Get started with shapes

Choose from hundreds of shapes in the shapes library that you can add to your Pages, Numbers, or Keynote document, or create custom shapes in iWork.

You can quickly insert a shape from the iWork shapes library into your document.

  • On your Mac, click  then choose a shape.
  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, tap , then tap  . Tap a shape.
  • On, click  then choose a shape.

After you add and position the shape, you can break it into parts, or combine it with other shapes to create a custom shape. When you’ve finished editing your shape, add it to your shapes library for later use.1

1Some features are only currently available on Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for Mac.

Break a shape into parts

Some shapes have multiple pieces. When you break apart a shape, you’re able to change the color, edit the shape, or delete the individual pieces of a shape. 

On your Mac, Control-click on the shape and choose Break Apart.

Some shapes in the shapes library include other potential shapes you might want to use. For example, if you wanted to use the shape of California, you could insert the complete map of the United States and enlarge it. After you break apart the shape, you can use the California shape by itself. If you want to be able to use that shape again in the future without breaking it apart from its parent shape, add the shape to your Shapes Library.

After you break apart a shape, you can make each piece a different color. For example, you could change the color for each state in the map, or change the color of a piece you've isolated from the remaining parts of the shape.



Create new shapes

You can combine and subtract shapes from each other to create new shapes. There are four different ways to create new shapes from existing shapes: Unite, Intersect, Subtract, or Exclude.

On your Mac, select all of the shapes you want to use then go to  > Arrange.

When you unite two shapes, they combine into one shape.

When you intersect multiple shapes, it creates a shape out of the overlapping areas.

When you subtract a shape from another, it removes the part of the shape that’s layered on top of another shape.

When you exclude two shapes, it creates a shape that excludes the overlapping area between the shapes.

Add styles to your shape

After you add a shape to your document, you can change the following styles of your shape1:

  • Fill You can fill shapes with an image, a solid color, or a gradient (two or more colors that blend into one another). 
  • Border You can add a border, such as a picture frame or a dotted line, then modify the border’s thickness, color, and other attributes.
  • Shadow You can add up to six different pre-set shadows to your shape, then adjust the blur, offset, and opacity of your shadow.
  • Reflection You can add a reflection to your shape and adjust its visibility. 
  • Opacity You can create interesting effects by making objects more or less opaque. 

If you want to change the style of your shape:

  • On your Mac, select the shape, then click  > Style. Click the disclosure triangle to expand any individual style and see advanced options.
  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, tap  > Style. Turn on an individual style to see advanced options.
  • On, click  > Style. Select an individual style to see advanced options.

On your Mac, you can save a style and preview the shapes in the shapes library with any style in your style thumbnails.

To save your style, go to  > Style, click the arrow to the right side of the style thumbnails to go to the last group of styles. Click . After you save your style, you can redefine it at any time. Select the shape with the style changes, then Control-click on the style template and choose "Redefine Style from Selection".

To preview with a style, go to  > Style, and click and hold the style you want to move until it flashes, then drag it to the the top left of the first page of styles. When you open the shapes library, the style is applied to the shape previews.

1Some features are only currently available on Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for Mac.

Add a shape to your shapes library

You can add customized shapes to your shapes library. When you save a custom shape, the shape’s path, flip, and rotation properties are saved; size, color, opacity, and other properties aren’t. 

On your Mac, Control-click the shape and choose Save to My Shapes.

After you add a shape to your library, it’s available in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on your Mac. 

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