PowerPoint 2010 introduced the Merge Shapes toolset (trust me, it was hidden, but there). In PowerPoint 2013, the Merge Shapes toolset is much more accessible and refined. Here is an example we developed creating a much requested graphic element – puzzle pieces (download link below).

Here are the 4 puzzle pieces.

All are PowerPoint shapes

Here is a 4 step process to create your own:

1. Add 4 squares AND 4 small circles, so there are 8 shapes on the slide. COPY the 4 circles.

Select all shapes and subtract the circles from the squares to get these 4 shapes.

Paste in the 4 circles, so there are 8 shapes on the slide again.

Select all 8 shapes and use the Merge Shapes tool to unite the circles to adjacent squares to create the 4 puzzle pieces.

Each puzzle piece is a separate PowerPoint shape.

Each puzzle piece is a separate PowerPoint shape that can be resized, animated and recolored directly in PowerPoint.

Download a slide with the 4 puzzle pieces: PowerPoint_Puzzle_Pieces

– Troy @ TLC

## Clare Mar 26 , 2018 at 6:24 am /

how do i subtract the circle from the square?

## Troy Chollar Mar 26 , 2018 at 11:34 am /

Clare,

First is to confirm you are running a version that has the Merge Shape tools. Select a shape and go to the FORMAT tab. In the INSERT SHAPES section should be the MERGE SHAPES drop down menu.

With Merge Shapes tools available. Insert a square shape. Then insert a circle shape on top (adjust size and position to what you want). Select the square FIRST. Then Select the circle (with Shift click, so both shapes are selected). Go to FORMAT > MERGE SHAPES > SUBTRACT. This should create a single new shape that has a circle cut out of it!

Troy @ TLC

## Johdie Oct 22 , 2018 at 1:01 pm /

This was GREAT! Very helpful – thank you!!