Cool stuff in PowerPoint: Remove backgrounds, crop to a shape, and combine shapes

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What you saw in my segments of The Office Show was a mixture of old PowerPoint and new PowerPoint 2010 features.

ZA010277281[1] The Design Tab

Changing design to a new look and color is as easy as it looks in the video. In PowerPoint 2007 and above, you can preview changes as you mouse over the icons. You can change them quickly if you were caught in Tina and Laura’s scenario, but often the formatting will be off on some styles. However, you can change the theme color very quickly with no ill effect so no two presentations ever have to look the same. There are at least 20 color changes for each theme design.

See this introduction of themes for PowerPoint.


ZA010374631[1] Working with Images

When working with images (and we have over a hundred thousand free images at, the remove background feature is new this year. These instructions go into the specifics, but the most fun you can have fun in PowerPoint 2010 is letting your inner child go and just play around with process.

Cropping to a Shape has been around for a while. What I did was just use cropping a picture to a shape.


combine_shapesCombine Shapes

How to Combine Shapes, a “hidden” feature–another fun thing to play around with and figure out the possibilities—is described in detail in the PowerPoint blog.To discover the command, you need to add it to your Quick Access Toolbar (a great place to add your most-used commands). You can watch a short video on the Quick Access Toolbar or click these commands: File >PowerPoint Options > Customize Ribbon > Commands Not in the Ribbon  > Shape Combine.



— Doug Thomas