12/29/219:00 am 13 Creative Ways To Use Shapes In Mac Apps Apple provides a wide variety of shapes in Pages, Numbers and Keynote. You can go way beyond just filling them with a solid color. You can edit the lines of a shape, combine shapes, use gradient fills, creative borders, shadows and much more. Want to know more about how to use Pages on your Mac?Check out this MacMost course!Want to know more about how to use Keynote on your Mac?Check out this MacMost course! Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's take a look at creative ways to use Shapes in Mac Apps. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. Now the Mac Apps, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, come with a large selection of Shapes that you can use. They seem pretty basic at first. These are single color shapes that you can use as you want in your documents and it doesn't seem like you can do too much with them other than adding an occasional piece of ClipArt. But here are all sorts of different ideas for getting extra creative with these shapes. So I'm going to use Pages here to demonstrate but you can do the same thing in Keynote and Numbers. These are particularly useful in Keynote when making presentations. So you can go to Shape and then select a shape here. You can also Search at the top. So you can grab a basic shape or go down to one of these categories or just scroll through them all. Let's start by taking a basic shape like a square like this. We've got this basic square. We can drag it and move it around. We can grab a corner or a side and resize it. You can see this is actually a rectangle. We can drag it in any direction we want. But you can also edit the actual lines and points that makeup the shape. To do that, with the Shape selected, go to Format and then Shapes & Lines, and then Make Editable. You can also Control Click, right click, or two-finger click with a trackpad on the shape and use Make Editable there. Now when I do that I can see those four points here. I can grab one and you could see I can change the shape completely by moving these points. Now when you move your pointer over one of the sides notice these dots appear here. You could grab those and drag those to create a new point. So now I have five points instead of four. Notice how this point creates a curve. You could switch between a curved point and a straight point by double clicking. Now it's a square there indicating that this is a point with straight lines coming out of it. Double clicking again indicates a point with curves coming out of it. There are actually three types of points. Double clicking switches between two of them. But if you Control Click on a point you can go between those two and the Bezier point which you're probably familiar with if you use apps like Adobe Illustrator. Now you can grab these handles to adjust the curve coming out of the point for ultimate control of exactly how the line is drawn. Here are a few other tips for using these points. If you make something editable not only can you grab these single points but you can Shift Click to grab two points. See how these two are selected and these two are not. Now if I drag either one of these two points it drags both at the same time making it easy to do things like extend a shape. You also can use the Shift key when dragging a point. Notice if I do it with this point here if I drag normally I can drag it anywhere I want. Holding the Shift key down locks this to vertical or horizontal. So you can see I can make this side here nice and even or this side nice and even. But also you can go to 45 degree angles. You can also Delete any point by selecting it and then hitting the Delete key on your keyboard. So you can rid of one of those turning a rectangle into a triangle or if you select a more complex shape you can get rid of things entirely. For instance I can go take these cherries here. Make these editable. Then I can drag around and select a whole bunch of points like that. Shift and drag to select even more. Hit the Delete key and now I've got just one cherry from that shape. So you can also create lines. The way to do that is to go to Basic and the first three up here are lines. They're actually pretty much the same thing just different starting points. Let's start with the line right here. I can grab any end to move it around just like with the rectangle. But I can also Control Click on the shape and choose Make Editable and now I'm actually editing the point and I can add new ones. So you can see I can drag that out and a curve. Double Click to change that to a straight line. I can keep adding points like this. You could also go over here to Styles and change things about the line. For instance the end points. So you can add an arrow onto the end or some other type of end point as well. You can change the thickness of the line. This works for regular shapes as well as lines. You can change the color. You could also change the type of line. Here you could see you could have a dotted line, you can have dashed lines, you could have lines that look like they're drawn like that. In addition to drawing lines like that you can also draw shapes. So you can go here to this Tool, which is kind of hidden in there in the right hand corner and easy to miss. Now you're actually drawing a shape. You can continue to click on different points and you can go back to the original point right here. Select that and it finishes the shape. You can continue to edit it just like a regular shape. You can change it to be a Fill by selecting over here from No Fill to Color Fill like that. Then you've got your own shape here that you can use just like anyone of these shapes. Now sometimes shapes have multiple parts. Let's go over here to Ornaments and, for instance, let's take a look at this shape here. You've got all these different parts here. But one of the disadvantages to a shape is it can only be one color. So I can change the color of this and it changes it all. But I can also go to Format and then Shapes & Lines and then Break Apart. If the shape is made up of multiple independent pieces like this one then each one becomes its own shape. Now I can select each one and I can select a color and change the color for every single one of these to something different. You can also group shapes together and you can do that one of two ways. The first one I'm going to show you now and the second one later on. So let's go to Objects here and select a shirt. Now let's say I want to put a logo on the shirt. So let's go to Shape here and go to Arts and then select say this right here. Let's change the color to something else, like that, and put it on the shirt. It looks good except these are now still separate items. I can select both of them, dragging around it or selecting one and Shift Clicking the other, and instead of altering anything to do with the shapes I can simply group them together. That's something you can do with any objects in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Now it's treated as one object. So I can move it around. Place it where I want. If I want to resize it they can be resized together. I could also edit them individually by double clicking to go inside the group. Now I can select the individual pieces here. As soon as I select outside they're in a group together again like that. But I can go and change them individually and do things with them and then they're back in that group as soon as I select outside. Having a single color for a shape can be kind of boring. But you can do some really cool things using different types of fills. Let's say let's fill that with a green color but we can make that more interesting by actually using a gradient fill. An Advanced Gradient Fill will allow us to actually do things like radial. So now I have a center point there that I can move around. Let's change this first point here to a light green and this last point here to a darker green. Then we can grab this little green dot here to adjust the radial fill and kind of give it a 3D effect like that. You can do a lot more with fills as well. We can go to Advanced Gradient Fill and let's do it as lines like that. We can change this color here to something. Then we can add another point right there and change it to something else and another point something else and kind of create like a tie-dye look. We can go and change that to Radial like that. We can also change this to an Image fill. Then we can drag an image into this spot here. So I'm going to grab a JPEG image and drag it in here. You can see how I've filled this shirt with an Image so you can really do anything with this. You can also go to Advanced Image Fill which will tint the image with a color. Also don't overlook the use of Borders to make your shapes unique. Let's select a heart right here. Let's say we fill it with red. So let's add a border to it. So I'm going to do a Line Border and I'm going to make it thicker. That's still pretty boring. But if I switch to a different type of line, like this, it makes it a lot more interesting. We could also go to Arrange here and rotate this like that and that creates a much more unique shape than the standard one. Shadows are another thing you can use. Turn that On by going down to here and there are several different types of Shadows. You've got your standard drop shadow. Let's make that a little bit more opaque right there. Then you can set the Offset for it. The angle at which the Offset occurs. You can also just turn the Offset to Nothing. To have it directly behind the object and increase the Blur like that. You can make the object kind of disappear by making it the same color as the background and then you can have this stencil effect right here. You can kind of add to that a little bit with the border giving a simple line border like this and bring it all the way down to a ¼ of a point like that. These borders don't have to be black. You can change them to any color you want for some sort of effect like that. Now there are two other types. One of them is called the Contact Shadow which is kind of a 3D effect. It puts a shadow at the bottom as if this is an object sticking up out of the ground. So you can make that a little bit darker there. Change the blur. It looks like that tree is standing on a piece of land. You even can change the perspective amount like that. The other type of shadow is called the curved shadow which to me makes it look like a piece of paper kind of pasted onto your page. Another interesting thing you can do is you can have text inside of a shape. So you can just type inside of any shape and it treats it like a box. So, for instance, I can paste in a bunch of words here like this and you could see how it fills out the shape. Let's try something. Let's change the font color here to black and let's change the shape so that it's either white or has No Fill. Let's just do No Fill right there. Now you can see how the words take on the shape. It doesn't work that great when the words are big so let's go and select all the words and make it a much smaller font size, like that. I'm going to then Copy and Paste it a bunch of times to it fills out the shape. To make it even better go into Text here, go into Layout, and then change the text inset to nothing. So it goes right up to the edges. So now it really fills out the shape. The smaller you make the text, the better it's going to be. But the more text you're going to need to fill it out like that. Now you can actually fill text if you go into Format Text and then under Fill here instead of Text Color you change it to a fill. You can do Gradients and all sorts of things including an image fill. So we can drag in that sunset picture here and you could see the sunset is now filling in just for the text. So let's get back to editing shapes. You can take a basic shape, like say a square, and another shape, like a circle, and combine them in a number of ways. The most interesting way is to actually subtract them. Let's make sure we can see each shape here so I'll change one of the colors. So the circle is on top of the block here. Let's go inside both of them. I'm going to Shift Click to do that. Go to Format, Shapes & Lines, and Subtract Shapes and it's going to cutout the top shape from the bottom one. If I make this Editable you can see that it is now just one shape that has been designed around those two. So you could go to something like the teeshirt here and then you could add another shape to it like let's say the apple there. I could cut this shape out of the shirt by selecting both, Shapes & Lines, Subtract Shapes and now this is just one regular shape with a hole cutout of it. You can also combine shapes. So, for instance, there's some frames in here. Let's grab this frame and let's say we want to put something inside of that. We'll place the apple inside of here. So we could actually combine these both. Selecting them, going to Format, Shapes & Lines, and then Unite Shapes. Now this is one shape with both as part of it. We can Edit the shape. See all the points there. So when you have a shape like that, using two or more with Subtract, or two or more with Unite, or you've drawn a new shape like I showed before, you could actually select the shape, go to Format, Shapes & Lines, and then Save To My Shapes. When you do that you get an added shape here at the bottom. See underneath Ornaments here is called My Shapes. That will appear once you've started to create your own. You can call this what you want. So Framed Apple. This is useful if you want to search for it later on. Now I can drag this shape here anytime I want. Add a new one and it will appear no matter what document I'm editing. I'll even see it in Numbers and Keynote as well. When you go into Shapes, My Shapes here, you could always Control Click on anything and rename it or delete it. If you ever want to modify it the only way to do that is to actually put one here, go in, make it Editable or use Unite, use Subtract, whatever you're going to do to create a new shape. Save the new shape and delete the old one. So here's one bonus one which you can only do in Keynote because Keynote is the only one of those apps that you can actually animate things. If you create a shape like this upon a slide in Keynote and then take away the fill so there's No Fill. Add instead a border like that. Then you can go to Animate and then for the Build-In Animation you get a special line draw that doesn't appear for images and text and other things. You can see how it draws the shape like that. You have a lot of options here like how long it takes, whether to draw clockwise or counter clockwise, to ease in or ease out, or just do a linear draw like that. You can add that in as an effect as the slide builds. This is a very underused Keynote build. You don't see it in many presentations so using it in yours would make it pretty unique. Hope you found this useful. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: Keynote (139 videos), Pages (208 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 7 Responses to “13 Creative Ways To Use Shapes In Mac Apps” Juris Ozols 2 years ago Hey some great ideas there. Question - on the “Line Draw” effect. Is there any way to export that to FCP and use it for animating line drawing there? Appreciate all you do! Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Juris: Yes. Just make it like you want in Keynote and use File, Export To, Movie. Rick Grossman 2 years ago In 10 yrs of Mac use, I've wasted a half year trying to figure out how to do things. I learn more in one minute of your videos than hours of research. You explain clearly, using plain language & I can how you get to where you are. I am beginning to feel in command. Thank you. You're the first person (& only so far) I have supported. Richard 2 years ago Superb! Thank you Rod Magner 2 years ago I've created a shape with photo insert and want to save it to saved shapes but when I hit Format, the Shapes and Lines option is greyed out. Is there a way to activate it? Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Rod: I think that is because you have filled it with an image. Micks Carpets 2 years ago Thanks Gary. Brilliant tutorial. I didn't realise the power of shapes within these Apps. Regards Mick Comments Closed.