PowerPoint icons to shapes

PowerPoint provides 500+ icons in SVG format. I recently published a blog which has a downloadable version of all icons in a PPTX file. Scalable vector graphic format icons cannot be edited inside PowerPoint. You cannot treat them like any other PowerPoint shape. But now, we can convert icons into shapes. Once converted to shapes all the PowerPoint shape features available. You can also use the Merge Shapes option to combine or subtract shapes. Here is how you do it:

insert a new shape,  resize it as required , right click on it  and choose Convert To Shapes. 


Read the dialogue which appears and click  Ok.


The icon may get converted to one or more shapes. If it has more than one shape, it will be in a grouped state. So it is a good idea to right click on it and try Ungroup. If Ungroup option is inactive, there is only one shape.


Here we have three shapes. Now the shapes can be used like any other PowerPoint shape.

What to do with the shapes?

Once Icons are converted to shapes, there are few things which can really add value. Color and animation. I will write separate blog for this but here is an example.

The icon above is from the Analytics category. It is a speedometer icon which is often used in performance management. Management dashboards showing KPIs often use this type of speedometer graphic. Here is how we can enhance the speedometer icon after it is converted to shapes.


With Animation, the needle can be made to move to show the current state of performance.

More stuff on icons coming soon…

What is Microsoft Teams

May be you already know this. But still, read for just 2 minutes more to clarify your thoughts.  Teams is an app which streamlines teamwork. That is the obvious definition. But this is an incomplete description.

Coordinating with multiple persons is Teamwork. Agreed. But there are a plethora of apps available to collaborate with others. What is special about Teams?

Teams is an app which helps you work with all types of Technologies. So it is not just teamwork with other people, it is with multiple technologies as well.

Continue reading What is Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams: Knowledge Pack

Here is a list of articles I have written so far about effective usage of Microsoft Teams.
If you would like me to cover some missing topic or a specific area of your interest, please post it as a comment. This is a live book. As I add more articles about Teams, this list will be updated.


  1. What is Microsoft Teams
  2. When to use Microsoft teams
  3. When NOT to use Teams
  4. Notice the notifications
  5. How to reply in Teams – Common Mistake
  6. One person Team – how to use Teams alone!

Microsoft Teams Conversation common mistake

Microsoft Teams is a convenient way of working with colleagues without cluttering mailboxes. You post a conversation inside the Teams app and others can reply to it.

The common mistake is that instead of replying to your question, people start a new discussion. Here is how you prevent the mistake. Click on the Reply button.

Teams - How to reply

Learn more about Microsoft Teams – Knowledge Pack.

Missing messages in Teams? Follow the channels.

Notification icon animation - showing the number bouncing to attract attention. If you are trying to use Microsoft Teams, you will face this practical problem. The problem is that all your team members must notice the messages that are posted in the Teams app. Nothing is visible in the Inbox. This may lead to missed messages and delayed responses.  Start noticing the notification!


Three steps

Continue reading Missing messages in Teams? Follow the channels.

When NOT to use Microsoft Teams

See this article to know When to use Microsoft Teams first. This article lists scenarios where using Teams is counterproductive or plain simple wrong!

Do not use teams if one or more of the items listed below are true.

  1. If there are too many people involved, do not use Teams. Technically, the limit is 2500. But you decide practically. Teams is designed for extensive interaction between team members. If there are lot of people, you cannot expect extensive interaction. Think about using Yammer. It is good for predominantly push and interaction-on-demand kind of functionality.
  2. If the team means the whole department and you already have a departmental Team Site in SharePoint. Use that site. Do not use Teams to create another Team. Why? Because, behind-the-scenes it creates another SharePoint site. Defeats the purpose.
  3. This one is obvious but still makes sense to mention it: If all team members do not have access to the Teams app, do not use Teams. In this case, you will need to do double communication manually. I will not call it inefficient usage – it is misuse.
  4. If the communication and coordination with the team is required but not critical, do not use Teams. Non-critical, but functionally necessary stuff can continue using traditional email.
  5. Do NOT use Teams unless every member is aware about its actual benefits. If you try to force it on ignorant people (Ignorant about Teams, I mean!) , it will not work. Educate them first. The best way is to show a nice and compelling demo.
    If only few people in the team use the Teams app and others do not, it defeats the purpose.
  6. If all members have not understood that they have to check the Teams app as frequently as they check for mails in the Inbox.
    The benefit of Teams is that it does not send anything to your inbox. Conversations and communication happens within the Teams app. If some members forget to see the activity in the app, they are effectively not working as a team.

That is all I can think of as of now. If you know more scenarios where Microsoft Teams is contraindicated, post them as comments.