How to Make an Image Transparent in PowerPoint

Unlike shapes, pictures in PowerPoint don't have a transparency setting. As a workaround you can fill a shape with a picture and then adjust the fill transparency. Here's the step-by-step guide for PowerPoint 2010 and later:

  1. Add a rectangle shape to the slide.
  2. Right-click the rectangle and select Format Shape from the context menu.
  3. Select FillPicture or texture fill and click on Insert picture fromFile... to choose an image file.
  4. Use the transparency slider to make the picture as transparent as you want.

Image transparency in PowerPoint




How to Loop a PowerPoint Presentation

Setting up a PowerPoint slideshow to loop continuously is easy:

  1. Switch to the Slide Show Ribbon tab.
  2. Click on Set Up Slide Show.
  3. Tick the Loop continuously until 'Esc' checkbox.

Loop continuously until 'Esc'

By default, PowerPoint advances to the next slide only when a mouse click occurs. If you want your slideshow to advance automatically, follow the steps below:

  1. Select all slides in the navigation pane.
  2. Switch to the Transitions tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Timing group under Advance Slide tick the checkbox next to After:
  4. Enter the duration you want each slide to display.

Advance Slide Duration




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.



How to Create a Cyclic Arrow Diagram in PowerPoint

In this post, I will demonstrate how to create a diagram consisting of four curved arrows, as shown in the image below:

How to Create a Cyclic Arrow Diagram in PowerPoint

The tutorial relies heavily on the Merge Shapes features of PowerPoint 2013/2016. In order to use these features in PowerPoint 2010, you first have to customize the Ribbon toolbar, as described here.

Here are the exact steps to follow to create the cyclic arrow diagram:

  1. Add an Oval shape to the slide (hold the Shift key while drawing to make it a circle).
    Add Oval
  2. Select the circle and press Ctrl+D to duplicate it.
  3. Move the new circle on top of the existing one.
  4. Reduce the size of the circle by grabbing the handle with the mouse and dragging it (hold Ctrl+Shift while resizing).
  5. Select the large circle.
  6. Hold the Shift key and click on the small circle to add it to the selection.
  7. Choose FORMATMerge ShapesSubtract to cut out the small circle from the large one.
    Subtract Oval
  8. Add a Triangle shape and duplicate it three times (Ctrl+D).
  9. Move and rotate the triangles so they form the heads of the four arrows (hold Shift while rotating to snap to steps of 15 degrees).
    Four Cyclic Arrows
  10. Select the circle and the triangles.
  11. Choose FORMATMerge ShapesFragment to break up the shapes into smaller parts.
  12. Select and delete the fragments that are not needed for the diagram.
  13. Select a part of the circle.
  14. Hold Shift and select the matching arrowhead to add it to the selection.
  15. Choose FORMATMerge ShapesUnion to turn the selected shapes into one single shape.
  16. Repeat the above steps for all four arrows.
  17. Select the four arrows and change their fill to a gradient (FORMATShape FileGradient).
  18. Increase the outline width of the shapes to 3 pt (FORMATShape OutlineWeight).
  19. If necessary, change the outline color to white (FORMATShape Outline).
  20. Add a Text Box to the slide and fill it with some text for the first arrow.
  21. Increase the font size for the text box to 32 pt.
  22. Choose FORMATWordArt StylesText EffectsTransformFollow PathArch Up.
    Text Transform Arch up
  23. Increase the size of the text box to almost match the size of the circle and center it within the circle.
  24. Grab the pink handle left of the text and position the text within the first arrow.
    Position Circular Text
  25. Change the text to bold and change its font color to white.
  26. Duplicate the arrow text shape and use the pink handle to move the text to the second arrow.
  27. Duplicate the text shape again and change its text effect to Arch Down (FORMATWordArt StylesText EffectsTransformFollow PathArch Down).
  28. Change the alignment of the text to Align Right (Ctrl+R).
  29. Move the text to the third arrow and increase the size of the text box a bit (hold Ctrl+Shift+Alt while resizing).
  30. Repeat the above steps for the fourth arrow.

Click here to download the final PowerPoint .pptx file.




How to Create a Star Wars Intro Crawl in PowerPoint 2013

In this post, you will learn how to create a text crawl similar to the one used at the beginning of the Star Wars films. Here's a video of the final PowerPoint presentation:

To achieve the text crawl effect, I basically had to do three things:

  1. Add a 3D perspective effect to the text.
  2. Add a motion path animation to move the text up.
  3. Combine the motion path animation with a shrink animation to simulate the depth effect.

You can find step-by-step instructions on how to create the same effect below:

  1. Add a Text Box to the slide via INSERTText Box.
  2. Type in =rand(3,4) and press Enter to generate three paragraphs of example text.
    Add Random Text
  3. Change the font of the text to Arial Black and the size to 44 point.
  4. Set the alignment of the text to Justify.
  5. Select the text box and choose FORMATWordArt StylesText Effects3-D RotationPerspective Relaxed Moderately.
    Add 3-D Rotation
  6. Choose FORMATWordArt StylesText Effects3-D Rotation3-D Rotation Options and increase the Perspective value to 80.
  7. Center the text box on the slide and increase its size so the width of the first line almost matches the slide width.
  8. Move the text box below the slide so that the first line is directly below the slide edge.
    Text Below Slide
  9. Select the text box and choose ANIMATIONSAdd AnimationMore Motion Paths…Up.
  10. Grab the red arrow (which marks the end of the motion) with the mouse cursor and drag it to the top of the slide. Hold down the Shift key while dragging to keep the motion path vertical).
    Motion Path Up
  11. Add a second animation via ANIMATIONSAdd AnimationGrow/Shrink.
  12. Click the Animation Pane Ribbon button.
  13. Double-click the Up animation item in the Animation Pane. In the Effect tab, change the values of Smooth start and Smooth end to 0.
    Up Animation Effect Dialog
  14. Double-click the Grow/Shrink item in the Animation Pane, change the Size value to 10%, and change TimingStart to With Previous.
    Grow/Shrink Animation: Size
  15. Grab the end of the Up animation timeline bar and drag it to the right until a value of 30.0s is reached.
    Effect Duration
  16. Repeat the previous step for the Grow/Shrink animation.
  17. Change the slide background to a starry sky by right-clicking on the slide and choosing Format Background…Picture or texture fillFile…. Then select an appropriate graphic (click here to download a ready-to-use image file).
  18. Select the crawl text. Change the color to a yellow orange: HOMEFont Color.
  19. Choose FORMATWordArt StyleText EffectsGlowMore Glow Colors to give the text a yellow glow effect.
  20. Create a Rectangle shape that covers the top half of the slide.
  21. Remove the outline of the shape via FORMATShape StylesShape OutlineNo Outline.
  22. Set the shape fill to the same image that was used for the slide background.
  23. Choose PICTURE TOOLSFORMATPicture EffectsSoft Edges50 Point.
  24. Start the presentation and enjoy the Star Wars atmosphere.

The resulting .pptx file is available for download here.




How to Create a Spotlight Effect in PowerPoint

Sometimes you want to direct your audience’s focus to a specific part of your slide. A nice way to do that is to darken all of the slide except for the part you want to draw attention to. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an animated spotlight in PowerPoint 2013.

  1. Add a Rectangle shape to the slide.
  2. Remove the outline around the shape (FORMATShape OutlineNo Outline).
  3. Change the shape’s background to Black (FORMATShape Fill).
  4. Set the transparency of the shape fill to 30% (Right click the shapeFormat ShapeSet the Transparency slider for the fill to 30%).
  5. Enlarge the overlay rectangle using the sizing handles so that it’s about three times the size of the slide. This way we can later move the spotlight to any position on the slide.
  6. Add an Oval shape at the center of the overlay rectangle. This oval will act as the spotlight.
    Add Spotlight Oval
  7. Select the overlay rectangle first and then select the oval shape while holding the Shift key.
  8. Choose FORMATMerge ShapesSubtract to cut out the oval shape from the background shape.
    Subtract Spotlight from Overlay
  9. Move the resulting shape so that the spotlight hole covers the area you want to highlight.
  10. Select the spotlight shape and go to ANIMATIONSAdd AnimationCustom Path.
  11. Now click on the part of the slide you want to move the spotlight to. Double-click to stop drawing the motion path.
  12. If necessary, add a Grow/Shrink animation to change the size of the spotlight.

Click here to download the final PowerPoint file the video above was made from.

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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