPoint shapes

Add frequently used PowerPoint shapes to your presentation in a single click using PPT Productivity's Format Toolbar.

PowerPoint has a lot of shapes available but it takes multiple clicks to find them. PPT Productivity makes it faster to access your most frequently used shapes for PowerPoint.

Common shapes you can quickly add to your PowerPoint presentation from the Format toolbar include:

  • Text box
  • Rectangle
  • Rounded edge rectangle
  • Circle/ Oval
  • Isosceles triangle
  • Callout
  • Right arrow
  • Down arrow
  • Straight connector
  • Arrowed connector
  • Elbow connector
  • Elbow arrow connector
  • Left brace
  • Right brace
  • Star

PPT Productivity also makes it easy to add non standard shapes to PowerPoint including Harvey Balls, Chevrons, Large Right Triangles, Hand drawn circles and more.

Note that shapes like the chevrons and right triangle appear as blue on the feature buttons on the Format Toolbar, but the shapes paste onto your PowerPoint slide using your presentation's theme colors.

Productivity Tip

If you have other custom shapes or frameworks you frequently reuse, PPT Productivity's Slide Library feature lets you save and name shapes or entire slides and quickly find them for easy reuse.

Looking for more shapes, like curved arrows in PowerPoint? PPT Productivity's Slide Library includes 200+ shapes and slides in the Downloadable Libraries.

Shortcut Keys

All PPT Productivity features can be used via the Customizable Shortcut Keys for PowerPoint feature. You can update the shortcut keys to any preferred available combination, but to get you started PPT Productivity has set the following default shortcut keys for inserting common shapes:

  • Insert textbox in PowerPoint shortcut: Alt+Shift+X
  • Insert rectangle in PowerPoint shortcut: Alt+Shift+R
  • Insert oval in PowerPoint shortcut: Alt+Shift+O
  • Insert straight line in PowerPoint shortcut: Alt+Shift+L
  • Insert straight arrow in PowerPoint shortcut: Alt+Shift+A
  • Insert right arrow in PowerPoint shortcut: Alt+Shift+I
  • Insert right brace in PowerPoint shortcut: Alt+Shift+B
  • Insert star in PowerPoint shortcut: Alt+Shift+S

Callouts / Speech Bubbles

Easily add callout and speech bubble shapes to PowerPoint slides in a single click, with PPT Productivity add-in for PowerPoint.

PPT Productivity PowerPoint addin's Format Toolbar includes commonly used callouts. Add callout shapes to PowerPoint slides in a single click. Why are callouts added to a presentation? Call out boxes or speech bubbles are typically used to highlight a point on a slide or make an annotation. Callout boxes are used typically to highlight information.

Speech bubbles can be used to suggest speech or conversation, but can also be used in the same way as callouts. The rounded rectangular and rectangular speech bubble PowerPoint shapes are often used like callouts. There are seven different callout/ speech bubble shapes to choose from:

  • Rounded Rectangular Speech Bubble
  • Rectangular Speech Bubble
  • Oval Speech Bubble
  • Cloud Speech Bubble
  • Straight line Callout
  • Bent line Call out
  • Double Bent line Callout

PPT Productivity's PowerPoint callout feature button will default to show the last callout shape inserted, but the seven different shapes are accessible from the drop down arrow on the button.

Productivity Tip

If you're adding a note intended for internal team review, PPT Productivity's Sticky Notes feature might be a better option. Sticky notes are perfect for managing review feedback and status annotations for slides.


Add Chevrons or Block Arrows to PowerPoint slides. If you resize or recolor the first inserted block arrow or chevron, subsequent chevrons inserted into your presentation will match your updated shape and color.

PPT Productivity makes it easy to insert chevrons to PowerPoint slides, including the option of a block arrow (pentagon) for the first chevron.

Click the add chevrons feature multiple times to add the required number of chevrons. Resize and recolor the first chevron and subsequent chevrons added to the slide will insert in matching size and color. Or update the formatting once all chevrons are inserted - chevrons are grouped as you add them, to make formatting easy.

Chevrons in standard PowerPoint are tricky to space (because the standard PowerPoint chevron is a reshaped rectangle). For a precise layout, PPT Productivity chevrons can be evenly spaced at specified distances using the PPT Productivity Set Horizontal Gaps feature.

Productivity Tip

If you would prefer pre-formatted chevron slide layouts, or looking for circular arrows in PowerPoint or arrow slide templates, you can download the PowerPoint Arrows and Flows library via the Slide Library. Looking for PowerPoint Process flow templates? There is also a Value Chains and Processes library.

All downloadable libraries are included in PPT Productivity's Power Tools license (including free trials). Read more about the Downloadable Slides and Shapes for PowerPoint.

Hand Drawn Circles

Easily add Hand Drawn Circle shapes to your PowerPoint slide. PPT Productivity's circle shape mimics a hand drawn annotation on a slide e.g. to add focus or circle text to suggest a concern or necessary correction. The circle can be added in red, orange, yellow, or green or update to custom colors.

This feature makes it easy to add a hand drawn circle shape to your slide. The shape is an open circle or oval - appearance is a freehand loop so that it looks like you have circled text in PowerPoint (or an image or shape - the hand drawn circle shape can be used on anything!).

The Hand Drawn Circle feature button by default shows the last color circle used, but on click you will see a drop down option with all colors.

Once added to the slide it behaves like a normal shape - you can distend, recolor, enlarge or shrink the hand drawn circles. To recolor your Hand Drawn Circls, go to Settings > Colors on the PPT Productivity Ribbon. You can select your preferred colors for the hand drawn circle options.

Productivity Tip

If you're looking for more PowerPoint hand drawn shapes, also check out the Hand Drawn Graphics library which you can access via the Slide Library. All PPT Productivity Downloadable Libraries are available for download for any Power Tools users (including those on the free trial version).

Harvey Balls

  • Feature Description
  • Video Shortcut Links
  • How to create Harvey Balls in PowerPoint? Add standard size 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, empty or full Harvey Balls to PowerPoint presentations with PPT Productivity. Or choose a custom fill Harvey Ball and enter a % value (e.g. enter 33% for a 1/3 filled Harvey Ball). You can easily align, resize and recolor the Harvey Balls.

    How to use Harvey Balls? Harvey Balls icons are typically used in PowerPoint presentations to denote status. Harvey balls (also known as pies, moons, moon balls or status balls) can be used for project tracking status, option assessment and more.

    Standard Harvey Ball sizes include 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%. PPT Productivity also has a Custom Harvey Ball feature which lets you add a Harvey ball of any size (simply specify a number between 0-100). Click the Harvey Ball feature on PPT Productivity's Format Toolbar and your selected Harvey Ball will be inserted onto your PowerPoint slides as shapes.

    Unlike some other PowerPoint Harvey Ball solutions, PPT Productivity doesn't use a Harvey Ball font. If you insert Harvey Balls to your PowerPoint presentation using PPT Productivity the Harvey Balls will display correctly for any users viewing the presentation.

    Harvey Ball Colors can be easily changed. By default the Harvey Balls will be added to your PowerPoint slide in your template default color, but you can customize to any color (and you can share your custom Harvey Ball color with colleagues using the Share Settings feature).

    Once inserted into your presentation, Harvey Balls behave as shapes. Easily change the PowerPoint Harvey Balls color or enlarge the balls. Easily align the Harvey Balls on your PowerPoint slide using PPT Productivity's alignment shortcuts or standard PowerPoint alignment features.

    Harvey Balls can be added to your slide using the Harvey Ball buttons on the PPT Productivity Ribbon or the Harvey Ball button on the Format Toolbar (or if you prefer, you can add the Harvey Ball feature to the PowerPoint QAT).

    When you click to add a PPT Productivity Harvey Ball to a PowerPoint table, the Harvey Ball will embed in the table and can be aligned and resized along with the table contents. Read more about Harvey Balls for PowerPoint tables

    Productivity Tip

    Easily update Harvey Balls in PowerPoint. If you select one or more Balls on your slide prior to clicking the button, they selected Harvey Balls will be updated. Looking for a Harvey Ball Chart template? PPT Productivity's Downloadable Slides and Shapes includes PowerPoint Harvey Ball Chart templates, Harvey Ball table templates and more.

    Shortcut Keys

    All PPT Productivity features can be used via the Customizable Shortcut Keys for PowerPoint feature. You can add shortcut keys for Harvey Balls (you can add separate shortcut keys to insert Harvey Balls with 1/4 fill, 1/2 fill, 3/4 fill, full and empty).

    You can also set a Customizable Shortcut Key to cycle Harvey Ball fills. Click on any harvey ball you have already added to a slide then cycle through the standard Harvey ball fill options.

Create Mini Slides

  • Feature Description
  • Video Shortcut Links
  • It's easy to insert slide miniatures in Powerpoint presentations as pictures with PPT Productivity.

    Minislides are a great way to summarize work or to briefly refer back to related presentations, previous slides or future phases of work. Miniature PowerPoint Slides are images of other slides included on a slide in a presentation.

    You don't need to snip slides to create an image of them. PPT Productivity's Create Mini Slides feature pastes your clipboard content as picture of miniature slide(s). Mini Slides are arranged in an auto-sized tile layout when inserted into your presentation (or Cascade layout if you CTRL-click).

    The layout is determined by the number of slides on the clipboard. Note that when pasting multiple slides, the Mini Slides feature will auto-align and size within your slide design's text boundary.

    Productivity Tip

    To replace the current selected shape, CTRL-click to overwrite without prompting.

Move to Multiple Slides

Quickly rearrange shapes in PowerPoint to separate onto multiple slides.

Do you have a slide with multiple icons or objects and you want to separate them across multiple slides? This feature separates out a slide with multiple objects, placing each one on a separate PowerPoint slide (adding slides to your presentation). Simply select the slide with the objects, then click the Move to Multiple slides button.

Each selected object will now rearrange to appear on separate slides in your PowerPoint presentation and the objects will be centered on each new slide. PPT Productivity's move to multiple slides feature is perfect for making photo presentations. Simply insert a large number of photos onto a single slide from the relevant folder, then use the move to multiple slides feature to seperate them out each to a single slide. Amazing time saver!

Right Facing Centered Triangle

Easily add a large right facing triangle to the center of your Powerpoint slide. PPT Productivity's insert triangle feature pastes the triangle in your template's theme colors if you are using a template using PowerPoint's Theme Accent 1 color (the triangle will default to blue when inserted if your template theme's Accent 1 color is white or clear).

This feature makes it easy to add a large right facing triangle to the center of your slide. Right facing triangles in the center of slides are commonly used in management consulting presentations between two text boxes or charts, to present conclusions or inferences between the information on either side.

Productivity Tip

Looking for slide layout templates for highlighting conclusions or options? The PPT Productivity Downloadable Libraries include 2000+ shapes and slides you can download for easy reuse via the Slide Library.

Status Indicators

Easily add status indicators to PowerPoint. You can add them anywhere on your slide, but when you add status indicators to a PowerPoint table, they embed into the table and move with the cell as table row or column sizes are adjusted.

Status indicators include:

  • Directional arrows: up arrow, trend up arrow, down arrow, trend down arrow, trend unchanged arrow
  • Plus and Minus signs
  • Tick / Check mark and Cross
  • Positive, Neutral and Negative status balls (e.g. great for PowerPoint traffic light status reports)
By default, status indicators for PowerPoint are colored in red amber green. You can customize the colors to use your template theme colors (or any other colors). Status indicators resize by dragging when outside the table (they behave like PowerPoint shapes) or within the table by adjusting the font size.

Working with a team? You can customize the setup of your status indicators and export this setting (along with a lot of other settings) to share with colleagues, so that your team have the same setup. Read more about sharing PPT Productivity settings across a team.

Productivity Tip

Have a different custom status indicator that you prefer to use? Remember that you can save custom shapes and slides to your Slide Library for PowerPoint ready for easy reuse.


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