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1: Understanding the Merge tool in PowerPoint
Merge function allows you to create your own shapes with ease. This useful tool is available in PowerPoint 2013 in the ‘Format’ tab, under ‘Insert shapes’ group.
When you click on the drop down menu, the following options open up:
Of these tools, I will talk about ‘Union, Combine, Intersect and Subtract’ tools in this lesson. I have a separate lesson for you on the ‘Fragment’ tool.
If you use PowerPoint 2010:
Unlike in PowerPoint 2013, these merge tools are not readily available on the ribbon in PowerPoint 2010. You need to bring these commands from the back end to the quick access toolbar. Please refer our tutorial on the subject by following this link:
Once you have the tools placed on your quick access toolbar, you can use them just as you would use the tools in PowerPoint 2013.
Please note that ‘Fragment’ tool is not available in the 2010 version. It is available only from PowerPoint 2013 onwards.
Understanding the tools:
To understand the way the merge tools function, let us take two shapes in two different colors overlapping each other – as shown below:
Let us see what happens when we select both the shapes and apply each of the different merge tools one by one.
As you can see the two shapes merge together when you apply the ‘Union’ tool.
The overlapping part between the two shapes is removed and the rest is combined.
Only the overlapping part remains and the rest is removed.
One shape is subtracted from the other shape. The key thing to note here is – what gets removed depends on the order of selection.
For example, when you select the blue shape first and then the orange shape second (while holding the ‘Shift’ button) – and apply the ‘Subtract’ tool – you get the following result:
On the other hand, when you select the orange shape first and select the blue shape second, while holding the ‘Shift’ button – you get the following result:
In other words, what you select first remains and what you select second gets subtracted.
In the next lesson, I will show you how to apply the tools to create some useful consulting diagrams.[/DAP]