How to Add a Ripped Paper Effect to an Image in PowerPoint

In this tutorial, you will learn how to remove part of an image by applying a very basic ripped paper effect. This is especially useful for cropping screenshots, as shown in the example below.

Ripped Paper Effect in PowerPoint 2013

Here are the exact steps that I went through to achieve this effect in PowerPoint 2013/2016:

  1. Add an image to the slide.
  2. Use the Freeform drawing tool to create a zigzag shape that covers the bottom part of the image.
    PowerPoint 2013 Freeform Tool
  3. Select the image first, then select the zigzag shape while holding the Shift key.
  4. Choose DRAWING TOOLSFORMATMerge ShapesSubtract.
  5. Add a drop-down shadow via FORMATPicture StylesPicture EffectsShadow.

Life after Death by PowerPoint (Video)

I stumbled upon this four-minute presentation by Don McMillan, in which he humorously demonstrates what not to do with PowerPoint. It is definitely worth watching!

Four Ways to Kill a Good Presentation Speech

Many business owners and community leaders who wish to take their enterprises to the next level eventually realize one important thing: proper public speaking skills are necessary weapons in one’s arsenal for corporate success. One of your corporate goals should be to enhance your speaking abilities.

Anyone can become a dynamic speaker. Anyone. Most of the time, though, on the path to success, there are stumbling blocks along the way. Locate and demolish them. Those blocks and boulders can kill an otherwise great speech. Here’s a small list of some of the obstacles that get in the way of a powerful presentation:

  1. Starting the speech too informally. Projecting power onstage right from the start is an important element of any speech. When you approach the lectern and start your presentation, you should take command and grab the audience’s attention right away. Immediately. Don’t fidget or mumble, and for heaven’s sake, never start your speech with the word “okay.” This word became such a problem in many of one professor’s speech workshops that he promised to scream if anyone started a speech with “okay.” You can imagine the shocked faces of the students who committed this infraction when they heard a high-pitched scream coming from the professor’s mouth... but they learned to avoid using a weak opening.

  2. Reading too much from the material. The audience doesn’t want narration—if folks wanted a line-by-line text overview, they’d have asked you to xerox the paper and distribute it to them. They want your dynamics behind the text, so make your reading exciting; put effort into meaningful voice intonation and appropriate pacing instead of reading aloud in monotone. You should memorize your entire presentation with the exception of a quote or small fragment that you may read word-for-word from your notes. Check the outline, sure, but don’t become a reader. Overt reading gives the impression that you haven’t prepared.

  3. Not maintaining eye contact. Your audience is telling you something every time you set foot on stage. Listen to them. They seem to be saying, “Hey, I’m in your audience, and I want you to look me in the eye if you’re serious about your message. Please don’t look away. The wall isn’t human, and neither is the floor. Look at me.” Lack of proper room-sweeping eye contact means that you’re either afraid of the audience or being dishonest—and neither perception is very good for your presentation.

  4. Hanging onto the lectern too much. Many business leaders often abuse this habit. Speech experts say that 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. Body language is a big communicator, and if you stay behind the podium, clutching it like a long-lost brother, you’re communicating that you’re insecure. Many speakers make it a point to avoid the lectern as often as possible to avoid looking as though they are hiding behind it. Rubbing, tapping, or gripping the lectern sends the wrong message. It’s okay to stand behind it, but rest a hand—one hand—lightly on the side of the lectern, and keep the other free to make gestures.

It’s wise to take a look at video-hosting sites, such as YouTube, and watch the speaking techniques of various corporate leaders. Notice their style and their strengths. Note, also, their weak points. As you practice learning better speaking habits, here’s a valuable exercise for you to do: study yourself in a mirror as you make your verbal delivery. Ask yourself: Based on what I am seeing in this presentation, would I leave the speech with a favorable or unfavorable image of the speaker and his business?

ShapeChef 1.3 Released

We are proud to present the new ShapeChef 1.3 release, which includes several improvements and bug fixes. You can update by downloading and running the installer from this link. The update is free for all current users.

New Black Color Theme

We modified ShapeChef’s user interface so it integrates visually with the new black theme introduced in Office 365.

ShapeChef with Black UI Theme

Improved Keyboard Support

It’s now easier to navigate inside a shape library without using a mouse. When the shape library pane is focused, you can directly jump to items by typing the first letters of the name of a category or shape. We also added shortcuts for focusing the search box (Ctrl-F), adding a selected shape to the slide (Enter or Return), and jumping from an empty search box back to the list of shapes (Esc).

Full List of Changes

  • Added support for the black color theme included with Office 365.
  • Added the ability to navigate inside the shape library pane by typing the first letters of a shape or category name.
  • Added new keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl-F to jump to the search box, Enter/Return to add the active shape to the slide, and Esc to jump from an empty search box back to the list of shapes.
  • Fixed issue with the “Download Shapes” browser that occurred if “Enable MIME Sniffing” was disabled in the computer’s Internet Options.
  • Fixed problem with ShapeChef being unintentionally uninstalled when using the installer’s maintenance dialog.
  • Fixed incompatibilities with other PowerPoint add-ins (including Adobe Acrobat).
  • Fixed problem with being unable to drag and drop shapes onto a slide.
  • Fixed freezing issue when working with shared shape libraries.

Since Version 1.2, we have also added several great shape collections, such as the Flat Color Icons and the Stamps set.

Creating Device Mockups with PowerPoint

TLDR: I went through quite some trouble creating a set of device mockup templates for PowerPoint, which you can download here for free.

Realistic device mockups are a great way to showcase creative work, whether it’s a mobile app, a website, or any other digital product.

Device Mockup in PowerPoint

While Adobe Photoshop is certainly most designers’ first choice for creating device mockups, I wondered if PowerPoint’s “3-D Rotation” feature could do the job just as well.

3-D Rotation Settings in PowerPoint

(You can find the 3-D settings in PowerPoint by selecting a shape and navigating to FormatShape Effects3-D Rotation3-D Rotation Options...)

I started with a photo of a MacBook on a table and a dummy image that I wanted to project onto the laptop’s screen. Unfortunately, PowerPoint doesn’t let you transform an image by simply dragging its vertices like Photoshop does – you have to manually adjust the rotation, perspective and size settings. Pretty quickly, I realized that guessing the right values was virtually impossible and that I had to try a different approach.

The Math

My idea was that in order to determine the optimal “3-D Rotation” settings, I first had to understand how the settings actually work. With some reading on 3D transformations and a good amount of trial and error, I finally found the math behind PowerPoint’s calculation of the coordinates of a 3D transformed shape.

Let’s suppose we have a rectangle shape located at position (left, top) with size (width, height). We want to calculate the coordinates of the (left, top) point after 3D rotating the rectangle using the “X Rotation”, “Y Rotation”, “Z Rotation” and “Perspective” values set in PowerPoint.

Start Vector

We start by building a transformation matrix:

Building the Transformation Matrix

Now we transform the (left, top) point using the matrix:

Transformed Vector

The resulting vector is divided by z to project the 3D coordinates to 2D:

Projected Vector

We reverse the translation to the origin:

Translated Vector

The resulting 2D point consists of the x and y coordinates:

Final Vector

Brute-Force Search for Optimal Values

Knowing the mathematics behind PowerPoint’s 3D rotation, I wrote a small, quick-and-dirty tool to find the optimal 3D settings for given input values. Basically, you feed the tool the four vertices of the screen and the size of the image to project onto the screen. It then tries possible combinations (using nested intervals to improve performance) of width/height, x-rotation, y-rotation, z-rotation and perspective to check which one gets closest to the target coordinates. I have published the source code on GitHub.

Ready-to-use Templates

The result of the journey is a PowerPoint document comprising eleven mockups of different devices (laptops, tablets, phones). Here’s an overview:

PowerPoint Device Mockup Templates

The mockups are based on photos released by their authors under the CC0 license, which means they can be used for any purpose without attribution. I have included source links for the photos in the comment section of each slide. You can download the .pptx file from the link below:


To add your own screen image, simply select the placeholder image on the slide, go to the “Format” Ribbon and click on “Change Picture.” Have fun!

How to Give Your PowerPoint Slides a Makeover

I just came across this great SlideShare presentation that gives examples of how to beautify slides in a few simple steps:

About ShapeChef

ShapeChef is a tool that helps you find and manage graphics and charts for your presentations. Click here for details.
ShapeChef: Graphic and Chart Library for PowerPoint

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