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Shape Intersect Command in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how you can intersect shapes in PowerPoint 2011 using the Intersect command.

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X

Date Created: January 3rd 2012
Last Updated: January 3rd 2012

PowerPoint 2011 allows you to take any shapes -- and then use Combine, Union, Intersect, or Subtract commands to create your own new shape out of them. Play around with these commands to indulge in endless hours of fun, but be careful not to be addictive. In this tutorial, you will see how you can take two or more shapes and intersect them to end up with interesting results. For example, we placed two basic shapes over a square (three shapes in all) as shown towards the left of Figure 1, below. With these shapes selected, we could use the Intersect command that is explained later in this tutorial to create a unified, intersected shape as shown towards the right in Figure 1. This new shape only retains those areas where all the three shapes were intersecting each other.

 Sample showing use of the Shape Intersect command
Figure 1: Sample showing the 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 created using the Intersect command:

  1. Open your presentation and navigate to the slide which contains shapes to be intersected. In Figure 2 you can see that two Octagons have been placed overlapping each other.

    One octagon placed atop another octagon
    Figure 2: One octagon placed atop another octagon

  2. Select the shapes to be intersected (for this tutorial we have selected the two octagons that you saw in Figure 2), and right-click (or Ctrl-click) them carefully. From the contextual menu that appears, select the Grouping option. This opens another sub-menu in which you should select the Intersect command, as shown in Figure 3.

    Intersect command selected within the Grouping sub-menu
    Figure 3: Intersect command selected within the Grouping sub-menu

    Tip: To use the Intersect command, you must select two or more shapes.

  3. This results in an intersected shape as shown in Figure 4. Compare Figure 2 and 4 -- you will notice that the new intersected shape only retains those areas where both the octagons were intersecting each other
    Selected Octagons intersected into a single shape
    Figure 4: Selected Octagons intersected into a single shape

Here’s how the Intersect command behaves in various scenarios:

  • Works effectively when all selected shapes overlap each other
  • If any of the selected shapes do not overlap, Shape Intersect can cause complete deletion of all selected 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 Intersect command -- you will notice that the resultant 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 2013 for Windows
Shape Intersect Command in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows


Office 2008 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies Office 2011 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies

If you liked this tutorial, do look at this book, authored by Geetesh Bajaj and James Gordon.

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