There are five kinds of line: straight lines, curved lines, shape connectors, polygon lines, and curved connectors. You can find all of them under the Line menu in the Home tab.
Four of these line types are used to connect shapes: straight line, curved line, shape connector, and curved connector. Polygon Line is the unique in that it is sued to create a shape instead of connecting them. Here's a diagram showing all the different lines used to connect shapes in one visual.
Straight lines connects two shapes or points in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal manner. They may be drawn at any angle, but will snap to perfectly horizontal or vertical directions if drawn close to these directions.
Curved lines connect any two points with the arc of a circle. Like straight lines, curves can be rotated.
The degree of curvature of a curved line can be adjusted using the special adjustment handle at its center.
Shape Connectors are segmented lines designed to connect shapes in multiple segments. When linked to a shape the end linked becomes perpendicular to the side of the shape that it is linked to (i.e. it sticks out from the side). If the other end is linked to another shape, it also becomes perpendicular to the side of the shape that it is attached to.
Moving the shapes around causes the segmented line to change its shape to maintain the directions of its starting and ending segments. Segmented lines can have from 1 to 5 segments, depending on the arrangement of the shapes linked.
Once two shapes are connected with a Shape Connector, you can adjust the segments by using a special adjustment handle located in the middle of each segment.
Click and drag this handle to adjust the position of the segments.
Automatic Connectors are a special type of line that changes shape as other objects are linked to it, so it can keep any number of shapes automatically connected without breaking. When you create an organizational chart, flowchart, or mind map the lines between shapes is called an automatic connector. New shapes are automatically connected to other shapes at regular intervals.
Automatic Connectors are either perfectly horizontal or vertical. The arrangement of the shapes attached to them can be changed using the SmartPanel on specialized diagram types that use them.
You can change the direction of your Automatic Connector using the SmartPanel of the type of chart you're making. You'll find this under Chart Properties or Format depending on the diagram. Look for "Chart Direction."
You can also change the shape or style of the automatic connector using the SmartPanel of the type of chart you're making. For example, if you're making an organizational chart, you can go the Chart Properties area of your SmartPanel and choose a different branch style to change the arrangement of shapes under "Branch Style."
You can create a custom polygon shape using the Polygon Line tool. Unlike the other line tools whose main purpose is to connect shapes to each other, a polygon line is used to create a shape. You start by clicking once to start the first segment and dragging your mouse to extend the line in any direction on your Work Area. Clicking again will end the segment and let you start the next one, and so on until you're ready to close your shape. Learn more about creating custom shapes with lines here.
Curved Shape Connector
Curved Shape Connectors are the same as the regular shape connectors except the segmented lines are rounded. They too are designed primarily to link two shapes together. They follow the same rules as Shape Connectors, always maintaining a direction that sticks straight out from the side of the shape they are linked to.
When not linked, a curve is initially a simple “S”.
Like Shape Connectors, the curve of curved shape connectors can be adjusted with special adjustment handles near the center of each line segment.