I am building a Powerpoint presentation about geometry. I want to draw a line with 3 dots at each end. Does anyone know of a simple way to do that? I am talking about as in the shapes that PowerPoint offers.

I have searched for solutions to that on StackExchange and on google, but found nothing on the matter.

  • 4
    This shows no research, nor even a clear description of the desired end result. Please read How do I ask a good question?
    – Tetsujin
    May 20 at 11:48
  • @Tetsujin I beg to differ, and your comment lacks good faith. You have no idea if I did research or not (I did). Also, my question has its desired end result is written clearly. Lastly, you do not state what in my question was not clear to you. Please read how to write a good comment.
    – Cantor
    May 20 at 19:53
  • The use of Geometry makes this rather obscure. I don't know how wide spread use of that online tool is among graphic designers. Most designers I know use installed applications on local systems for such work - meaning they'd use Powerpoint. If you're "Building a powerpoint presentation in Geometry" then really, this question nothing to do with Powerpoint and is all about Geometry. I think you'll be hard pressed to find Geometry users here - I could be wrong though.
    – Scott
    May 20 at 22:33
  • @Cantor The comment was perfectly apposite. As you yourself say, we have no idea if you did any research, because you say nothing about it – that is exactly the problem. As Tetsujin’s comment says, the question shows no research. And no, “three dots at each end” is not clear. How should the three dots be in relation to the line? In a triangular form? Extending the line? Perpendicular to the line? Something else? May 21 at 16:35
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I accept your editorial suggestion regarding the research I've conducted and have edited the question accordingly. And yes - "three dots at each end" is perfectly clear for anyone with a minimal knowledge in Geometry (Of course it mean extending the line). If that's not clear to you then it's not your question to answer.
    – Cantor
    May 22 at 19:03

2 Answers 2


You can insert a a background colored shape over the line ends. In the next image I have a group of three blue rectangles. Two copies of it are filled with white and placed on the line ends:

enter image description here

Use as small rectangles as you want. Or use circles; they need no rotation when placed on a tilted line.

If you combine the gap-making shapes and the line to a group, it can be moved, scaled and rotated freely:

enter image description here

Unfortunately to change the line color or width one must ungroup it. And even more unfortunately, one can move separately the line ends, no matter the line was a part of a group.

Another workaround is to draw two lines - one dotted which is picked from Powerpoint's line type collection and another shorter with solid line type.

ADD: Consider to draw complex compositions in Inkscape (=freeware). There you most easily get it by splitting the line and let the end segments have a dashed stroke. In addition you get very useful snapping modes and numerous other crutches to put together what you need. Recent versions of PPt import SVG files as vectors which stay editable in PPt. See this: https://blogs.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/edit-svg-graphics-powerpoint/ SVG is the native format of Inkscape.

ADD2: Animations in PPt are shape movements and changing scalings or visibilities. One inserts them to items after they are in PPt and converted to PPt shape format (=not automatic). Consider Inkscape as a $0,00 shop where you purchase vector items that are too tough to draw in PPt. There's no way to define the forthcoming Powerpoint animation already in Inkscape.

  • Thank you for your comment and suggestion. I use a lot of geometry in my presentation, so I need something that would be quick and easy to use; that I could change its size and direction easily, and that I could add new lines quickly and easily. It's a wonder to me that PowerPoint doesn't offer this option in the add shapes option.
    – Cantor
    May 20 at 19:56
  • Thank you for the suggestion. The thing is that I like using the animations Powerpoint has to offer regarding its shapes. Could I do the same with svg's?
    – Cantor
    May 20 at 22:51
  • 2
    >> "It's a wonder to me that PowerPoint doesn't offer this option in the add shapes option." Everyone says that when the one little feature that'd make their lives easier is missing from the software, even though it's a feature that only a small group of people need/have requested. If every one of these (unquestionably VERY useful to somebody) features were included, the program would become enormous and enormously complicated though. Jun 2 at 15:07
  • A small VBA macro would probably solve the problem for you, @Cantor. I've written one that's a reasonable start, but can't post it here because the question's been (unfairly, I think) closed. Can a moderator please re-open it so I can post the code in an answer? Thanks. Jun 2 at 15:28
  • @SteveRindsberg For the record, I feel this is a bit of an edge case for this site but since you are able to answer, I'm fine with reopening the question. (If anyone is taking issue with it, please ping me in chat)
    – curious
    Jun 2 at 17:37

Here's a little VBA macro that will automatically add three dots to the beginning and end of a line. You may need to adjust the vertical positioning of the dots slightly to get them centered on the line.

Sub DotTheLine()
' Start with a HORIZONTAL line and make sure that the link and ONLY the
' line is selected.
' You can group the resulting shapes after running the macro and alter the
' line position/angle as desired

    Dim sngDotWidth As Single   ' width of dots
    Dim sngDotHeight As Single  ' height of dots (normally same as width)
    Dim sngOffset As Single     ' offset from line end to dots and dist between dots
    Dim oLine As Shape
    Dim oDot As Shape
    Dim oSl As Slide
    Dim x As Long
    ' Edit these as needed:
    sngDotWidth = 2     ' Points
    sngDotHeight = 2    ' Should be the same as sngDotWidth unless you want ovals
    sngOffset = 8       ' Distance between line and dots and between dots

    Set oLine = ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange(1)
    Set oSl = oLine.Parent
    For x = 1 To 3  ' add 3 dots to right of line
        Set oDot = oSl.Shapes.AddShape(msoShapeOval, oLine.Left + oLine.Width + sngOffset * x, _
            oLine.Top, sngDotWidth, sngDotHeight)
        ' Copy formatting from line to dot
    For x = 1 To 3  ' add 3 dots to left of line
        Set oDot = oSl.Shapes.AddShape(msoShapeOval, oLine.Left - (sngDotWidth + sngOffset * x), _
            oLine.Top, sngDotWidth, sngDotHeight)
        ' Copy formatting from line to dot
End Sub

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