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Create icons in PowerPoint

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Using icons is a great way to add visuals to your presentation. There are many ways to get icons online, some are even free. But if you need a specific icon that you can’t find or if you want a special spin to your icon (color, shadow etc) – you can use PowerPoint’s great (and somewhat hidden) “Merge Shapes” commands to create your own icons.

Using these commands you can combine basic shapes into other shapes. You can union and subtract shapes. You can intersect and combine. All while still working natively inside PowerPoint. Once you have created an icon you can change the color, filling and add shadows as needed.

It is just as fun as building with Lego blocks! Well, almost..

This is a guide in 15 steps showing you how you can use these commands to create your own icon - the example we are using is a calendar icon.

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Create icons in PowerPoint

  1. 1. © Presentitude
  2. 2. Using PowerPoint to create icons Using icons is a great way to add visuals to your presentation. There are many ways to get icons online, some are even free. But if you need a specific icon that you can’t find or if you want a special spin (color, shadow etc) –you can use PowerPoint’s great (and somewhat hidden) “Merge Shapes” commands to create your own icons. Using a finished icon, we’ll walk you through this process in 15 steps. If you use PowerPoint 2010 or earlier, you might want to add the “Merge Shapes” function to you QAT. You might also need an add-on to transform text to objects. More on that at the last page.
  3. 3. And it is just like building Lego!
  4. 4. Identify and draw all the parts you need 1  Draw the parts you need to create the icon. All are basic shapes from the PowerPoint Drawing Tab.  We are using the font Verdana for the number. 7 FINISHED ICON
  5. 5. Modify the main shape of the icon 2  Nudge the shapes’ curves using the yellow marker to give them less rounded corners.
  6. 6. Create the body of the icon 3  Turn the smaller shape upside down and recolor it (to see it) and place it on top of the big shape and adjust the size as needed.  Make sure you align the shapes by selecting both and choose “Align Center” under the Arrange Menu on the Drawing Tools Tab.
  7. 7. Subtract the shapes 4  Select the big shape first and the small shape next (order is important!). (1)  Select “Subtract” form the “Merge Shapes” menu on the Drawing Tools Tab(2). 2 1
  8. 8. Modify the small shape of the icon 5  Nudge the shape using the yellow marker to give more rounded corners.
  9. 9. Create the cut out for the smaller shape 6  Take the smaller shape and duplicate it (ctrl+D) and change the color.  Select the recolored shape and hold down Ctrl and make it wider and longer.  Place it behind the smaller shape and align the shapes.  Adjust the curve of the wider shape using the yellow marker, so that the two objects will have the same shape.
  10. 10. Align and distribute the shapes 7  Duplicate the large, small shape and place the two shapes on top of the main icon body.  Make sure the shapes are distributed equally.
  11. 11. Subtract the shapes 8  Select the main icon body shape first, and then the two smaller shapes.  Select “Subtract” on the Merge Shapes on the “Drawing Tools Tab.
  12. 12. Union the big and small shapes 9  Place the small shape in the cut out area on the main icon and duplicate it.  Make sure the shapes are aligned and distributed.  Select all three shapes and choose “Union”.  The shapes are now joined to one object.
  13. 13. Turn the number into a shape 10  First, draw a shape over the numberand select the shape and the textbox (1).  Second choose “Fragment” on the Merge Shapes menu on the Drawing Tools Tab. Remove the parts you don’t need and keep just the number shape(2). 2 7 1
  14. 14. Union the icon body and the number 11  Place the number shape on the main icon body.  Make sure the shapes are aligned and distributed.  Select the two shapes and choose “Union” .  The shapes are now joined to one object.
  15. 15. Don’t union if you want to use different colors 12  If you want to use different colors on parts of your object, don’t union the shapes in the process of creating it.  If you choose to “group” and not “union” the objects you can use different colors for different parts.
  16. 16. Change color, fill, shadows etc. 13  As your shape is now an object you can change the color, filling and add shadows as needed.
  17. 17. Create similar icons 14  Use similar shapes to create other icons. Make sure corners and width of the “lines” of the icons are similar.
  18. 18. Save to your icon asset file 15  After you’ve used your icon, save it to an local icons asset file where you store your icons for easy access for next presentation! My icons.pptx
  19. 19. Depending on what version of PowerPoint you are using…
  20. 20. Tips for PowerPoint 2010 users Add Merge Shapes commandsto your QAT (Quick Access Toolbar) to make them more readily accessible. 1. Click the little arrow next to the QAT and click “More commands”. 2. In the dialog box pick “All commands” from the dropdown menu and look for “Merge Shapes” and click “add” and them “save” The command “Fraction” is not available in PowerPoint 2010 or earlier versions. In order to convert text to objects to use in icons you need to use an add-in. We suggest using the “Text to Outline” add-on from YouPresent.biz. Link: http://youpresent.biz/free- stuff/free-text-to-outline-powerpoint- add-in/ ACCESS MERGE SHAPES COMMAND CONVERT TEXT TO OBJECTS
  21. 21. Tips for PowerPoint 2013 users WHERE CAN I FIND THE MERGE SHAPE COMMANDS? The Merge Shapes commands are located under the Drawing Tab (which is open if you have an object selected), in the Insert Shapes menu to the very left. If you want them more easily accessible, consider adding them to your personalized Quick Access Toolbar.
  22. 22. PRESENTITUDE www.presentitude.com 2600 E. Bidwell St #215 Folsom CA 95630 (916) 256 2000 Do you needhelp with your presentation design? Contact Presentitudeat hello@presentitude.com or (916) 256-2000. Follow us on www.presentitude.com or @presentitudefor more updates and tips!

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