This tutorial shows you how you can create a full slide puzzle effect in PowerPoint. Although I use PowerPoint 2007 in this tutorial, the technique works the same way all the way back to PowerPoint 97.
You can download the sample presentation for this tutorial here…
Many thanks to Kathy Villella of PowerFrameworks who provided us with one of their puzzle frameworks to use for this tutorial – check out the PowerFrameworks site for some amazing content.
- Launch PowerPoint, and open the sg002_1200_rectangle.ppt file that you downloaded from the link provided…
- This is a single slide presentation that you can see in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Puzzle framework slide
- In the Home tab of the Ribbon, click the Layout option to bring up the Layout gallery that you can see in Figure 2. Choose the Blank layout.
Figure 2: Layout Gallery
- Select the title placeholder (that contains the word "Title"), and delete it. Now press Ctrl+A to select all the puzzle shapes on the slide. Right-click carefully so that you don’t move any of the selected shapes, and choose Group | Group in the resultant context menu (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Group
- Drag the edges of this group to enlarge it so that it fills the entire slide area, as you can see in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Fit in Slide
- In the Home tab of the Ribbon, access the Shapes Gallery (see Figure 5) and choose the Rectangle option.
Figure 5: Shape Gallery
- Draw a rectangle that spans the entire slide dimensions – you might want to change the fill and line attributes of this rectangle as required. Right-click this rectangle, and choose Send to Back | Send to Back (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Send the rectangle to the back
- You’ll end up with the puzzle shapes over the rectangle as you can see in Figure 7. Since the puzzle shapes have no fill, you can see their outlines as well as the rectangle placed behind the puzzle shapes.
Figure 7: Puzzle Shapes Over Rectangle
- Now change the background of the presentation to any picture. To do that select the Design tab of the Ribbon and choose Background Styles as you can see in Figure 8. Select the Format Background option.
Figure 8: Background Styles
- This brings up the Format Background dialog box – in the Fill tab, select the Picture or Texture fill option (see Figure 9).
Figure 9: Format Background
- Click the File button to bring up the Insert Picture dialog box (see Figure 10). Select any picture, and click Insert to get back to the Format Background dialog box. Now click Close to send this box away.
Figure 10: Insert Picture
- You won’t find any visible change on the slide since our rectangle already covers the slide background – and we really want it to stay this way.
- Select the grouped puzzle pieces by clicking on one of the shape outlines so that you don’t select the rectangle instead. Then carefully right-click and choose Group | Ungroup, as shown in Figure 11.
Figure 11: Ungroup
Tip: You can also use the Selection Pane to select an object (or a group of objects). To see the Selection Pane, select the Home tab of the Ribbon, and choose Select | Selection Pane.
- All the puzzle shapes are now ungrouped as individual puzzle segments, as shown in Figure 12. As you can see they are all still selected – don’t click anywhere now since we want all the segments to remain selected.
Figure 12: Ungrouped Puzzle Shapes
- Carefully right-click over the selection, and choose Format Object to bring up the Format Shape dialog box. In the Fill tab of this dialog box, change the fill attribute to Slide background fill (see Figure 13).
Figure 13: Format Shape
- With the Format Shape dialog box still active, and all puzzle segments selected, change the options in the Line Color and Line Style dialog boxes so that the puzzle segments stand apart from each other more distinctly.
You might want a thicker line width, and change the line color to a color that contrasts well with the slide background fill. You can see the results in Figure 14, where I changed the line width to 2 points, and the line color to white.
Figure 14: Thicker Lines
- Remember, once you have a puzzle slide of this sort created, all you need to do is change the background of any particular slide to another picture to create a new picture puzzle!
- You can animate individual puzzles to come one after the other (or to exit as required).
- This technique works with any other shape, not just puzzles.
- PowerFrameworks provides an amazing number of readymade frameworks, and they all work with this technique!