Last Updated On: November 26, 2021

Basically, shapes are considered as “building blocks” of almost whatever you create in ActivePresenter. So, let’s explore how to insert and style shapes in ActivePresenter 8 through today’s tutorial. Once you become skillful in shape, you can do so much more.

This article covers:

Overview of Shapes

As you can see, ActivePresenter brings you a vast number of shapes. In fact, even a text caption you add to a slide is a shape with a No Fill and No Line property fundamentally.

All shapes are placed in the shape gallery. Overall, this gallery consists of five sections representing five groups of ready-made shapes, namely basic shapes, callouts, lines and arrows, block arrows, and stars. To be more precise, each group has many shapes with different forms.

Here is the shape gallery in ActivePresenter 8.

shape gallery
  • Basic Shapes: This section contains common shapes such as oval, triangle, cube, heart, etc.
  • Callouts: This part offers speech and thought bubbles.
  • Lines and Arrows: These are straight and curved lines, with or without arrowheads. In addition, you’re given options to create freeform paths and scribbles.
  • Block Arrows: This section offers you a comprehensive assortment of arrow shapes.
  • Stars: This part includes many different types of star.

In general, the initial color, line color, text color, and font of the shape are determined by the theme you are using for the current slide. However, you can customize these properties using available commands. We’ll discuss this technique in the latter part of this tutorial.

Besides, the app lets your order, align, and group multiple shapes as you do with a normal object.

Insert Shapes

Firstly, let’s say you want to insert an octagon shape. Here’s how:

Step 1: Do one of the following:

  • In the Insert tab > Shapes insert_shape_icon.
  • In the Home tab > Shapes insert_shape_icon.

Step 2: Select a shape you want and click anywhere on the Canvas. 

Insert a shape

Step 3: (Optional) Take further steps to change the position, size, and dimensions of the shape:

  • To reposition the shape, drag it to a new position on the Canvas.
  • To resize the shape, drag the resizing handles. Note that if you scale down it too much, some text inside the shape may be clipped or hidden. Therefore, be careful when resizing the frame.
  • To rotate the shape, drag the rotation handle.
  • To change the dimensions of the shape, drag the yellow diamond (1). 

Step 4: (Optional) In order to add text to the shape, do any of the following:

  • Click inside the shape to enter text.
  • Click the shape and press F2 on your keyboard.
  • Right-click the shape and select Edit Text.
Edit Text for shapes

Tip: You can insert a shape into multiple slides at the same time. See Inserting and Deleting Multiple Objects to learn the procedure.

Style Shapes

Generally, each shape has three basic properties: Line (2), Fill (3), and Shadow (4). So, to customize the look of shapes, just change any of these properties.

Style shapes

In a word, there are three ways to style shapes:

  1. Customize the theme used for the current slide. Refer to How to Use Themes in ActivePresenter 8 for further information.
  2. Apply ready-made styles.
  3. Change each property of the shape manually.

Now, let’s learn how to use the (2) and (3) techniques in detail.

Style Shapes Using Ready-Made Styles

Take the following steps:

Step 1: Select one or more shapes.

Step 2: Do any of the following:

  • In the Format tab, select any style in the Quick Styles box. To have more styles, click (5). Or click (6) to show the Theme Styles gallery.
Format tab
  • In the Home tab > Quick Styles . This opens the Theme Styles gallery. Next, click any style you want.
quick styles


  • Styles in the Theme Styles gallery differ according to the theme used for the current slide.
  • The Format tab is a contextual tab which only appears when you select a shape or variants of shape objects.

Change Properties of Shapes

Now, you can change each property of shapes using one of these two ways:

  • Use commands in the Home tab or Format tab.
Style tool
  • Work with the Fill, Line, and Shadow sections in the Style & Effects tab of the Properties pane.
properties pane of a shape

In both these techniques, commands are very common. So, styling a shape comes naturally to you, for sure.

Tip: When you’re done with customizing a shape, right-click it and select Set as Default Shape. That way, the current formatting will be set as default and used each time you insert a new shape in the current project. On the other hand, you can use Object Settings to save all the object properties and reuse them later. In addition, keeping the object in Object Template is a great way as well.

Change and Remove Shapes

Change a Shape to Another

This facility lets you change the shape type but remains its formatting. To change a shape, perform the below guiding:

Step 1: Select the shape.

Step 2: In the Format tab > Change Shape (7). Here, select any shape you want. Then, the new shape replaces the old one.

Change shape in Format tab

Remove Shapes

As you may know, shapes are annotation objects. Hence, to remove shapes, let’s apply the same technique as when you remove normal objects. That is, you just need to select the shapes and press DELETE on the keyboard. For more information, see Copy, Cut, Paste, and Delete an Object.

That’s it! So, you’ve learned all the simple steps to insert and style shapes in ActivePresenter 8. Contact us if you need any help. 

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