It's possible to create custom icons in PowerPoint using nothing but basic shapes as building blocks. In this video, staff author Jess Stratton walks users through creating a notepad and pencil icon, and an icon depicting a mobile phone. Finally, she'll show users how to add finishing touches like bevels and turn the icon into one unit for resizing.
- [Voiceover] A fun way of using PowerPoint is the ability to use shapes to create really fun icons for your presentation. I'm going to show you how you can very quickly make these two custom icons. I'll start with a fresh, blank slate. Because I use the Shapes tool a lot, I added it to the Quick Access Toolbar on the top left hand side of the screen. I showed you how to do that in a previous video, but you can also find the Shapes tool by clicking Insert, Shapes. The first thing I'm going to do is create the blue background for my icons.
I'll use the rounded rectangle shape, I'll draw one, and from here I'll copy it, and paste it onto the other side. Now I have two identical rectangles. Let's create the paper icon. I'll choose my Shapes tool again, and this time there's an actual basic shape that looks just like a sheet of paper. I'll select it and draw the shape outline, and I need to give it a color. I'll click the Format Ribbon tab that appeared, and I can choose Shape Fill and select White.
Now let's create the pencil. There's three shapes involved in the pencil. The first one is the actual base of the pencil itself. I'll insert a shape, I'll choose a rectangle shape, and now I'll draw a long, thin rectangle with a pencil. I'll click the Format tab, Shape Fill, and I'll choose a nice, traditional pencil color. Here's where I'm going to zoom in on the slide so I can see what I'm doing. I can click the plus sign on the bottom right hand side to zoom in as close as I need to get to be able to see clearly.
Let's draw the eraser. I'll choose my Shape tool one more time. I'll choose a rectangle, and this time I'll draw a small rectangle right at the top. Click the Format tab, choose Shape Fill, from here I can choose a nice eraser color. There's one more thing left to do, and that's to draw the pointy bit at the bottom, so I'll choose a triangle shape. This time I'll pick it from the Flowchart area, and I'll draw my triangle I can adjust it, make the pointy bit a bit more pronounced, and in the Shape Fill section I can also choose a shape style, or I can pick a color from over here.
Now that I have my pencil, I need to make this one unit so that I can move the entire thing over the paper. I'll click the eraser and my pencil, hold the Shift key down on my keyboard, click the base of the pencil, while the Shift key is still down, I'll also click the black bottom part. Now I'll right click with my mouse, select Group, and choose Group. This is going to make the pencil one unit, now I can resize and move it around anywhere I want to on the slide.
This becomes important when I hover my mouse over the arrow at the very top, and angle it slightly to the right. Now I can take it and drag it over the pencil, and it looks like a proper icon. I can also take this base and drag it in a bit now that I know what the size of my icon is going to be I can adjust this one accordingly. Now let's make our cell phone. If we want an icon to depict a mobile phone, we can build this using other basic shapes as well. I'll click the Shape tool, I'll start out using a rounded rectangle.
I'll create the base shape for my phone. Click the Format tab, I'll choose a nice black color. Now let's create the screen on the inside. This time I'm going to choose a regular rectangle. It fills in, it's a little bit smaller than the other rectangle, but not too much smaller, and I can use the arrow keys on my keyboard to nudge it into the correct place. Now this screen looks a little bit flat. If we go back to the one I built here, you can see that it actually looks like it could be a glass screen.
We do that by creating a gradient. I'm going to select this rectangle that we just created. I'll click the Format tab. In the Shape Fill section I'm going to choose Gradient. Here's where I can hover my mouse over the different light variations. You can find the one that best depicts a screen to you and choose it. I'll select linear right. Now it looks like a nice shiny screen. Let's create the speaker at the top.
I'll insert another shape, this time from the Flowchart area, I'll use the Terminator. It gives me a nice, small shape, and I can leave it blue if I want and use the arrow keys to move it around on the screen. I'll do one more shape and that's the circle at the bottom. So I'll choose an oval tool, and draw a tiny, little circle. Again, I can move it around also. I can move this in now that it's all done, and let's zoom out and see what we have.
On the bottom right had side I'll choose fit slide to current window, and here I can see our icons that we just created. It was very easy, and it was very quick, and it was all done using basic shapes that already exist in PowerPoint. There's one more thing that you need to do. You need to group all these items together so that they can be moved around the screen. With this basic shape selected, which was our first base rounded rectangle that we started with, it's up to you to decide if you want to add any shape effects to it, for example, you can add presets, you can make it 3D, or beveled, it doesn't matter.
But whatever you do to the base after, you still need to group the remainder of your icon. I'm going to take everything, hold the Shift key down, and select it all. Remember the pencil we already grouped together so that's already going to be one object. Now with everything selected, I'll right click, choose Group, hit Group again, and now my icon can be moved around anywhere on the screen. It can also be resized. That's how easy it is to create custom icons that look fantastic in PowerPoint using basic shapes.
- Changing the default save location
- Creating custom icons with shapes
- Copying and pasting formatting
- Organizing slides into sections
- Creating layouts with slide masters
- Adding footers
- Creating handouts
- Using Presenter view and annotations
- Working with Excel data