PowerPoint Trick to Cut a Shape

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Learn a useful trick to cut a shape in PowerPoint 2007. Create many useful diagrams like circular arrows using this simple idea.

A quick word about this PowerPoint trick:

There are times when you want to cut a shape into several pieces, to indicate different parts of whole or different stages of a process. Not everyone has PowerPoint 2010 Version or knows how to perform shape subtract function easily.

In this article, we will learn a useful trick to cut auto shapes even if you don’t have the 2010 version of PowerPoint.  The trick is to…

Cut shapes by using lines in the same color as the slide background:

When you draw lines in the same color as the slide background on an auto shape, the shape appears to be cut along the lines you drew. Let us see a practical example of the principle by cutting an auto shape.

Go to Auto shapes menu and select ‘Frame’ tool under Basic shapes:

Frame from Auto Shapes MenuChange the fill color to black and remove outline.

We will divide this shape into 4 pieces to indicate circular arrows.

Go to ‘line’ tool in auto shapes menu and use the Chevron tool to draw an arrow by connecting two line segments at 45°. Thicken the line by increasing the weight of the line to 6 pts.

Insert Chevron ShapePlace this arrow shape on all four sides of the ‘Frame’ shape you drew earlier:

Frame with arrowsWhen you change the line color to white – which is the color of the slide background, the frame gets divided into 4 segments as shown below:

PowerPoint trick frameYou can then enter relevant text and create a diagram template as shown below:

Source: Comparison Templates from PowerPoint CEO Pack 2

Quick Note about PowerPoint CEO Pack:

We recommend you take a look at our ‘PowerPoint 2 CEO Packs Bundle ’. The two CEO packs have more than 1600 premium charts, graphs, diagrams and graphics to help you make remarkable slides that enhance your brand image.

All the diagram templates in the pack are fully editable. Creating professional presentations has never been easier. Please browse through our diagrams collection to know more…

Here is another diagram template we created using the same technique:

Source: Business Models from PowerPoint Graphics CEO Pack 2

Notice how we divided the doughnut shape in the middle into 4 segments using simple white lines.


  1. The trick works only on 2D shapes. After all, we are only creating the illusion of division using the trick here
  2. The trick works well when the auto shape is colored with darker shades. In lighter shades, the division may not be as clearly apparent.

In conclusion:

Simple tricks like the ones you learnt in this article will help you make better quality diagrams for your business presentations. It helps to use professional quality diagrams for your high stakes presentations to make a lasting impression on your audience.

Related: Trick to make 2D into 3D with gradients

Related:  6 Smartart Features you Never Knew

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