How to merge shapes in powerpoint

How to Merge Shapes to Create New Ones in Microsoft PowerPoint

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

PowerPoint can be a valuable tool for producing professional-looking designs. I frequently use PowerPoint to create handouts and flyers, and while it doesn’t quite compare with the sophisticated toolsets included with a program like Photoshop or InDesign, there are some tricks you can use to bring your PowerPoint designs to the next level. One of the most useful tools I’ve come across while using PowerPoint is the Merge Shapes tool.

With this tool, you can create any shape you want by merging multiple shapes together. This is preferable to layering shapes on top of each other and using the Group function, because you can edit the shape and apply formatting uniformly. For example, you can fill the entire shape with the same photo, you can give the shape an outline that matches up perfectly, or you can make the shape transparent without worrying about any overlapping sections. And really, it’s just plain old easier to deal with one shape than to keep track of several different layers and fragmented pieces.

I’m going to show you how to use the Union and Subtract functions of the Merge Shapes tool. Here’s a screenshot of a flyer I made recently using PowerPoint to advertise PEI’s Office 365 Services. You can see that I have two non-standard shapes—the one containing the featured image at the top and the orange shape containing text at the bottom.

Building Your Shape Using the Union Function

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

To merge shapes together and create your intended shape, add as many shapes as you need to create your desired shape. I’ve found it’s easiest to work with shapes that have the same formatting, but it’s not a requirement. If you’re using shapes with differing formats, the style of the shape you select first in the next step will be applied to the entire shape once it’s merged.

Select all of the shapes you’ve used and choose the Merge Shapes drop down from the left side of the Drawing Tools Format pane in the ribbon.

There are a lot of different things you can do with the Merge Shapes tool, but we’re just going to use the first option, which is Union. This will take the two—or more—shapes you’ve created and turn them into a single shape. Now you can fill the shape, outline the shape, or stretch the shape any way you want, and it will act as a single entity.

PowerPoint 2010 comes with a great new feature that is surprisingly hard to find: the Combine Shapes tool. You can use this tool to combine existing shapes into new ones using the principles of Boolean geometry (more about that later).

Access to Combine Shapes Tool

By default, the Combine Shapes tool is not available in the PowerPoint 2010 Ribbon. You can add it by following the steps below:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Switch to the Customize Ribbon page.
  4. Click New Group to add a custom group to the Home tab.
  5. Click Rename and name the group Shape Tools.
  6. Choose Commands Not in the Ribbon in the top-left drop-down box.
  7. Select Combine Shapes from the list and click Add to add it to the Shape Tools group.
  8. Click Ok to close the options dialog.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

The Combine Shapes command will now appear at the right end of the Home tab.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Using the Tool

To see how Combine Shapes works, add and select two or more overlapping shapes on the slide.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Then click on Combine Shapes and select one of the following options:

  • Shape Union: Merges the shapes into one shape that covers the entire area of the original objects.
    How to merge shapes in powerpoint
  • Shape Combine: Merges the shapes, but leaves out the intersection area.
    How to merge shapes in powerpoint
  • Shape Intersect: Leaves only the intersection where the selected shapes overlap.
    How to merge shapes in powerpoint
  • Shape Subtract: Cuts out the area of the last selected shapes from the first selected one.
    How to merge shapes in powerpoint

About ShapeChef

ShapeChef is a tool that helps you find and manage graphics and charts for your presentations. Click here for details.

PowerPoint has many standard shapes to add to your presentation. Or you can merge and group objects to make your own.

Select Home > Shape .

Select the shape you want to use.

Click and drag across the slide, drawing the shape to the desired size.

With the shape selected, you can change the Shape Fill , Shape Outline , or Shape Effects .

Tip: Select the shape and press Ctrl+D to create a duplicate shape.

Rotate or flip an object

Select an object.

Select Drawing Tools Format > Rotate and then select:

Rotate Right 90°

More Rotation Options

Select the shapes to merge. To select several objects, press Shift, and then select each object.

On the Drawing Tools Format tab, select Merge Shapes , and then pick the option you want:

Union : Turns all the selected objects into one object.

Combine : Turns all the selected objects into one object, but removes the overlapping portion.

Fragment : Turns larger objects into many smaller ones based on how they overlap.

Intersect : Trims portions of the larger objects and leaves only the portion that overlaps each object.

Subtract : Removes a portion of the last selected object that does not overlap.

Once you get the shape you want, you can resize and format the shape, just like a standard shape.

Press and hold Ctrl while you select each object.

Under the Drawing Tools (or Picture Tools ) Format tab, select Group > Group .

Select a grouped object.

Under the Drawing Tools (or Picture Tools ) Format tab, select Group > Ungroup .

Sometimes, the shape you want isn’t included in the built-in or default shapes. You can merge shapes to create the picture you want. You can also use Edit Points to modify a shape.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Duration: 4:07. Design your own picture by merging and grouping shapes.

Merge shapes

Select the shapes you want to merge: press and hold the Shift key while you select each shape in turn.

(If you don’t select any shapes, then the Merge Shapes button in step 2 will be grayed out.)

On the Drawing Tools Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, select Merge Shapes, and then pick the option you want.

The second picture below illustrates the effect of each of the Merge Shapes options.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

The order in which you select the shapes to merge may affect the options shown to you. If you’re unsatisfied with the choices you get, start over by unselecting the shapes, and then repeat this procedure, selecting a different shape first than you did in the previous attempt.

Use Edit Points to change a shape

Select the shape you want to change.

On the toolbar, select the Drawing Tools Format tab, and in the Insert Shape group, select Edit Shape > Edit Points.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Drag the black edit points to change the shape. Use the white square edit points to change the curvature of the line between two black edit points.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

It’s easier to use edit points if the shape doesn’t have any fill or style. Add any color fill or effects after you have finished.

Tip: Here’s a detailed video showing the different ways to use edit points. It was created with an earlier version of PowerPoint, but the process is the same.

Reuse your custom shape in another Office program

If you want to use the shape later, right-click it, and select Save As Picture. Give the picture a name, and save it on your computer.

To insert the picture in a different Office program, open that program and select Insert > Pictures. Locate the picture on your computer, select it, and then select Insert.

Merge shapes

Select the shapes to merge. Press and hold Shift to select multiple shapes.

The Shape Format tab appears. Note that it only appears when a shape is selected.

On the Shape Format tab, click Merge Shapes, and then pick the option you want.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

The order in which you select the shapes to merge may affect the options shown to you. If you’re unsatisfied with the choices you get, start over by unselecting the shapes, and then repeat this procedure, selecting a different shape first than you did in the previous attempt.

Use Edit Points to change a shape

Select the shape to change.

The Shape Format tab appears. Note that it only appears when a shape is selected.

On the Shape Format tab, click Edit Shape > Edit Points.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Drag the black edit points to change the shape. Use the white square edit points to change the curvature of the line between two black edit points.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Tip: It’s easier to use edit points if the shape doesn’t have any fill or style, so add any color or fill effects after you’re finished editing points.

Reuse your custom shape in another Office program

If you want to use the shape later, right-click it, and click Save as Picture.

To insert the picture in a different program, click Insert > Pictures, locate the picture, and click Insert.

I’ve always been a big fan of using PowerPoint to create custom shapes, but I used to find myself opening other graphic design programs (like Adobe Illustrator) when I wanted to edit text like a shape. I quickly stopped doing that when I discovered how to easy it is to convert text to shapes in PowerPoint!

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

This technique is a quick and easy way to transform text into objects that you can manipulate like any other shape in PowerPoint. This is useful when using PowerPoint to create custom icons, or anytime you want complete editing control over your text.

Check out my how-to video below and learn how to convert text to shapes in PowerPoint!

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Tim Slade

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11 Responses to “How to Convert Text to Shapes in PowerPoint”

Oh my goodness…I thought I was really good using PowerPoint, but this is amazing. THANK YOU!

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

This is amazing! But alas I think the “merge shapes” option is not available as a feature in Powerpoint for Mac 2011…would that be correct? I can’t find the feature anywhere!

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Hi Kathleen! Thanks for commenting! I did some research and found this article. It looks like you might be able to combine shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, but the options are located in a different location. Check out the below article and let me know whether or not it works for you. https://www.indezine.com/products/powerpoint/learn/shapes/combine-shape-commands-in-ppt2011-mac.html

Hi Tim, thanks for the quick reply!

Alas, I found that article too and had high hopes, but it looks like although that is in fact the fix if you’re dealing with two shapes, 2011 won’t recognize the text selection and the “Combine, etc..” options are dimmed.

Thanks anyway, I will say that finding that hidden feature will be great for making other graphic elements if not for text. And one other nice trick I discovered is that you can save the text as a picture (.png format), which allows you to bring it back in and crop/mask it into a shape/frame as you could any other image…which was what led me here in the first place!

So thanks very much for your tut, so helpful and inspired even more creative digging!

Hey Tim! Thanks so much for the video. I was wondering if you knew how to do the opposite of this- taking a shape that has already been converted and making it into text that is editable? I recently bought a powerpoint template for the business I work for, and was planning on using a lot of its visual graphics because I liked the way they were displayed. However, I am stuck right now, because they created the shape of 17 in special font, but I need it to say 19 instead since that is the current year. However, I have been struggling to try and recreate it or edit the shape itself because I do not know the font it used and it won’t recognize it as regular text anymore. Can you provide any insight? Thanks again.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Hey Emma! Thanks for watching and commenting! Unfortunately, there is no way to convert a shape into editable text. In this situation, you’ll likely have to find a similar or alternative font to use instead. Otherwise, you might try emailing the creator of the template and see if they can tell you what font was used.

How did I NOT know how to do this before! Thanks Tim! You just upped my PPT game! Thank you so much for all this great content. Being relatively new to the industry, all your tips and trips are invaluable!

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Thanks, Sarah! I appreciate the comment! I use this technique all the time in PowerPoint. It’s a good one!

Tim, Hi. My PowerPoint 2016 doesn’t have the ‘Convert to Shape’ option showing. Can I add that from somewhere or is it only available in business versions of PPT?

This worked – sort of. When it converted, it filled in all the letters that are closed, like A or O, with black. Individually the spots can be selected and deleted, but there are several hundred. There are nearly a hundred just in these sentences, so you can see how quickly they add up. Do you have any solutions to converting the text without the filled letters?

How to merge shapes in powerpoint How to merge shapes in powerpoint

1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, select Shapes:

2. In the Shapes list, from the Rectangles group, select the Rectangle shape:

Add the rectangle shape to the slide:

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

3. To add different forms of holes and heads, do one of the following:

A. The very simple form of circle holes and heads:

A.1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click the Shapes dropdown list and then choose the oval shape from the Basic Shapes group:

Add the oval shape to the slide and positioning them like you prefer:

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Note: Here and below had been used shapes from the Basic Shapes group of the Shapes list:

A.2. To create heads on the puzzle figure, just union these two shapes. To union shapes, do the following:

1. Select both shapes.

2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click on the Merge Shapes dropdown list, and choose Union:

You will see a new head on the shape:

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

A.3. To create holes on the puzzle piece, just subtract the second shape from the first one. To subtract shapes, do the following:

1. Select the first shape that should be subtracted and then holding Ctrl, select the second shape.

2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click on the Merge Shapes dropdown list, and choose Subtract:

You will see the new hole on the shape:

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

B. The more realistic form of circle or teardrop holes and heads:

If you want to create more realistic heads and holes, you need to re-positioning them for making holes:

For heads For holes
The positioning of the oval shape How to merge shapes in powerpoint How to merge shapes in powerpoint
After union or subtract How to merge shapes in powerpoint How to merge shapes in powerpoint

You can also try, for example, the teardrop shape:

For heads For holes
The positioning of the teardrop shape How to merge shapes in powerpoint How to merge shapes in powerpoint
After union or subtract How to merge shapes in powerpoint How to merge shapes in powerpoint

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

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Shapes can be used to add interest to a presentation, to emphasize a point, or just to make your presentation look a bit more exciting. PowerPoint’s shapes are great because you can format them with colors, 3-D effects and shadows, and they always look perfect, even when you scale them really large or very small. With just a few simple tricks you can add a little variety and a unique feel to your shapes.

All of the shapes below were created in PowerPoint and can be resized, copied and reused in any Office application. As you can see, they are all geometric shapes with added effects, such as shadowing.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Making these shapes is simple and fun. Here, for example, is how to create the Celtic knot in the example above.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Microsoft PowerPoint

Present like a pro.

Create a shape

First, add a circle to a blank page. Make it fairly big, so you can work with it easily, but leave plenty of space to work. Now you’ll need a second circle of the same proportions, so simply make a copy. The quickest way to duplicate a shape is to select the circle and then drag it while holding the Ctrl key (for more keyboard shortcuts for Windows or Mac, check out our previous post 10 little-known keyboard shortcuts for editing in PowerPoint). Once you have the second circle, you want to size it down while keeping the same proportions. If you resize it by holding Shift while moving one of the corner handles, it scales it evenly, and the proportions stay the same.

Next, drag the first circle over the top of the second, and use the alignment guides to align them, so they have the same center. When they are aligned the shape will look like this:

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Press Ctrl and click each circle to select them both (or use ⌘ if you are working on a Mac). You want to select the bigger circle first, then the smaller one. I’ll explain why in a moment, but for now let’s just see how the magic happens. Now that you have two shapes selected, the Merge Shapes under the Drawing Tools/Format ribbon tab is enabled.

Click the Merge Shapes drop-down to display the five choices: Union, Combine, Fragment, Intersect and Subtract. You can move your mouse over each option to see a preview of what option each does, but for now, select Subtract. If you selected the shapes in the right order, you should have a circle with the center cut out. This is why the order you select shapes matters—the first shape you select is the part that’s kept when you click Subtract, while the second shape is cut out. If your Circle doesn’t look right, undo, click on a blank part of the slide, and reselect the shapes—making sure to select the bigger circle first, then click Subtract again.

Now you have a single ring. Use the Ctrl+drag trick to make two more copies, so you have three identical rings. Move them so they overlap in a triangle, so that the overlap makes the Celtic knot shape. The alignment guides make it easy to make sure they’re all overlapped evenly. Then select the three rings and click Union from the Merge Shapes menu to make the knot.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Apply effects to a shape

Next, we’ll use a little shape formatting to make it unique. First, select your shape, and on the Drawing Tools/Format tab, click the Shape Outline drop-down and select an outline color (such as a golden color), and then set the Outline Weight to 4 ½ pt. Next, click Shape Fill and select a color (green for example). As a finishing touch, click Shape Effects, and under Bevel choices, select Relaxed Inset to make the outline look like a raised rim on a piece of jewelry. There you have it, a nice custom shape you can use anywhere.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

That’s the basics of making custom shapes. You can use the various Merge Shapes commands to trim shapes, combine them, and to make any number of useful custom shapes.

Before we finish, I want to show you one more tip for making custom shapes that can be really powerful, which even some of the power users who know all about Merge Shapes miss.

If you create a text box and a normal shape, you can use the Merge Shapes commands to make text into shapes. For instance, try making a rectangle and then make a text box with some text in it. You’ll probably want to change the font size so that the text is only slightly smaller than the rectangle. Drag the text box over the rectangle, select the rectangle first, then the text.

  • If you select Subtract, you get a rectangle with the text cut out of it.
  • If you select Intersect, you get a single shape that is shaped like the text.
  • If you select Fragment, you get the shape with the text cut out, plus individual shapes for each letter.

All of these shapes can have any normal shape formatting applied to them. I’ll bet you can immediately see some cool uses for that.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

How to merge shapes in powerpointNow you’re ready to go out and be a master of custom-made shapes. As a parting challenge, here’s an example of a really nice shape I made. It didn’t take me hours; in fact, it took only one Intersect operation to do. I’m not going to tell you how I made it, but I’ll give you a really big hint: there’s a font called Wingdings 2, and a choice on the Insert tab called Symbol that you can use to add a symbol to a text box. Knowing this and the tip above should be enough to get you started.

There you have it—everything you need to know to create great shapes. What you can make is limited only by your imagination and patience. Have fun!

—Tucker Hatfield, senior program manager for the PowerPoint Graphics team

PowerMockup provides a large collection of user interface elements and icons made entirely out of PowerPoint shapes. With these elements you easily can create screen prototypes of mobile, web, and desktop applications—right inside PowerPoint!

PowerMockup is an add-on that integrates a library pane into the PowerPoint window, giving you easy access to the included wireframe and mockup shapes.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Quick Search

PowerMockup’s instant search feature makes finding the right shapes an easy task. As you type, the list of shapes automatically filters until you get what you are looking for. PowerMockup also recognizes synonyms so that a search for “Input” yields results including “Text Box” and “Text Area” items.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Drag and Drop

Once you have found a shape that you want to use for a wireframe or mockup, simply drag it from the library pane to the desired location on your PowerPoint slide. It’s quick and easy!

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Custom Shapes

You also can add your own items to the shape library. Simply select a shape on a PowerPoint slide, click on “Add Shape,” and you’ve created a custom shape. For better organization, arrange your shapes into separate categories and subcategories. You also can import and export shape categories, so you can share your creations with others.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Smart Shapes

Several of the PowerMockup shapes provide additional functionality that goes beyond what PowerPoint offers. For instance, when you resize the “Window” shape, PowerMockup ensures that the window’s title bar keeps the correct proportions. Some shapes also allow you to make quick changes, such as adding items to a tab bar or setting the state of a check box.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Company-Wide Library

When working in a team, you may want to create a shared repository of commonly used shapes. This is what PowerMockup’s “Shared Shape Library” feature is for. It allows you to set up a shape library that is stored online on the PowerMockup servers, which multiple users can access (according to the rights granted).

Instead of creating a stand-alone mockup and wireframing tool, we decided to build upon the strengths of PowerPoint and turn it into a powerful prototyping platform. Here’s why.

Ease of Use

The success of PowerPoint is related closely to its ease of use and shallow learning curve. Even first-time users can create presentations from scratch within a couple of minutes. And if you ever get stuck with a PowerPoint problem, you will find plenty of websites and books offering help.

One Tool for All

Using PowerPoint as a prototyping tool ensures that all stakeholders are able to participate in the development process, even those without coding or design skills. No one gets left out, and all team members can drive development collaboratively.

Storyboarding

PowerPoint’s presentation features make it a great tool for creating storyboards that demonstrate the flow between screens. Slide by slide, you can present a tour of the user interface and use animations, links, and actions to add interactivity.

Collaboration

PowerPoint includes collaboration and sharing features that facilitate working in a team. You can share documents with others via OneDrive or SharePoint, leave comments on slides, and merge different versions of a document into a single file.

Import/Export

From common bitmap images (PNG, JPEG, BMP, etc.) over vector graphics (EMF, WMF, EPS) to video files (MP4, WMV) and PDF documents, PowerPoint supports a wide range of import and export formats for shapes and slides.

Office Integration

Part of the Microsoft Office suite, PowerPoint plays well with Word and Excel. For instance, you can embed PowerPoint slides into a Word specification document while keeping them fully editable.

In this article, we are going to discuss how to create mail merge PowerPoints and what to use them for.

PowerPoint is a perfect tool for mail-merging reports. What am I saying? PowerPoint is the best and cheapest way to do your mail-merged individual reports, but only in combination with our DataPoint add-on. This plugin allows you to connect your PowerPoint shapes like text boxes, charts, images and tables directly to your data sources. The advantage? Always up-to-date presentations and in real-time. No waiting anymore for colleagues copy-pasting the information from your Excel to PowerPoint. No typos anymore. Once that the presentation is linked to your data, you just open your presentation and it is up-to-date.

In this article, I will explain how you can link your presentation to your data very quickly. And then I’m going to show you 4 ways to generate your mail-merged up-to-date presentations and documents.

1. The Initial Data Linking

I’m going over this very quickly. The nature of our DataPoint add-on is to connect to some 25 data providers to get your data. After setting up the data connections, you start to link it to text boxes, charts, tables etc. Here is a nice introductory on how to connect and display Excel information. And don’t forget to activate the mail merging settings, which is called data scrolling in our product. This will generate multiple slides or pages because DataPoint offers you the flexibility to design e.g. one slide only and then mail merge this in a larger presentation or report. One per item that you are reporting on.

Have a look at our demo files here. On one side we have an Excel file with fictive medicines and sales figures per country where we are selling these medicines of us.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Here you will see a preview of your Excel data (or any other data) in PowerPoint with our DataPoint.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

And secondly, we have our nice PowerPoint presentation where we want to visualize these sales figures on an animated 3D planet. We will dynamically link the text boxes of PowerPoint directly to the corresponding data cell of our data source.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

And our data scrolling options are set to a step size of 1 row (advance one row at a time when scrolling) and it will scroll over all 9 pages to keep everything together.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

We will walk thru the 4 options that we have to use mail merge PowerPoint functions to generate up-to-date documents and presentations.

2. As One Big Presentation or Report

Click the DataPoint’s Snapshot button. This action will create a new mail merge PowerPoint presentation with the latest data from your data sources, and then generate a new large report or presentation with all mail merged slides. Our data file contains 10 fictive medicine names and sales figures. Our base presentation counts 9 slides to visualize all the data of one medicine.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

So the outcome of this snapshot generation process is a new up-to-date presentation of exactly 90 slides. 9 slides per medicine. 10 medicines in total. This snapshot presentation is generated in some 10 seconds time, and can be forwarded and distributed to others; colleagues, resellers, distributors, …

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

3. As Individual Mail Merge PowerPoint Reports

The Enterprise edition of DataPoint allows us to generate multiple documents or presentations instead of one large file. Click the Snapshot Save As button. Here you can choose the column from your data source that will be used to give the document a name. So you can save your reporting on medicine XYZ as XYZ.pptx. Or add more information before and after the medicine name like e.g. Weekly overview of XYZ sales.pptx.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

This process takes almost the same amount of time than the generation of our one large presentation. Here for this sample, give the process some 10 seconds to complete. In the end, you will have a folder with one presentation per medicine. So 10 presentations with 9 slide each, with personalized content.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

4. As Individual PDF Documents

PowerPoint is great because it is easy to edit and it has great animations to emphasize your message. Sometimes people want to have PDF documents because they don’t need a PowerPoint to view it and the file size is smaller because the animation and moving parts are taken out. If that’s what you need, generate individual up-to-date PDF reports, then look at this option.

Click the Snapshot Save As button again and look at the File format combo box. Set it to PDF Document and click the OK button. This generation process will take some longer because it will be converted to PDF and that takes extra time.

In the end, your output folder is filled with 10 up-to-date PDF documents. 1 PDF document per medicine with its specific data.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

5. As Personalized Movies

Nothing fancier than a customized personalized video for reporting. Video is everything and everything is going to be a video. Think about Facebook posts with video content; much more attractive because people are lazy and want to be entertained. Can you entertain your colleagues with video data reporting? Read on.

Use the Snapshot Save As again and set the File format to MP4 video and hit OK to start the report generation process. After the process, the folder will contain 10 individual MP4 video files that could be distributed or uploaded to Youtube.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

See here how one video looks like. The others look alike but is always for another medicine with its own sales figures.

We are back with tutorials and downloads for this autumn, we know the world is going through very tough times, we hope we get through this very soon but meanwhile, keep learning new ways to improve your skills and knowledge through the magic lamp that we now have in our hands called as the internet. And we are here to help you learn the best of PowerPoint and Microsoft Word. To start with today’s quick and easy tutorial, we received a request last fall about creating certificate templates in PowerPoint. So we created a couple of templates that you can use by customizing them as per your requirement. In today’s article, we will show you how you can create and export multiple certificates in one go with the help of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. So let’s dive in

Step 1. Create a Certificate Template using PowerPoint or Word

As you are aware when it comes to creating any graphic document, PowerPoint can be the easiest tool to go for. So we recommend creating the certificate using the PowerPoint.

And to do that all you need is open PowerPoint > Select a blank presentation > Set the size of the slide to be A4 or U.S. letter Landscape and design your certificate using the shapes available in PowerPoint or use the Google for references. If you think both of the options can be time taking, just download the certificate templates from our blog here.

Once the certificate is created, save the slide as an image (jpg or png). For this tutorial, we use one from our blog

Step 2. Creating A Batch of Certificates

Before we start creating the batch, let’s get our data i.e names of the candidates ready. And to do that Open Microsoft Excel and create a list containing the names of your students, participants, etc. do put the heading as Names and save it.

Now open Microsoft Word and select a Blank Document > Go to Layout > Select the Size and set the Orientation to Landscape

Now Insert the certificate(image) you created earlier using the Insert > Picture menu

Next go to Insert and DrawText Box, draw the text box over the name field on the image and set the textbox shape outline and fill to None

Now from the ribbon menu select Mailing > Select Recipients > Use an Existing List > Select the Excel file you created > Select Table and Hit OK

Now you will find Mail merge options enabled in the ribbon, Go to Insert Merge Fields > Click on the Names> you will find a tag <> added in the text box.

Next, select the text and increase the font size, you can select the font you like to have

Now go back to the Mailing tab and click on Preview Results to see how the names are coming up on the document.

If you are happy with the results. Click on Finish & Merge > Print Documents > Select the Microsoft Print to PDF hit OK and save the document, it will create a document with all the certificates in it.

This option is handy if wish to print out certifications.

You can also send these certificates directly to the email of the candidates, All you need to do it add the email IDs of the candidates next to their names in the excel file we created earlier and from the Finish & Merge > Send Email Messages and select the emails field.

So that’s one way you can create a batch of certificates at ease using just Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Hope this helps you, the article seems to be lengthy it’s quite easy when you do it practically. If you have face any problems do comment in the comment section of this article.

Curved arrows are perfect for making PowerPoint diagrams and to point towards objects and images in presentation slides. There are a number of methods by which you can make curved arrows in PowerPoint by following just a few easy steps.

Making Curved Arrows in PowerPoint

Once you have mastered the art of making curved arrows in PowerPoint you can not only create your own custom diagrams but the implications are virtually endless, therefore, knowing how to make a curved arrow is a skill you might want to add to your arsenal as a PowerPoint Jedi!

Following are three easy methods that you can use for making curved arrows in PowerPoint. For the purpose of this post we have used PowerPoint 2013 to demonstrate our tutorial.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Method 1: Use Curved Arrows in PowerPoint Using Curved Arrow Shapes

The easiest way to create a curved arrow is to use PowerPoint shapes. Simply head over to Insert –> Shapes –> Block Arrows and pick a curve arrow of your choice. There are four variants of curved arrows including the right, left, up and down curved arrow. You can also make use of other arrow shapes like the U-Turn arrow (depending upon your requirements).

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Once the shape has been selected, simply draw it out on your slide. You can customize your curved arrow in a number of ways, for example, the yellow dots shown in the image below can help you resize your arrow, making it thick or thin. Similarly, the small white arrow on top of your shape can help you rotate your arrow.

After your arrow has been drawn and aligned, you can use formatting options in PowerPoint to recolor your arrow, add textboxes next to the arrow to create a diagram and mix things up by adding images to your slides to complement your arrows.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Method 2: Merge Shapes in PowerPoint to Create Curved Arrows

Another fine for method making curved arrows in PowerPoint is to play around with shapes. In the example below we will show you how easy it is to combine different shapes in PowerPoint to draw your own arrows.

To get started pick the Moon shape from Insert –> Shapes –>Basic Shapes.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

In the next step, draw the moon shape and resize it as per your requirements. You can use the yellow square in the middle of the shape to make your shape thin or thick to ensure that your arrow is drawn according to your needed width.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Now, pick the Isosceles shape from Insert –> Shapes –> Basic Shapes. You can also opt for other shapes or shape combinations if you like.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Place the Isosceles over the moon shape and adjust it to suit your needs.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Select both shapes using the ‘Shift’ key from your keyboard and go to the Format tab. From here, go to Merge Shapes and select ‘Union’ to combine both shapes.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

You can create arrows using a number of shape combinations, for example, you can also merge a Bloc Arc shape with a triangle to create a curved arrow.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

The below image shows a curved arrow created using a Bloc Arc and Isosceles triangle merged into one shape.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Using the above mentioned method you can create different types of curved arrows in PowerPoint by joining different shapes together. You can format your shapes using formatting options to give them a desired color and effect.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Method 3: Use SmartArt Graphics

If you want to make a professional diagram, SmartArt Graphics offer an ample amount of arrow themed graphics, including curved arrows. For instance, you can find an upward or downward arrow from the Process diagrams in SmartArt.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

You can format your diagram using various options from the Ribbon menu, add text to the placeholders in the diagram or add additional textboxes, as well as recolor and resize the curved arrow diagrams.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

This can allow you to create anything from basic to elaborate curved arrow diagrams in PowerPoint. The best part about SmartArt curved arrow diagrams is that you can quickly create custom diagrams which can be as elaborate as you like.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

If you would like to skip the hassle of making curved arrow diagrams and would like to use highly customizable readymade templates instead, then check out our Arrow PowerPoint Templates. For more details, see plans and pricing.

In this post, I will demonstrate how to create a diagram consisting of four curved arrows, as shown in the image below:

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

The tutorial relies heavily on the Merge Shapes features of PowerPoint 2013/2016. In order to use these features in PowerPoint 2010, you first have to customize the Ribbon toolbar, as described here.

Here are the exact steps to follow to create the cyclic arrow diagram:

  1. Add an Oval shape to the slide (hold the Shift key while drawing to make it a circle).
  2. Select the circle and press Ctrl+D to duplicate it.
  3. Move the new circle on top of the existing one.
  4. Reduce the size of the circle by grabbing the handle with the mouse and dragging it (hold Ctrl+Shift while resizing).
  5. Select the large circle.
  6. Hold the Shift key and click on the small circle to add it to the selection.
  7. Choose FORMATMerge ShapesSubtract to cut out the small circle from the large one.
    How to merge shapes in powerpoint
  8. Add a Triangle shape and duplicate it three times (Ctrl+D).
  9. Move and rotate the triangles so they form the heads of the four arrows (hold Shift while rotating to snap to steps of 15 degrees).
    How to merge shapes in powerpoint
  10. Select the circle and the triangles.
  11. Choose FORMATMerge ShapesFragment to break up the shapes into smaller parts.
  12. Select and delete the fragments that are not needed for the diagram.
  13. Select a part of the circle.
  14. Hold Shift and select the matching arrowhead to add it to the selection.
  15. Choose FORMATMerge ShapesUnion to turn the selected shapes into one single shape.
  16. Repeat the above steps for all four arrows.
  17. Select the four arrows and change their fill to a gradient (FORMATShape FileGradient).
  18. Increase the outline width of the shapes to 3 pt (FORMATShape OutlineWeight).
  19. If necessary, change the outline color to white (FORMATShape Outline).
  20. Add a Text Box to the slide and fill it with some text for the first arrow.
  21. Increase the font size for the text box to 32 pt.
  22. Choose FORMATWordArt StylesText EffectsTransformFollow PathArch Up.
    How to merge shapes in powerpoint
  23. Increase the size of the text box to almost match the size of the circle and center it within the circle.
  24. Grab the pink handle left of the text and position the text within the first arrow.
    How to merge shapes in powerpoint
  25. Change the text to bold and change its font color to white.
  26. Duplicate the arrow text shape and use the pink handle to move the text to the second arrow.
  27. Duplicate the text shape again and change its text effect to Arch Down (FORMATWordArt StylesText EffectsTransformFollow PathArch Down).
  28. Change the alignment of the text to Align Right (Ctrl+R).
  29. Move the text to the third arrow and increase the size of the text box a bit (hold Ctrl+Shift+Alt while resizing).
  30. Repeat the above steps for the fourth arrow.

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Understand the Screen
Understand the PowerPoint Interface

Open a Presentation
How to Open a Presentation in PowerPoint

Save a Presentation
How to Save a PowerPoint Presentation

AutoRecover
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Navigate a Presentation
How to Navigate Directly to a Slide in PowerPoint

Change Views
How to Use Outline View in PowerPoint

Print
How to Print PowerPoint Slides

The Quick Access Toolbar
How to Use the Quick Access Toolbar in PowerPoint

Help
How to Use PowerPoint Help

Close and Exit
How to Close a PowerPoint Presentation

Add and Lay Out Slides
How to Change a Slide Layout in PowerPoint

Cut, Copy, and Paste
How to Copy and Paste in PowerPoint

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How to Undo in PowerPoint

Slide Notes
How to How to Print a PowerPoint with Notes

Resize the Window
How to Resize a PowerPoint Window

Comments
How to Insert a Comment in PowerPoint

Compare Presentations
How to Compare PowerPoint Presentations

Check Spelling
How to Spell Check in PowerPoint

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How to Find and Replace Text in PowerPoint

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How to Modify Document Properties in PowerPoint

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How to Password Protect a PowerPoint

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How to Use Outline View in PowerPoint

Sections
How to Make Sections in PowerPoint

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How to Use Slide Sorter View in PowerPoint

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How to Copy a Slide in PowerPoint

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How to Hide a Slide in PowerPoint

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How to Start a Slideshow in PowerPoint

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How to Create a Custom Slide Show in PowerPoint

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How to Convert a PowerPoint to Video

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How to Present a PowerPoint Online

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How to Use Themes in PowerPoint

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How to Format Text in PowerPoint

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How to Make Columns in PowerPoint

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How to Add Hyperlinks in PowerPoint

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How to Use the Format Painter in PowerPoint

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How to the Format Slide Background in PowerPoint

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How to Customize PowerPoint Themes

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How to Change Slide Size in PowerPoint

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How to Create a PowerPoint Template

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How to Add Pictures in PowerPoint

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How to Remove Picture Background in PowerPoint

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How to Compress Pictures in PowerPoint

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How to Crop a Picture in PowerPoint

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How to Add a Text Box in PowerPoint

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How to Merge Shapes in PowerPoint

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How to Set Animation Timing in PowerPoint

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How to Use Zoom in PowerPoint

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How to Work with Slide Layouts in PowerPoint

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How to Add Slide Numbers in PowerPoint

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How to Change the PowerPoint Background Image

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How to Use Multipe Slide Masters in PowerPoint

Explore how you can draw an Arc shape in PowerPoint. The Arc is different than the similar Pie shape.

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: PowerPoint

OS: Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X

Date Created: April 20, 2015
Last Updated: April 20, 2015

There are so many shapes in PowerPoint, from the basic Rectangle and Oval to the fancy Pie and Smiley Face! You can use these shapes as they are, or you can use the Merge Shape commands to create your own unique shapes. However, even if you do not create new shapes, there are some existing shapes that can be used in myriad ways. One of these is the Arc shape, that we will explore today. The Arc shape is quite easy to use, and in fact, you’ll find so much similarity between how the Arc and the Pie shapes appear and work—and some difference too. Let’s first explore how you draw an Arc shape. Thereafter we will explore differences between the Arc and the Pie shapes.

Follow these steps to draw the Arc shape in PowerPoint:

  1. Create a new presentation in PowerPoint. You can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Blank option.
  2. Access the Shapes Gallery, as shown in Figure 1, below. You’ll find the Arc shape (highlighted in red within Figure 1) within the Basic Shapes category.
  3. How to merge shapes in powerpoint
    Figure 1: Arc shape selected
  4. Now, click anywhere on the slide to add the Arc shape in a predefined size (typically 1 inch x 1 inch). Or, click and do not let go off the primary button on your mouse (or other input device). Continue dragging until you create a large enough Arc shape on your slide, as shown in Figure 2. Let go off the mouse button now.
  5. How to merge shapes in powerpoint
    Figure 2: Two handles at both the ends
  6. Notice two handles (highlighted in red within Figure 2, above) placed on both ends of the Arc shape. You can drag any of these handles to increase the curvature of the inserted Arc shape. Figure 3 shows the handle being dragged downwards.
  7. How to merge shapes in powerpoint
    Figure 3: Handle being dragged

Difference Between a Pie and an Arc

In Figure 7, below you will find the Pie shape on the left while the Arc can be found right-wards. Notice that they look the same except for the partial outline within the Arc shape (pointed by arrows in Figure 7). In comparison, the Pie shape sports a full outline.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Figure 7: Pie and Arc shapes look similar but can be different

Tip: There are other shapes with which you can create an Arc easily. You can use the Freeform drawing tool to create your own individual Arc. You can also use the Block Arc shape within the Shapes gallery that you can see in Figure 8, below.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint
Figure 8: The Block Arc shape

Once drawn, you will see two handles on the Block Arc shape, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 9, below.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Figure 9: Two handles can be found within the Block Arc shape

Drag the left handle to make your Arc smaller or larger, as shown within the top shape within Figure 10, below. The right handle, on the other hand allows you to make your Arc shape thinner or thicker, as shown in the bottom shape within Figure 10, below.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Figure 10: The Block Arc shape can also create Arcs

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How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Pictures in Presentations

Is a picture is worth a thousand words? You probably have heard this adage so often that we decided not to repeat this phrase throughout this book! Now here’s some more info: the human brain uses a larger part of its area to store visual information rather than textual content. And that’s possibly because a picture describes so much more than text.

Go and get a copy of our Pictures in Presentations ebook.

This is the original page. An AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) version of this page is also available for those on mobile platforms, at Drawing Arcs in PowerPoint.

Transparent text is used often in print and screen designs. But it can also be a useful tool in presentations. As this isn’t an integrated function in PowerPoint, you will need to know some shortcuts. We’ll show you how.

First off, why use transparent text? When an image has a really interesting background, or if the image directly relates to your message, solid, monochromatic text can sometimes detract from a picture’s visual impact. Transparent text gives you more design freedom. It can be seamlessly integrated into an image and can help communicate your message more effectively.

Here’s how to create transparent text in PowerPoint 2013.

  1. Create a text box (under Insert) and add your desired text. This text can’t be changed afterwards so make sure it’s correct.
  2. Draw a shape (Insert > Shape) and place it directly over your text.
  3. Click and drag a rectangle over both text and shape.
  4. Under Drawing Tools, go to Format > Merge Shapes and select Fragment. Your text and shape will be fragmented into pieces.
  5. Select the letters you want (select multiple letters with Ctrl + left-click) and drag them to the desired image. Right-click the letters and select Bring to Front to place the text over the image.
  6. Right-click the letters again. From the drop-down menu select Format Shape to choose your desired gradient fill or transparency. How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Follow these steps if you’re using PowerPoint 2007 or 2010.

  1. Insert the image you want into your presentation.
  2. Go to Insert > Text Box and drag a text box over your image.
  3. Add your text. If the text box is selected, click on the Drawing Tools/Format
  4. Set effects for your text in the WordArt Styles
  5. Right-click on the text and select Format Text Effects. Go to Text Fill and select Solid Fill. Adjust the transparency slider as needed.
  6. You can also change the outline color, transparency, and thickness.

In versions 2007 and 2010, you can easily edit your transparent text and move it as desired.

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Crop a Picture into a Circle on a PowerPoint Slide Using Crop to Shape

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated November 7, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft ® PowerPoint ® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can achieve some interesting effects by cropping images to shapes in PowerPoint. However, if you want to crop an image into a circle, you’ll need to combine cropping options.

To crop an image into a circle in PowerPoint (typically in Normal View), you’ll need to:

  1. Crop the image into an oval.
  2. Change the cropped image into a circle by changing the aspect ratio.
  3. Change the size, shape or position of the cropped image as required.

Do you want to learn more about PowerPoint? Check out our virtual classroom or in-person PowerPoint courses >

Note: Buttons and Ribbon tabs may display in a different way (with or without text) depending on your version of PowerPoint, the size of your screen and your Control Panel settings. For PowerPoint 365 users, Ribbon tabs may appear with different names. For example, the Picture Tools Format tab may appear as Picture Format.

Step 1: Crop the image into an oval

To crop an image into an oval on a PowerPoint slide:

  1. Select the image.
  2. Click the Picture Tools Format or Picture Format tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Size group, click the arrow below Crop.
  4. From the drop-down menu, choose Crop to Shape and then click the oval.

Below is the Crop to Shape gallery:

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Step 2: Change the cropped image into a circle by changing the aspect ratio

To change the cropped image (currently an oval) to a circle by changing the aspect ratio:

  1. Ensure the image is selected.
  2. On the Picture Tools Format or Picture Format tab, click the arrow below Crop again and then from the drop-down menu, choose Aspect Ratio.
  3. Select 1:1 to crop the image into a circle (change the oval to a circle).

Below is the Crop to Aspect Ratio menu:

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

Step 3: Change the size, shape or position of the cropped image

To change the size, shape or position of the cropped image:

  1. Ensure the image is selected on the PowerPoint slide.
  2. On the Picture Tools Format or Picture Format tab, click Crop.
  3. Resize the cropped area by dragging the black crop handles. To ensure that the shape remains a circle, hold down Shift and drag a corner crop handle.
  4. Resize the image by dragging the white circular handles. To ensure that the shape resizes proportionally, hold down Shift and drag a corner circle handle.
  5. Move the image within the cropped area by dragging the image.
  6. Click outside of the image or click Crop again to exit crop mode.

Below is an image in crop mode. Note the black crop handles and the white circular resizing handles:

How to merge shapes in powerpoint

You can create some really interesting effects in your PowerPoint decks when you try some of the more advanced cropping options.

This article was first published on March 28, 2019 and has been updated for clarity and content.

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