This is Part II of a series on custom shapes in PowerPoint 2010. Part I, on Union is here. In that post I explain how to find the custom shapes feature.
The Subtract command subtracts one shape from another. It’s great for cutouts and holes. Let’s say I want a bucket with a hole in it.
Here are the steps to create this shape:
- Insert the Trapezoid shape. It’s in the Basic Shapes section.
- Since it’s upside down from the shape we want, select it and drag the top handle below the bottom handle. Tip: This is a shortcut to flip an object.
- Format the trapezoid however you want. I filled it with a gray gradient to make it look like a bucket.
- Insert a circle and place it over the trapezoid, where you want the hole to be.
- Click the bucket to select it, press and hold the Shift key, then click the hole. You must select the shape that you want to keep first. Then press the Shift key and select the shape that you want to subtract.
- Click the Subtract button. There’s a hole in the bucket!
How will you use the Subtract feature? Leave a comment!
The next post in this series will cover the Intersect feature.
Very nifty! Thankfully I haven’t had to build many presentations lately, but I can see how this would come in handy.
I am assuming this is for PowerPoint 2010? I could not find the subtract function in 2007.
Yes, you’re right. I mention that in Part I where I introduce the feature as a whole and I link to that part at the beginning. But I’ll add it, just for clarity.
Give the hole a distinct color and then save bucket and hole as a picture. Import the picture, double-click on it and choose “set transparent color” from the recolor menue. Click on the hole and it becomes transparent. This works too (also in earlier versions of Powerpoint)…
Yes, excellent point. I have an old tip on doing that (written before 2007). It’s called “Create Cutouts.” I recommend saving as a PNG (the default these days) because it’s sure to support transparency. But of course the Subtract feature can be used for purposes other than creating holes–just to make interesting shapes.
Thanks Jurgen! I am using Powerpoint 2007 and your tip was very useful.