Category Archives: PowerPoint

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. 

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Read the dialogue which appears and click  Ok.

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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.

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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.

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

More stuff on icons coming soon…

All PowerPoint Icons

Here is a very useful collection. I am sure you have noticed the PowerPoint Icons – 450+ beautifully created SVG graphics. The problem is that you need to select and download icons on demand. Two problems. Firstly, it requires an internet connection and second problem is the need for inserting the same icon again and again.

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I solved both problems by manually downloading each and every icon available today (7 Nov 2017). You can download this presentation (5 mb) and get offline access to all icons. Remember, SVG format allows these to be scaled without any loss of resolution.  SVG support is available only with Office 2016 and upwards and of course Office Pro Plus.

PowerPoint Editing Magic: zoom in + zoom out view

Small little feature, but extremely useful if you edit lot of complex PowerPoint slides. Make sure you are editing a single slide.  Adjust zoom to make sure that you can see the whole slide. The PowerPoint Editing Magic button is in the View tab – New Window. This creates two windows for the currently open presentation. Move between these windows using View tab – Switch windows. It will show you the same slide in both windows.

PowerPoint Editing Magic - New window option in View tab

In one of the windows, zoom in to the slide so that you can see it in more detail. Edit whatever you want to and then go to the other window. (Alt – Tab also works). Here you can see the same slide at regular size. This eliminates repetitive zoom in and out activity and helps you get the desired results faster.

PowerPoint Editing Magic - window showing zoomed-in , detailed graphic        PowerPoint Editing Magic - zoomed out full slide shown in the other window

The same concept of new window can also be used when you are editing a layout or slide master and want to see the results instantly.

Search for photos with matching color

PowerPoint has theme colors. Each design (template) has a different set of colors. You want to find particular photos / images which match the theme colors. Sounds like a difficult task? Not at all. Use Insert – Online Pictures – Pexels. Install the software and search.  Type the keyword and click on the color you want. Try it out now. For details read this article.  Here, I searched for orange colored cars. 

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That’s it. Simple and effective.

PowerPoint Illustration Best Practices

Please read the PowerPoint Clipart / Online Picture articles before reading this one – Part 1 and Part 2.  PowerPoint Illustration Best Practices covers how to find relevant images and how to use them efficiently.

The first thing to notice and understand is that images searchable on the web are NOT free for all to use randomly. Let us address this issue at the outset.

PowerPoint Illustration Best Practices - one picture is better than 1000 words

Continue reading PowerPoint Illustration Best Practices

How to select all shapes in SmartArt

This sounds simple… just click inside the diagram and press CTRL A. But it is not. I want to select all shapes in SmartArt – not the connectors. Let me explain.

What exactly is – select all shapes in SmartArt ?

Here is a sample org chart SmartArt with all shapes selected. I want to change formatting of only the people boxes, not the connectors.

Select all shapes in SmartArt

I want to change formatting of only the people boxes, not the connectors.  That will require too many attempts at Ctrl Clicks to exclude the unwanted connectors.

Fortunately, and as always, there is a better way. Open the SmartArt editor by clicking the arrow on the left side. Older versions of PowerPoint show two arrows in that position.

Click inside the editor and then press CTRL A (Select All). Now only the key shapes are selected. Connectors are automatically excluded.

Select all shapes in SmartArt but not the connectors

That’s it. This works in all types of diagrams which have connectors of some kind. Few diagrams have no connectors at all. In these cases you do not need to select all in the editor.