Do you want to create a triangular table? Even better, don’t you want to use a process that not only makes the table completely
editable, but which ends up with a shape that is not limited to just a triangle? We are going to use two PowerPoint techniques to
achieve this trick. Here are links to individual tutorial pages for both of these techniques:
- Combine Shapes
Shapes you create using the Combine option can be used in all PowerPoint
versions. We call these shapes "Cookie Cutters" because they let you cut
parts of the slide almost the same way as cookie cutters cut parts of your cookie
dough. We know -- that was too much information, so let us make it easier for you
to follow this process step-by-step:
- Launch PowerPoint 2016 - within the
select the Blank Presentation option. PowerPoint will open a new slide - you can
change the slide layout
to Title and Content by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Title and Content
option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Title and Content layout selected in Layout gallery
- This places a content placeholder on your slide that has six buttons,
as shown in Figure 2. Click the Insert Table
button (highlighted in red within Figure 2).
Figure 2: Slide with Title and Content layout
- This brings up the Insert Table dialog box as shown in
Figure 3. Create a fairly small table -- we opted for just
1 column and 5 rows. Click the OK button.
Figure 3: Insert Table dialog box
- Type some text within your table and select all the text in the table and use Ctrl+E
keyboard shortcut to center align all the text. You might end up with a table as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Slide with a table
insert a shape
to cover the table -- in this example, we are placing a triangle shape right over the
table. Note we resized the triangle so that it covers all
the text in this table, as shown in Figure 5. Yes, you cannot see any text
Figure 5: Triangle placed on the table
- Insert another shape - this time a rectangle that covers the entire slide area,
as shown in Figure 6. Note that nothing within the slide is now visible.
Figure 6: Rectangle placed to cover the entire slide
- Right-click the rectangle and choose Send to Back |
Send Backward option as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7: Send Backward option selected
- This places your rectangle one layer back - this also brings the triangle right
in front, as shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8: Rectangle sent backward
- Now, first select the rectangle, then Shift-click on the triangle so that both are
Now, within the Drawing Tools Format contextual tab of the Ribbon, click the
Merge Shapes button to bring up a drop-down menu shown in Figure 9. Within this drop-down menu,
select the Combine option (highlighted in
red within Figure 9).
Figure 9: Combine option selected for triangle and rectangle shapes
Want to know more about the shape merge commands
)? Explore our
- This creates a triangle window within your rectangle -- note that your table
is visible through this window, as shown in Figure 10. Yes, the
triangle is the cookie that the cutter removed! Now, apply the
attribute to remove outline from this combined shape.
Figure 10: Triangle windowed rectangle
- Note that your triangle-windowed-rectangle is covering everything else, even
the slide title! So, reorder the objects on your slide so that:
- The table is placed right at the bottom of all objects.
- The triangle-windowed-rectangle is placed above the table.
- All other objects are over these two objects.
Look at Figure 11 to understand this relationship.
Figure 11: Correct order of shapes in a cookie cutter
- Finally, select your triangle-windowed-rectangle, and change its fill to
Background fill. Your cookie cutter shape is ready as shown in Figure 12
Figure 12: Triangle Cookie Cutter shape
- This cookie cutter shape will continue to work even if you change your slide
background -- or even if you apply a new Theme. Look at
Figure 13, which is the same slide shown in Figure 12,
but with a new Theme applied.
Figure 13: Triangle Cookie Cutter shape with new Theme applied
Do remember though that whenever a new Theme is applied, your slide title will end up landing behind your table and combined
cookie-cutter shape. So, you will need to again reorder
your slide objects, as explained in step 11.
You can also build a pyramid using
but that technique
is limited to the triangular pyramid. The technique on this page can be applied to any shape such as a circle, a
hexagon, a star, etc. In addition, cookie cutter shapes created using this technique are not limited to be placed
over a table – you can place it over a movie clip, a picture, a chart, etc.
Cookie Cutter Shapes in PowerPoint 2013
Cookie Cutter Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Cookie Cutter Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
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 ebook.