Shape Fragment Command in PowerPoint 2013
Create new shapes that overlap or surround using the Fragment command in PowerPoint 2013.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8
PowerPoint 2013 provides so many new features, but one of them is essentially such a small addition that you may completely miss exploring it. And that would be sad because this feature can open up so many possibilities. We have already explored the Merge Shape commands -- while 4 of the 5 commands within this category have been available since PowerPoint 2010, the Fragment command is new for this version. Unlike other Merge Shape commands that retain or remove overlapping and non-overlapping areas of multiple shapes, the Fragment option discards nothing at all. In fact, it "fragments" each possible division caused by overlapping shapes and turns them into many, smaller shapes.
You can see examples of the Fragment option in play within Figure 1,
below -- the three examples on the top area of the slide are separate shapes placed over each other. The
shapes that you see at the bottom of the slide are the same shapes with the Fragment
option applied -- resulting in a multiple, small shapes.
Figure 1: Fragment option creates smaller shapes
Now you really cannot make out the small shapes within Figure 1 above, since all the
fragmented shapes are placed bordering each other. So we spread out all the new shapes created using the
Fragment option in Figure 2, below. The graphic on the left is the result of using the
Fragment option, and the the graphic on the right shows the shapes separated apart so that you can see them
Figure 2: Fragmented shapes, separated
Here's another example -- we placed three basic Circle shapes overlapping each other as shown towards
the left of Figure 3, below. With these shapes selected, we could use the
Fragment command that we explain later in this tutorial to create a individual shapes
from overlapped area as shown towards the right in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Sample showing use of the Fragment command
Once you finish reading this tutorial, do view the sample presentations embedded on the bottom of this page to see more samples of shapes that use the Fragment command.
Follow these steps to learn more:
- Select any two or more shapes as shown in Figure 4. With these shapes selected, access
the Drawing Tools Format tab on the
Ribbon (highlighted in
red within Figure 4).
Figure 4: 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.
- Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Merge Shapes button
(highlighted in red within Figure 5). This brings up the
Merge Shapes drop-down gallery (highlighted in blue within
Figure 5: Merge Shapes drop-down gallery
- Within the Merge Shapes drop-down gallery, hover the cursor over
Fragment option to see a
live preview of how
the shapes will look when fragmented, as shown in Figure 6. Click the
Fragment option so that the selected shapes are cut out as individual shapes.
Figure 6: Previously selected shapes are fragmented
- Save your presentation often.
Do remember these guidelines for any tasks that involve the usage of this command. The Fragment command:
- Creates new shapes from overlapping area of shapes
- Creates new shapes from in-between empty areas
- Retains as shapes any areas that do not overlap
- Subtracts nothing
- Retains formatting of first selected shape
The sample presentations below show how we used different shapes placed next to and above each other, and then united.
Click above to view on SlideShare
Click above to view on YouTube
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