For more advanced users, drawing more complex shapes can be an art form through the use of the combine shapes tools in PowerPoint. This clip offers a very brief look in what is possible with these additional tools.
- [Narrator] In this video, we're going to explore how to use the merge shapes tool in Powerpoint to create our own custom shapes. If you'd like to follow along with this lesson, open the Powerpoint file complex shapes, located in this lesson's exercise folder. But, towards the bottom of this infographic, you'll see that I've added two shapes. A rounded rectangle shape, here, and you can see that it's just the basic rounded rectangle, and I've also added a blue circle.
Now, selecting both of these shapes, and going up to the drawing tools format tab, and over to the insert shapes group, you'll see that the merge shapes button will be highlighted. Clicking on that menu, or that button, you'll see a menu appear, and you'll see a lot of different options here. Now, I'm going to walk you through all of these options because this can be confusing to some people. The union option, this option, simply joins two shapes together, and as you can see, when I hover my mouse over union, both shapes, there's a little preview there, both shapes have been combined as one big blue blob.
Now it's one shape. But if I hover my mouse over combined, something different happens. Combine is similar to union, only you'll get an empty space where the two shapes overlap. That's what combine does. Fragment, on the other hand, is kind of similar to combine. The difference is, each piece will be its own separate shape. Intersect is kind of the opposite of combine.
Where you'll keep only the intersection of the two shapes. And subtract, that is a little bit different. Subtract will cut one shape from another shape, and that will depend on which shape you had selected first. Now, we want to join these two shapes together. So the option that we need to select is union. Now, what color the shape becomes will depend on what shape you had selected first.
Now, when I did this, let me undo real quick. I had selected the blue circle first, and then hit shift, then clicked on that gray, rounded rectangle. That's why, when I hit union, the entire shape turned blue. Had I selected that gray, rounded rectangle, then hit shift, and then selected that blue circle? Well, guess what? Now if I hit union, now that shape will be gray.
So, that's kind of how the order of things works. When you merge, combine, subtract, and use those merge options. So what shape you select first, that does make a difference. In addition to merging and combining shapes, you can also use that merge shapes feature on text. So at the very top of this infographic, we have the next "migraine." Let's say, we want to make this text look a little more stylized.
Let's say we want to take our lightning bolt shape from right here and use that to cut lighting bolt shapes out of some of these letters, here. That would be kind of cool. Well, we can do that, using the merge shapes tool. But first, we're going to need to convert this text to a shape. So to do that, let's go up to our drawing tools format tab and we're going to need to first draw a rectangle around this migraine text box, and then select both that migraine text, and that rectangle shape.
Now, going up to the drawing tools format tab, down to that merge shapes button, let's go and choose this option, intersect. That is going to turn that text into a very simple shape. Now since I had that blue rectangle selected first, it copied that formatting over, so, now I got to fix that. Formatting real quick, no biggie. But there's my migraine, it's now a drawn shape, or a drawing tools format tab shows up instead of that text tab.
So, now, I can begin using my little lightning bolt here, to then cut, or subtract, little lightning bolts from this migraine. So, let's say I want to take this lightning bolt over to this A, select the word 'migraine' first, hold down my control key, click on that lightning bolt, go back up to my merge shapes, and this time I'll choose subtract.
There we go. That looks pretty cool! Now, I'm going to do that a few more times to some other letters, maybe the E and maybe the I. Feel free to practice that on your own with a few other letters. And now I've finished my word, "migraine," I've added a couple more lightning bolts that I've subtracted from my word "migraine." And I'm happy with the way it looks! There we go! And that is using the merge shapes tool to create your own custom shapes in Powerpoint!
- Sizing and aligning objects on a page
- Importing an Illustrator graphic
- Drawing shapes and lines
- Working with PowerPoint icons
- Inserting a text box and adding text
- Inserting a chart
- Adding and removing chart elements
- Exporting your infographic as a PDF or picture