Sometimes you may want to edit a diagram or AutoShape in a way that PowerPoint doesn’t allow.
For example, you may have created a complex diagram, such as the flowchart you see here (or any combination of shapes and text).
Now you need to make the entire diagram smaller or larger, including the text. Perhaps you want to change the background to one that gives you more room so that you can enlarge the diagram to make the text more legible. However, if you select all the shapes with their text and use the corner handles, you’ll find that the shapes change size, but the text doesn’t.
Or you may want to crop an AutoShape to make an interesting background. If you select the AutoShape and open the Picture toolbar (View>Toolbars>Picture), you’ll find that the Crop button isn’t available.
Finally, you can get some interesting color effects using the Contrast, Brightness, and Color buttons on the Picture toolbar, including creating a watermark (washout). However, you can’t use these buttons on AutoShapes, only on pictures.
Convert your graphics into pictures
A good solution in these situations is to turn your graphics into pictures. You’ll then find that you have additional options:
- You can scale the entire picture including the text
- You can crop the picture
- You can change the contrast and brightness, and also create a watermark (washout)
You can convert a graphic to a picture easily:
- Select the graphic, diagram, etc. To select additional objects, press Shift and click or drag diagonally across all the objects.
- Cut the selection to the Clipboard (Ctrl+X or click Cut on the Standard toolbar).
- Choose Edit>Paste Special.
- Choose one of the Picture options. (These options will vary with your version, but you’ll always have at least one. You can choose any of the Picture options for the procedures in this tip.)
- Click OK.
I created the background below using the Gold Preset gradient, with the From Center style. Then I cropped the edges, reduced the contrast, and increased the brightness.
Work with your picture
Once you have your picture, you can use the Picture toolbar to crop it, change its brightness, change its contrast, or choose Washout from the Color button’s drop-down list to create a watermark (a very light image that works well as a background).
Create a background
To use your picture as a background, cut it again to the Clipboard, open the Slide Master, and paste it. You’ll probably want to move it behind the text placeholders, so right-click the picture and choose Order>Send to Back.
Save it as a Picture
Starting with version 2002 (part of Office XP), you can save any graphic as a separate image file. The advantage is that you can then open the file in an image editor, such as Photo Editor or Photoshop, and manipulate it further. Just select the objects, right-click and choose Save as Picture.
Thank you so much! Very helpful.
This is exactly what I needed! Thanks!