Saturday, October 03, 2009

Creating new shapes in PowerPoint 2003

I was inspired by this blog post on using PowerPoint as a photo editor instead of Photoshop. The demo is shown in PowerPoint 2007 and the one aspect of the instructions that I was intrigued about was when he showed how to convert a rectangle to a set of points and then curve the sides. Unfortunately, you can’t do that in PowerPoint 2003 because it does not have the feature of converting a shape to points.

So I started playing with the tools that PowerPoint 2003 does have to see if I could achieve the same result. It turns out that you can create a rectangle and bend the sides to create a new shape. Here’s a quick screen capture video that shows how.

With the technique of automatically closing a freeform shape, you can create pretty much any shape you want. Then, by converting the points to corner points, you can use the Bezier curves to create new shapes that are more visually interesting. Try it out and see how it works for you.


Blogger Davy said...

Powerpoint is also pretty good for free-hand drawing - you can do some interesting animation with that. There's a good article here with a few really good tips on powerpoint use

10:22 PM  
Blogger P said...

Good technique - you can get pretty sophisticated with this method very quickly. One quick thing that you can do is put an image or a group of basic shapes on your page then use Freeform or Scribble to trace over them. Some of the ways that I've used it:
- create 'fonts' with interesting fills
- complex shapes
- freeform shapes that I can use to cover unneeded parts of an image

4:49 PM  

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