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Merge Shapes with Pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn how to merge shapes with pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






PowerPoint takes the Merge Shapes command to a whole new level. Many of you know that you can merge shapes with other shapes and text, but did you know that you can also merge shapes with pictures? At first, you may wonder what's so awesome about merging shapes with pictures? But play a bit and you'll realize that this option opens up huge possibilities. We will start simple in this tutorial and explore how you can create cookie cutter shapes with this option.

Follow these steps to learn how you can merge shapes with pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2016. You will see the Presentation Gallery. Here, select the Blank Presentation option to create a blank presentation with a new slide. Now change the Slide Layout by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Blank option. Figure 1 below shows a slide with the Blank slide layout applied.
  2. Slide with the Blank slide layout
    Figure 1: Slide with the Blank slide layout
  3. On the same slide, insert a picture. Make sure it fits within the slide completely, as shown in Figure 2. You may have to crop your picture or resize it to make sure it covers the entire Slide Area.
  4. Picture inserted within the slide
    Figure 2: Picture inserted within the slide
  5. Now, change the slide layout. To do so, select the Home tab | Layout | Two Content option. Figure 1 below, shows the slide with the Two Content layout, and it also has the full-screen picture we inserted earlier. This layout contains three placeholders: one Title placeholder and two Content placeholders.
  6. Picture inserted within slide
    Figure 3: Picture inserted within slide
  7. Now, insert some shapes. We choosed to insert the Rounded Corners Rectangle shape, and placed three instances of it, right on the top of each of three placeholders (one title placeholder and two content placeholders). Make sure you resize the shapes as accurately as possible so that they cover the placeholders, as shown in Figure 4.
  8. Shapes placed on top the of three placeholders
    Figure 4: Shapes placed on top the of three placeholders
  9. Now, select the picture first and then all the three shapes. It's important that you select the picture first. Otherwise, this technique will not work. Once your selections are done, access the Shape Format tab of the Ribbon (highlighted in blue within Figure 5), and click the Merge Shapes button (highlighted in red within Figure 5).
  10. Merge Shapes button
    Figure 5: Merge Shapes button
  11. This brings up Merge Shapes drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 6. Within the Merge Shapes drop-down gallery, select the Combine option, as shown in Figure 6.
  12. Combine option to be selected
    Figure 6: Combine option to be selected
  13. Tip: Learn more about the Combine option in our Shape Combine Command in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac tutorial.
  14. This creates a cookie cutter graphic from the picture, as shown in Figure 7.

  15. Figure 7: Cookie cutter graphic created from the picture
  16. Type your title text within the Title placeholder, and then you can insert anything within the two Content placeholders, including text. We inserted a Table and a Chart in the placeholders, as shown in Figure 8. Note that when you insert any slide object within the placeholder you may have to reorder it and send it backwards so that the cutout picture stays on the top.
  17. Table and Chart inserted within the slide
    Figure 8: Table and Chart inserted within the slide
  18. Make sure you save your presentation often.
  • Tip: Although it's easy to use the Merge Shapes commands in PowerPoint 2016 to create cookie cutter shapes with pictures, you can use shapes with picture fills especially in older versions to get similar results. Want to learn how to create Cookie Cutter Shapes with different techniques? Explore the following tutorials:
  • Cookie Cutter Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
    Cookie Cutter Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
    Cookie Cutter Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
    Cookie Cutter Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
    Cookie Cutter Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
  • See Also:

    Merge Shapes with Pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
    Merge Shapes with Pictures in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

    Jeopardy-Like PowerPoint Template (25 Questions)

    Want to play a Jeopardy-like game using PowerPoint slides? Yes, this is absolutely doable but making PowerPoint slides with all the interactivity and layouts takes too much work. Fortunately, we have done the work for you. just download our Jeopardy-like 25 (5x5) question PowerPoint template, replace the placeholders provided for questions, answers, and categories, and you’re done! You'll still need a real human being to track scores and you could soon be playing this amazing game as part of a fun exercise, a training program, or even a quiz show.

    Download and play your own Jeopardy-like game


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