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Merge Shape Commands in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Explore the Merge Shape commands in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. These commands allow you to create your own shapes in PowerPoint easily.

Merge Shape commands are essentially five commands that work with shapes, text and pictures. Using these commands, you can play with shapes, text, and picture—and merge them, or subtract one object from the other. The results can be fascinating—and playing with the Merge Shape commands can be addictive.

Accessing Merge Shape Commands

  1. To access Merge Shape commands in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac you first need to insert some shapes on your PowerPoint slide. In this example we inserted a Square and a Circle as shown in Figure 1. Make sure you place the shapes in a way so that they overlap each other (refer to Figure 1 again).

  2. Figure 1: Two overlapped shapes
  3. Select both shapes, and you will see the Shape Format tab on the Ribbon (highlighted in blue within Figure 2). Make sure that this contextual tab is activated.

  4. Figure 2: Shape Format tab
  5. Note: The Shape Format tab is a Contextual tab. Contextual 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.


  6. Within the Shape Format tab, locate the Insert Shapes group and click the Merge Shapes button (highlighted in red within Figure 2, above). This brings up the Merge Shapes gallery (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).

  7. Figure 3: Merge Shapes gallery

These five Merge Shapes options work in different ways (see Figure 4). We will explain how these commands work in our tutorial pages linked below:

  1. Union
  2. Combine
  3. Fragment
  4. Intersect
  5. Subtract


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 2016 for Mac
  2. Convert Text to Shapes by Fragmenting in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
  3. Merge Shapes with Pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

See Also:

Merge Shapes: Merge Shape Commands in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Merge Shape Commands in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Merge Shape Commands in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Merge Shape Commands in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac