Shape Subtract Command in PowerPoint 2013
Learn how you can subtract shapes in PowerPoint 2013 using the Shape Subtract command.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8
PowerPoint 2013 lets you change the appearance of
merged shapes --
don't get fooled by how easy-to-use this is because the results you can end up with can be seriously
impressive. In all, there are 5 options that let you merge shapes, and we have already explored 4 of them.
In this tutorial, we'll show you how you can use the Subtract option to subtract one shape
from another shape or even shapes. You can see examples of the Subtract 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 Subtract option applied -- resulting in a single, cutout shape.
Figure 1: Sample showing use of the Subtract 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 Shape Intersect command.
The Subtract command is one of Merge Shape commands in PowerPoint 2013. Follow these steps to learn more:
- Select any two or more shapes as shown in Figure 2. Remember that the shape you select
first gets subtracted -- so it's very important to ascertain what you need to select first! With these
shapes selected, access the Drawing Tools Format tab on the
Ribbon (highlighted in
red within Figure 2).
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.
- Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, 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
- Within the Merge Shapes drop-down gallery, hover the cursor over
Subtract option to see a
live preview of how the shapes
will look when subtracted, as shown in Figure 4. Click the Subtract option
so that the selected shapes are subtracted.
Figure 4: Previously selected shapes are subtracted
- Save your presentation often.
Do remember these guidelines for any tasks that involve the usage of this command. The Subtract command:
- Retains the first selected shape
- Subtracts overlapping areas of other shapes from first selected shape
- If there is no overlap, the first selected shape is retained. Everything else is removed
- Retains formatting of first selected shape
You will see these guidelines in use within the embedded presentations below (scroll down this page).
The sample presentations below show how we used different shapes placed next to and above each
other, and then subtracted.
Click above to view on SlideShare
Click above to view on YouTube
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