Combine, subtract, intersect – Create custom shapes in Ms PowerPoint 10

Incase you’ll haven’t heard, MS Office 16 has recently been released. Reminds me of when MS Office 13  was released and all the new features it brought along. One of my favorite new features was the ability to merge / subtract / fragment shapes in PowerPoint.

If you haven’t noticed this feature, well here it is


For long I thought this feature was new and only available in Ms Office 13. Well, guess what? It isn’t. You can combine, intersect, fragment shapes even in Ms PowerPoint 10. Microsoft however, for some reason, kept these features hidden by default. This means they won’t appear anywhere on the user interface. You would need to tweak things a bit to access these tools.

Here’s how it’s done

  1. Right click anywhere on the ribbon and select “customise the ribbon”
  2. Create a new tab using the New Tab Button
  3. Go to the “Choose commands from” field and select “Commands not in the Ribbon”
  4. You should then find various commands that are not displayed by default
  5. Chose ” Combine Shapes, Fragment Shapes, Intersect Shapes, Subtract Shapes, Union Shapes ” they should appear in the same order as you scroll
  6. Click OK
    (Feel free to rename the new tab and group to anything you deem fit)


I have also written a post about using these advanced tools in PowerPoint, Feel free to read through.

These tools have saved me hours of switching between PowerPoint and other graphics software to make custom shapes. I hope it does the same for you too.

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