Sometimes, if you’re working on a presentation in PowerPoint, the standard shapes in the program might not suit your needs. We’ll show you how to merge multiple shapes to create your own custom shapes.

  1. First, insert the two shapes that you want to combine into my presentation. To insert a shape, go to Insert > Shapes. Select the shape that you want, and then use the crosshairs to draw it onto the slide.
  2. Next, if you’re on a Mac, click on the Shape Format tab at the top > Merge Shapes dropdown menu. For Windows, go to the Format tab > Merge Shapes dropdown menu. As you can see, there are several options for merging shapes, including union, combine, fragment, intersect, and subtract. Here’s a quick rundown of what each option does:
  • Union simply joins the two shapes, becoming one shape that you can use like all other shapes in PowerPoint.
  • Combine is similar to merge, but you get empty space where your shapes were overlapping.
  • Fragment will combine them but give you a separate area to work with within these three compartments.
  • Intersect will remove everything except the intersection of the two shapes, making it similar to the opposite of the combine function.
  • Subtract will remove from one shape what was covered by the second.

These five options give you lots of tools for combining multiple shapes to create custom ones that fit your needs.

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