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    MICROSOFT 365 By Peter Deegan Many people are aware of the powerful program Visio and its drawing powers. Fewer know that a comprehensive, though basi
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    • #2557419

      Thanks for this very helpful article. Just this weekend, I had been wondering how I could get a number in a star. I’ve tried it now, but I can’t figure out how to get the number centered in the star.

      I’ve tried putting a blank line below the number to raise it up. I’ve tried ‘paragraph’ to put spacing after the line. I’ve tried top aligning. Still it won’t center. But, if resize it to make the star larger, the number centers. But, I actually want the star to be a bit smaller. But, resizing to a smaller star makes the number disappear.

      I’ve tried clipping a large star, where the number is centered, but then when I resize that clip to make the star smaller, the number also becomes smaller, too.

      So, how do you make a small star with a large, centered number inside it??? Any suggestions?

      P.S. I’ve also discovered that the old Snipping Tool will put a red box around the clip (the first image), but the new Snip & Sketch tool will not (the second image)!!

    • #2557427

      Yes, it’s not as easy as it should be. You’d think that the text in a shape should be centered horizontally and vertically by default – but no.

      Align Text: Top, Center, Bottom doesn’t seem to have any effect in the five pointed star. Strange.

      A few comments that might help.

      • As you’ve discovered, size the shape first THEN position the text as best you can. Any resizing will not affect the text which has to be adjusted again.
      • To ‘raise’ the letter/number, try using a line break (Shift+Enter) which gives you a smaller vertical gap than Enter.
        Or use Enter, then select the blank line/s and change their paragraph spacing to achieve the exact height required.
      • Also check the paragraph spacing of the text to ensure there’s no spacing before/after the paragraph.

      As mentioned in the article, the ultimate solution is to add a transparent text box OVER the shape — the text box can be moved around independently of the shape below.  Once setup, Group the two objects together so they are treated as one object.

      Hope that helps.

      Peter Deegan

      • #2557689

        Thanks for the suggestion to superimpose a text box over the star. Making the text box was tricky … I had to format the text box shape twice … once to get no lines on the text box and again to make it transparent. Before I set ‘no lines’ and ‘100% transparency’, I also formatted the text box shape to make all margins .01”, but maybe that wasn’t necessary since it’s transparent (I didn’t test it to see what would happen without new margins).

        Doing all of this to the text box worked to get the number centered. But, of course, I had to do these steps each time for a new number! I now have a set of 10 numbered, grouped, clipped Snip & Sketched stars which I keep in a separate Word document for copying and pasting to a new document, whenever I need them.

        In this ‘star’ document, I also have an unclipped, ungrouped, numbered star for editing to create numbers beyond 10.

        You would think this would be easier!

        • #2557691

          Having a separate document of custom shapes is a good idea.

          It’s also possible to save them as Building Blocks but for most people it’s easier to have a separate document. Tip: put in headings and make a TOC at the top for easier navigation.

          Another thing to keep in mind, instead of copy/pasting the shape — consider taking a screen-shot of the shape and pasting the image into the other document.  There’s no risk of the shape being changed.   Tip: Zoom out before taking the screenshot – better to have a larger image in the new document, that can be resized smaller without loss of quality.


          Peter Deegan


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    • #2557512

      I use OneNote a lot and am having a hard time correlating my experience to your instructions. It appears that OneNote offers a much smaller selection of shapes and much different behavior. I seldom have any use for shapes, etc. And when I have tried to use them in OneNote (or even the Drawing Tools) they seemed not to be locked to where I inserted them in a note.
      Any wisdom about “Draw” in OneNote?

    • #2557698

      Yes, there are fewer Shapes in OneNote (depending on which OneNote, of course).

      In OneNote for Windows they are somewhat hidden on the Draw tab, not Insert.

      It has only lines, arrows and five basic shapes.

      There are also three graphs (2D and 3D) you can drop in before drawing a curve.  A nice touch for maths students which are NOT in the listing for the other Office apps (annoying).

      The only ‘wisdom’ (thanks for that) I can add is the ‘Automatic Shapes’ option next to Shapes on the Draw tab.  That will change shapes drawn with digital ink into proper shapes.

      What you do NOT get in OneNote is a Shapes ribbon or side-pane options.  All that’s available, not much, is on the right-click menu when the shape is selected.

      If you’re desperate for another Office Shape in OneNote, you can make it in Word etc then copy into OneNote BUT the pasted object is an IMAGE, not a shape.


      Peter Deegan


    • #2557839

      Thanks for that Peter.

      Like I said, I have very seldom tried using “Draw” in OneNote.  Biggest reason is that the highlighting (and everything else that I have tried to draw) is not locked to the position in a note and if I collapse the note or a section of the note that I have indented, the draw just sits the same area of the screen.  Seemed pretty useless to actually use a Draw that totally irrelevant when it is detached from the context I drew in.

      Am I doing something wrong?


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