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Merge Shape Commands in PowerPoint 2013

Explore the new Merge Shape commands in PowerPoint 2013.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8







For many users, the Merge Shape commands may be assumed as a new feature in PowerPoint 2013. However these were available in PowerPoint 2010 through the Combine Shapes commands. Yes, these were not available by default from any of the Ribbon tabs in PowerPoint 2010, but you could customize the QAT to get these commands. In PowerPoint 2013, Microsoft gave the new Merge Shapes name to these commands and also gave them a place right within the Ribbon. And now, these commands are no longer limited to shapes as they also work with text and pictures.

Accessing the Merge Shape Commands

  1. To access the Merge Shape commands you first need to insert some shapes on your PowerPoint slide. In this example we inserted a Rectangle and a Circle -- make sure you place the shapes in a way so that they overlap each other, as shown in Figure 1.

    Two overlapped shapes
    Figure 1: Two overlapped shapes

  2. When the shapes are selected, you will see the Drawing Tools Format tab on the Ribbon (highlighted in red within Figure 2). Make sure that this contextual tab is activated.

    Drawing Tools Format tab
    Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format tab

    Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a contextual tab. These tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time -- they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.


  3. Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, locate the Insert Shapes group and click the Merge Shapes button (highlighted in red within Figure 3). This brings up the Merge Shapes drop-down gallery (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).

    Merge Shapes drop-down gallery
    Figure 3: Merge Shapes drop-down gallery

    These five Merge Shapes options work in different ways (see Figure 4) – we will show you how these commands work in our tutorial pages linked below:

    1. Union
    2. Combine
    3. Fragment (new in PowerPoint 2013)
    4. Intersect
    5. Subtract

    Merge Shapes get you various, differing outputs
    Figure 4:
    Merge Shapes get you various, differing outputs

Additionally, you can now also merge shapes with text and pictures, as explained in the following tutorials:

  1. Convert Text to Shapes by Intersecting in PowerPoint 2013
  2. Convert Text to Shapes by Fragmenting in PowerPoint 2013
  3. Merge Shapes with Pictures in PowerPoint 2013

See Also:

Combine Shapes Commands in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Add Combine Shape Commands to the Quick Access Toolbar in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

 

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book

 



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