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How to draw vector shapes for Keynote presentations

How to draw custom shapes with curves and corners to get stand-out Keynote slides on your Mac


mainApple makes all its product announcement presentations in Keynote, and it’s easy to see why. The app offers an incredible amount of creative freedom, and one of the most useful and adaptable features is Shapes.

There are, as you would expect, a number of ready-made shapes available that can be added with a click, but sometimes the pre-made options just don’t fit for the slide you are working on. Thankfully, you can use the vector drawing option to sketch out your own shape, and then edit it by adding and manipulating curves and points.

Of course, once you’re happy with your shape you can adjust its settings in the Format panel, and at any point you can go back and change the way the shape looks. Let’s have a go.


Step 1

1 Shapes

To get started, open up your presentation and click the Shapes option in the toolbar. There are several pre-made options available to you with a click, but ignore them for now.

Step 2

2 Pick a design

Scroll left or right in the menu that appears to select a style that you like from the ready-made options. Don’t worry – you can customise it to your own taste later.

Step 3

3 Draw with Pen

To get started with drawing your shape, click the Draw with Pen option from the bottom of the menu. Your cursor will change to a fountain pen shape to show the change.

Step 4

4 Click or drag

Clicking will add a single angled point to your shape, but if you click and drag you can create a curve. Combine the two to make a custom shape, remembering you can edit it later.

Step 5

5 Check the curve

As you click and hold to draw your curves, two lines will appear. You can ignore the straight line, as it’s the fainter line that shows you where the curve will appear.

Step 6

6 Line or shape?

If you want to just draw a curved line, double- click on your final point and the drawing tool will stop. To draw an enclosed shape, click on your starting point again.

Step 7

7 Fix your shape

If you’ve made any mistakes, you can edit
the points of your shape easily. You can grab individual points and move them around, with the curves adapting automatically.

Step 8

8 Add curves

If you’ve missed a curve when drawing, you can double-click any point to switch it instantly from a point to a curve, and click the areas between points to add more.

Step 9

9 Change point options

Right-click on any point and you can choose options, including the ability to manually edit the rotation of the curve by changing it to a bézier point and dragging the handles.

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