Cut a Shape Out of an Image in PowerPoint Using Merge Shapes

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated October 22, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

In Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 and later versions, you can use Merge Shapes to mask or cut a shape out of an image. The shape could be any shape in the Shapes Gallery including a triangle, rectangle, diamond or oval. You can also create a custom shape and use it as a cut out.

To cut a shape out of an image, you'll need to:

  1. Insert an image onto a slide (typically in Normal View).
  2. Draw a shape on top of the image and move it to the area you want to cut out of the image.
  3. Select the image and then the shape by Shift-clicking.
  4. Use Merge Shapes to intersect or cut the shape out of the image.

When you are drawing or moving an object, use your left mouse button.

Note: Buttons and Ribbon tabs may display in a different way (with or without text) depending on your version of PowerPoint, the size of your screen and your Control Panel settings. For PowerPoint 365 users, Ribbon tabs may appear with different names. For example, the Picture Tools Format tab may appear as Picture Format and the Drawing Tools Format tab may appear as Drawing Format or Shape Format.

Recommended article: How to Blur an Image in PowerPoint

Do you want to learn more about PowerPoint? Check out our virtual classroom or live classroom PowerPoint courses >

Merge Shapes appears on the Drawing Tools Format, Drawing Format or Shape Format tab when multiple objects are selected:

PowerPoint Merge Shapes in Ribbon.

Merge Shapes includes the following options (hover over the options to view the effect on the selected objects):

  • Union – converts the selected objects into one object.
  • Combine – converts the selected objects into one object and removes the overlapping areas.
  • Fragment – converts larger objects into many smaller objects based on their overlapping areas.
  • Intersect – removes areas of the larger objects and leaves only the areas that overlap each object.
  • Subtract – removes areas of the last selected object that does not overlap.

Step 1: Insert an image onto a slide

To insert an image from a drive onto a slide in PowerPoint 2013, 2016 or 2019:

  1. In Normal View, display the slide where you want to insert the image.
  2. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon and select Pictures. A dialog box appears.
  3. Navigate to the folder with the image you want to insert.
  4. Double-click the image. The image will be placed on the slide.
  5. Drag the image to the desired location.
  6. Drag a corner handle of the image to resize it.

To insert an image from a drive onto a slide in PowerPoint 365:

  1. In Normal View, display the slide where you want to insert the image.
  2. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon and select Pictures. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select This Device. A dialog box appears.
  4. Navigate to the folder with the image you want to insert.
  5. Double-click the image. The image will be placed on the slide.
  6. Drag the image to the desired location.
  7. Drag a corner handle of the image to resize it.

For other ways to insert a picture in PowerPoint 365, check out How to Insert a Picture in PowerPoint 365 from a Drive, Stock Images or Online Pictures.

Step 2: Draw a shape on top of the image

To draw a shape on top of an image:

  1. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon and then click Shapes. A drop-down menu appears.
  2. Select the shape you want from the Shapes Gallery. The pointer changes to a plus sign.
  3. Position the pointer on the slide and drag to draw the shape.
  4. Release the mouse button.
  5. Select the shape.
  6. Click the Drawing Tools Format, Drawing Format or Shape Format tab in the Ribbon and select Shape Fill. A drop-down menu appears.
  7. From the menu, select No Fill. Because the shape has no fill, you'll need to select it by clicking its edge.
  8. Drag the shape by its edge over the area of the image that you want to cut out. You can also use your arrow keys to move the shape.

Step 3: Select the image and the shape and merge shapes

To select the image and the shape and then merge shapes:

  1. Click the image.
  2. Shift-click the edge of the shape.
  3. Click the Drawing Tools Format, Drawing Format or Shape Format tab in the Ribbon.
  4. In the Insert Shapes group, click Merge Shapes and then select Intersect from the drop-down menu.

In the following example, we selected an image and then selected a shape on a PowerPoint slide (the order in which you select the objects is important):

Image and shape selected in PowerPoint prior to merge.

Below is the final result with the shape cut out of the picture using Merge Shapes and Intersect:

Shape cut out of an image in PowerPoint.

When you use Merge Shapes with an image and a shape, PowerPoint creates a new shape so you will not be able to uncrop the image at a later date. You can undo Merge Shapes immediately by pressing Ctrl + Z but once you close and save the file, you will no longer be able to undo the merge.

Subscribe to get more articles like this one

Did you find this article helpful? If you would like to receive new articles, join our email list.

More resources

How to Align Objects in PowerPoint (4 Ways)

3 Ways to Change the Font on All Slides in PowerPoint

How to Insert a Check Mark in PowerPoint (4 Ways with Shortcuts)

How to Strikethrough or Cross Out Text in PowerPoint (4 Ways with Shortcuts)

How to Change the Background of PowerPoint Slides to a Color, Gradient or Picture

Related courses

Microsoft PowerPoint: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft PowerPoint: Design for Non-Designers

Microsoft PowerPoint: Animations Bootcamp

Microsoft Excel: Intermediate / Advanced

VIEW MORE COURSES >

Our instructor-led courses are delivered in virtual classroom format or at our downtown Toronto location at 18 King Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (some in-person classroom courses may also be delivered at an alternate downtown Toronto location). Contact us at info@avantixlearning.ca if you'd like to arrange custom instructor-led virtual classroom or onsite training on a date that's convenient for you.

Copyright 2022 Avantix® Learning

You may also like

How to Show or Unhide the Quick Access Toolbar in Word, Excel and PowerPoint

How to Show or Unhide the Quick Access Toolbar in Word, Excel and PowerPoint

In 2021 and 365 versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, you now have the ability to hide or unhide the Quick Access Toolbar. So if your Quick Access Toolbar seems to have disappeared, it may simply be hidden. In 2021, Microsoft also removed Undo and Redo / Repeat  from the Quick Access Toolbar and moved these commands to the Home tab in the Ribbon.

5 Ways to Insert or Type the Square Root Symbol (√) in PowerPoint (with Shortcuts)

5 Ways to Insert or Type the Square Root Symbol (√) in PowerPoint (with Shortcuts)

You can insert or type the square root symbol in PowerPoint presentations using built-in commands or keyboard shortcuts. The square root symbol or radical sign can be entered in placeholders, text boxes or in equation blocks on PowerPoint slides. You can use an Alt code shortcut, a Math AutoCorrect entry or create an AutoCorrect entry as a custom shortcut.

How to Reorder Objects in PowerPoint Using Bring to Front or Send to Back (with Shortcuts)

How to Reorder Objects in PowerPoint Using Bring to Front or Send to Back (with Shortcuts)

You can reorder objects on a PowerPoint slide using keyboard shortcuts, the context menu, the Ribbon or the Selection Pane. When objects are placed on a slide, they are stacked on top of each other. It's common to reorder objects to change the stacking order. When you select an object and Send to Back, it's moved to the bottom of the stack. If you choose to Send Backward, it's moved back by object. When you select an object and Bring to Front, it's moved to the top of the stack. If you choose to Bring Forward, it's moved forward by object.

Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, Microsoft Office and related Microsoft applications and logos are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in Canada, US and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of the registered owners.

Avantix Learning |18 King Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1C4 | Contact us at info@avantixlearning.ca

Summary
How to Cut a Shape Out of an Image in PowerPoint (Mask a Picture)
Article Name
How to Cut a Shape Out of an Image in PowerPoint (Mask a Picture)
Description
In Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 and later versions, you can use Merge Shapes to mask or cut a shape out of an image. The shape could be any shape in the Shapes Gallery including a triangle, rectangle, diamond or oval. You can also create a custom shape and use it as a cut out.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This