Sometimes you need to show part of an image. This is especially common when you’re showing a screenshot of a document or form. I can think of 2 reasons for this:
- The image is too big to show clearly on the slide
- You want to focus the attention of the audience on a small portion of the image
When you do this, it’s helpful to provide a cue that you’re showing only a portion of the image and one way to do so is to show the cut-off side as a torn edge.
I’ve shown this effect many times in webinars and participants asked how I did it. The truth is that when the image is a screenshot, I create the effect in Techsmith’s SnagIt. (I love SnagIt.)
But it’s possible to create this look in PowerPoint using the Edit Points feature. First, here are a couple of examples.
The original is on the left and the torn edge version is on the right.
How to create your own torn edge shape
It’s pretty easy to create your own torn edge shape. Here are the steps:
- Insert a rectangle.
- Right-click the rectangle and choose Edit Points.
- Choose the side that you want to add points to (it can be more than one side). Along that side, right-click and choose Add Point. Continue until you have about 10 points added to the side. (Note: It’s easy to right-click off the edge and lose Edit Points mode. Just right-click again and choose Edit Points.)
- Click each point and drag it where you want it. You’ll want them to alternate inward and outward so that the edge looks ragged.
- You’ll probably see some curves that you don’t want. This is caused by the fact that the points’ extensions aren’t directed at the previous or next point. Click the point and drag its extensions so that they align to the nearest point. This will straighten the line between the points.
- If you want, create several shapes that are ragged on different or multiple edges.
- Save the presentation file to a slide library where you can find your shapes easily.
Here you see a shape without a picture fill.
Watch the video tutorial!
How to use your torn edge shape
When you want to use your torn edge shape, follow these steps:
- Open the presentation file where you saved your torn edge shape. Copy the shape to the Clipboard, return to your current presentation, and paste it onto a slide.
- Choose Insert> Pictures to insert the image you want to use. Crop it to the area you want to show. Remember that the torn-edge shape doesn’t crop the image.
- Resize torn-edge shape to match the image. If the shape isn’t the same proportion as the image, your image will be distorted. It should be just a little shorter than the image on the torn edge side.
- With the torn-edge shape selected, choose Format tab, Shape Fill, Picture. Browse to the image again and open it to fill the shape with the image.