Trick to Shape Subtract in PowerPoint 2007

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You can do subtract shapes in PowerPoint 2007 too. Discover a simple workaround that helps you subtract shapes from an area, like you do in PowerPoint 2010 and later versions.

A quick word about ‘Shape Subtract’ option in PowerPoint:

The tool allows you to subtract a shape from an area. For example, you can subtract a ‘circle’ from a ‘square’ and get a shape like this:

Shape Subtract Option

 If you are looking for how to set up and use the quick access toolbar and the shape functions in PowerPoint 2010, please refer to the article here…

The tool is handy to create a number of custom shapes to suit your specific needs. You can see how to create an interesting magnet concept with this same tool here.

But, what if you don’t have PowerPoint 2010 yet? In this article, you will learn a simple workaround that helps you get the same results in 2007 version of PowerPoint.

Step 1: Draw the two shapes

Draw a square and a circle shape using auto shapes menu in PowerPoint 2007.

Square and Oval Shapes

 Select the circle, remove outline and fill the shape with white color. Place the circle on top of the square.

Circle on top of the square

Related: PowerPoint: Picture Layering Technique

Step 2: Cut and Paste the shapes as PNG image

Select both the shapes together. ‘Cut’ using ‘Ctrl + X’ and use ‘Paste special’ function to paste them back as PNG image:

Cut and Paste Option

 Select the PNG image -> go to Format ->Recolor -> and select ‘Set Transparent color’ tool. Place the tool on the central white portion of the image.

Set Transparent for Central Part

 You now have a square with circular hole.

The “Paste-Special” menu option in PowerPoint provides a lot of versatility. You can see 5 ways to use its features here >>

The only disadvantage in using the technique is – you get a ‘picture’ of the new shape instead of an auto shape. The advantage however is, you can use the technique to cut a shape even from a photograph.

You can also use this technique to create your own shapes like we have done here with this simple puzzle:

Create puzzle with shape subtract

 So, go ahead and get more out of your PowerPoint 2007 software using this technique.

We have used the techniqe above to create a basic organization chart diagram:

Org chart with shape subtract option

 Simple and interesting way to use the shape subtract function, isn’t it?

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Related: Ideas to change shape in PowerPoint using Freeform tool

Related: Playing with PowerPoint shapes

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