Powerpoint is a wonder. I had a designer as me not too long ago what I used to build my images. “Powerpoint,” I told him. Needless to say, most people are a little shocked to see how much Powerpoint can really do. It’s a genius tool that can do just about anything, and it’s completely free, which is the best part.
Building web pages and images with Powerpoint is as easy as using Microsoft Word to write an essay. Sure, it takes a little practice and some experimentation with different effects, but you can do just about anything on Powerpoint that you can do on many other expensive image creating platforms.
Creating an image in Powerpoint requires knowledge of what .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, and .png mean. Here’s the technical information that I found at www.webwitchery.com:
GIF was created by Compuserve as a machine independent file format. GIF files can contain one or more images with 256 colors or less. The images are compressed using LZW compression, reducing the file size by 30-50% or more. Gifs are flexible, and have capabilities that jpg doesn’t, such as animation ( GIF89a) and transparency. There are interlaced gifs that load gradually, allowing the user to see parts of the image while it’s loading. Interlaced files also take longer to decompress, and may actually take more time to download, although it may seem faster because the user has something to look at. It isn’t worth the decompression time for small files. GIFs can also have transparent backgrounds to show the underlying background color or image.
Jpgs do not limit colors, making this format the preferred for photographs. Always save your original image in a format other than jpg so you can go back and make changes later. If you save a jpg as a jpg after altering it, you are compressing the image again, causing lots of icky (that’s a technical term 🙂 things to happen. Your jpgs can be highly compressed for really small files, or just a little compressed for larger files. You should experiment and save the image with the most compression, while still maintaining an acceptable image. If you save a jpg in Photoshop, you will not see the effects of the compression until you close the image and reopen it.
When I create an image with Powerpoint, I honestly use the .png format about 90% of the time. This image format allows for me to save the Powerpoint image with a transparent background, and in many cases a transparent background is exactly what I need.
Ok, so onto the building of images with Powerpoint. The first thing you want to do is click layout, and scroll to the blank layout. Next, we’ll create the badge that you see below.
Insert a circle shape with a border. Make the shape the color of your choice, but create a gradient effect. After you create the circle, look to the top of your screen. Click on Drawing Tools, select color and then gradient. Next scroll to the bottom and selcect more gradients. You’ll want to make sure there are two gradient levels, and select the colors that you want your image to be.
Next, insert another circle. This one will be on off-white color, and you’ll want to soften the edges to create that glare effect. Select shape effects, then soft edges, and click on 10 point. Place the glare effect circle on either side of your badge circle.
Finally, we want to create the peel effect on the edge of the badge. This is the tricky part. You’ll want to insert a shape. Chord is the shape you’ll want to insert:
Reshape the chord to form a perfectly small half-circle. Next you’ll want to give it that foil effect. You’ll do this with the color gradient, more gradients, and select the present color that is titled chrome. This will give your badge peel that foil effect.
Finally, it’ll just take some resizing and placement to arrange the peel onto the badge in the right place. Arranging images is always easier if you select rotate from the top control bar, then scroll down to more rotation options. Here you can position your shapes exactly as you want to.
It’s that easy! Whether you’re creating a badge, a navigation button, or an advertisement, you can really do it all with Powerpoint. Remember that if you create an image with a transparent area, simply save it as a .png. If you do want the transparent background but don’t know how to get it, simply select the image or picture, click on picture tools, then recolor in the top left, and set transparent color. Then simply click on the area that you want to be transparent.
If you don’t need that transparent area and want the white background, select .jpg or .gif. To save your image as a picture, select the image, right click, scroll down to save as picture, and there you go.
My advice to you, before you go and spend hundreds on some fancy image creation tool or design tool, spend some time with Powerpoint. Place around with the picture and image effects, the shadows, 3D effects, and rotation. You can create just about anything with layering, shapes, and a little bit of imagination. Below are some examples of what Powerpoint can do. Everything that you see on this site, including the header and holiday advertisement, was created with Powerpoint.
Need more than a blog to show you how to do this on your own? Contact me and I’ll help you out!