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Shape Intersect Command in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how you can intersect shapes in PowerPoint 2010 using the Shape Intersect command.

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP

Date Created: January 7th 2011
Last Updated: January 7th 2011

PowerPoint 2010 allows you to take any of the shapes you create -- and then either Combine, Intersect, Subtract, or Unite them to create your own new shapes. Play around with these options to indulge in endless hours of fun, and do remember that I did warn you about this being addictive. In this tutorial, I'll show you how you can take two or more shapes and intersect them to end up with interesting results. For example, I placed two basic shapes over a square as shown towards the left of Figure 1, below. With these shapes selected, I could use the Shape Intersect command that I explain later in this tutorial to create a unified, intersected shape as shown towards the right in Figure 1.

 Sample showing use of the Shape Intersect command
Figure 1: Sample showing use of the Shape Intersect 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 Shape Intersect command is one of the four new Shape commands that are not visible by default in PowerPoint 2010 -- you need to enable them as explained in Add Combine Shapes Commands to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) in PowerPoint 2010. Thereafter follow these steps:

  1. Select two or more shapes as shown in Figure 2. With these shapes selected, click the Shape Intersect command on the QAT.

    Shape Intersect command in PowerPoint
    Figure 2: Shape Intersect command

  2. This results in a intersected shape as shown in Figure 3.

    Intersected shape
    Figure 3: Intersected shape

Do remember these guidelines for any tasks that involve the usage of this command. The Shape Intersect command:

  • Works effectively when all selected shapes overlap each other
  • If any shapes do not overlap, Shape Intersect can cause complete deletion of all shapes
  • Removes non-overlapping areas of shapes
  • Retains overlapping areas of shapes
  • Retains formatting of first selected shape

You will see these guidelines in use within the embedded presentations below (scroll down this page).

Activity: Do experiment with various shapes that are formatted with fills of different colors. Select one of the shapes, and then individually select other shapes and click the Shape Intersect command -- you will notice that the combined shape takes the formatting of the shape selected first.

The sample presentations below show how we used different shapes placed next to and above each other, and then intersected.

Click above to view on SlideShare

Click above to view on YouTube

See Also:

Shape Intersect in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Shape Intersect in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Shape Intersect in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Shape Intersect Command in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac


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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?

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