I use PowerPoint for drawings and diagrams. When I try to add a vertical straight line, it is always slightly tilted (~2 degrees). I have the same problem when I am trying to draw a horizontal line (88 or 92 degrees rather than 90 degrees) I would like to force the line to be 0 degrees (truly vertical) or 90 degrees (truly horizontal). How can I do that?


7 Answers 7


Double click on the line and change the height to 0 in the "size" window (near the top right) enter image description here

Note: if the height doesn't change, click on the down-arrow next to the height to force it to zero.

Note2: Sometimes for almost-horizontal lines, the height will say it is zero, even though it is not quite zero. Click the down arrow and it will make it truly zero.

  • Is there a way to stop PowerPoint from adding the height in the first place? I have two rectangular boxes of the same size, moving them around until PowerPoint says their left, right and middle are aligned, and the connector between them is still crooked.
    – KC Wong
    Oct 11, 2021 at 1:16

Hold down the shift key while drawing the line. In 2007 and probably 2010 you have to hold both the CTRL and the Shift keys down.

Also, if it is 2007 be sure and download SP2, there appears to have been a problem in SP1 which makes it impossible to draw a straight line (for some).

  • 2
    The shift key will also make an ellipse into a circle and a rectangle into a square. Jan 30, 2012 at 17:39
  • 1
    Thanks! Another question: If in an old file I drew a line that is not truly vertical, can I later force it to be vertical, or must I redraw it using Shift?
    – KAE
    Jan 31, 2012 at 15:27
  • 2
    You can force it to vertical. Just click the line open the properties and select Size and Position. Then change the Width to 0 for vertical or the Height to 0 for horizontal.
    – opsin
    Jan 31, 2012 at 22:05
  • 1
    We need to install a service pack to draw straight lines. Way to go!
    – dacology
    Nov 17, 2017 at 10:36

The best solution is the line properties making 'size' zero width for verticals and zero height for horizontals. The Ctrl/Shift still not working.


Go to view Tab, click on Grid settings and you get a dialogue box, where you check on the Snap objects to grid option, which usually enables 45° and 90°. In case you want to increase or decrease snapping adjust the Spacing for the Grid settings in the same dialogue box.


I'm using office 2013. As "Opsin" mentioned, you have to hold shift + ctrl both when drawing line. For me, this didn't worked on already draw line. You have to draw a new line while press both above keys.

Also, if you have already draw line (not straight line) and want to make it as vertical line follow below steps. 1. Click on that line 2. Select Format from top bar. 3. Click expand icon inside of size section 4. On new expand section, go to Size & Position section and under size set WIDTH to zero. (Please refer below screen capture) Image

Note -: As "Scot" mentioned, you don't need to hold both Shift and Ctrl. Just hold Shift key only, when drawing straight line.

  • 1
    I believe you’re mistaken. For me, holding down “Shift” is good enough to force a line to be horizontal, vertical, or at a 45° angle in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013. Sep 18, 2018 at 3:49
  • Thank you so much @Scott for pointing out. I have added it as a note.
    – Dzero
    Sep 21, 2018 at 4:26

at a guess, try holding ctrl down when drawing. Alot of packages use it to lock the line to 90 and 45 angles.


With PowerPoint for Mac 2016, the key combination is Command+Shift and then draw the line. The line will rotate in 45° increments as you draw.

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