Content-Ready Business Decks

Researched by Consultants from Top-Tier Management Companies

The SlideTeam Blog All About PowerPoint, Presentations & Life
Company Introduction, Mission Vision, Agenda, Business Presentations
Split Image into Multiple Pieces to Create the Most Breathtaking Effect in PowerPoint

Split Image into Multiple Pieces to Create the Most Breathtaking Effect in PowerPoint

Anuj Malhotra

Anuj Malhotra

March 18 2016

PowerPoint 2013 has some amazing features that are no less than those offered by Photoshop and other image editing softwares. One such effect that I love the most personally is the ‘Merge Shapes’ feature that lets you create breathtaking effects.


One such effect (we gave it away in the the banner image of this post) is the splitting of an image into multiple pieces that serves a very unique function- it interrupts your gaze at the picture at every intersection but still gives you a complete picture at a glance. This grabs the viewer’s attention and forces them to read into each element of the image. The image and the slide as a whole get imprinted on the audience’s mind which is everything a presenter can ask for.


This article will guide you step-by-step how to create this split image effect. When you work with us side by side on PowerPoint 2013, you’ll end up with exactly this design:


Split Image Effect on Hiking Picture for How to Start a Startup PPT Slide


How to Break an Image into Many Parts in PowerPoint 2013:


Step 1: Insert a breathtaking visual

This effect won’t do much wonders if the image is a stockphoto cliche like a business handshake (though it’ll look a tad better with this effect). Choose a vibrant visual that evokes a strong emotion and has one element demanding attention as opposed to a chaotic picture with a busy background. For instance, for a presentation on startups, we chose a hiking visual that resonates with the startup concept i.e. brave all challenges to reach the top.
You can work in the widescreen presentation (16:9) or standard one (4:3 aspect ratio). But ensure that the image does not cover up the entire slide canvas so that we have decent space left to place our content too.


Step 1 - Insert image of hiking to represent challenges


Step 2- Insert a Parallelogram & Duplicate It
Go to the Insert tab in the PowerPoint Ribbon and under the Shapes drop-down menu, choose the Parallelogram shape.


Insert parallelogram from the Shapes menu


Drag to draw the parallelogram over the image. You can tilt the parallelogram using the rotate handle on the top of the shape. Copy the shape and duplicate it such that seven or eight shapes cover the complete image. The parallelograms should be thick enough and placed at some distance from each other as shown below. You can also alter the height of some parallelograms to create an uneven look.


Step 2- Place parallelogram over image


Step 3- Use Merge Shapes to Intersect the Image

Using the awesome “Merge Shapes” functionality in PowerPoint, we will intersect the image and the shape to create the split effect. Follow these steps:


  • First and foremost, press Ctrl+C to copy the image (we will need to paste the image again and again)
  • Always select the image first
  • Next, press Ctrl and select one parallelogram
  • Go the Format tab under Drawing Tools
  • Locate the Merge Shapes command
  • Click the Intersect option from the drop-down menu


Merge Shapes - Intersect option


This is how the first split will look like:


Step 3- Intersect the image one by one


It’s time to perform the other splits. Paste the image that you had copied (that’s why we told you to copy the image so that you don’t have to insert it again and again). Follow the same steps to create the second split.


P.S. Right click and send the image backwards if it obstructs the view of a parallelogram. Remember to first select the image then the shape.


Keep repeating the steps till all the splits are performed successfully.


Intersect successful- Image broken into many parts


Mission accomplished! Next, we simply rotated the title of the slide to give it the same direction as the image. We also placed icon of a rocket in place of letter A to enhance the impact of the slide.


Split Image Effect gives a Modern and Cutting Edge Look to your Slide


The slide looks as if made in Photoshop by a graphic designer! You can try other shapes than parallelograms and place them in different directions to create unique designs.



More Picture Effects and Image Splitting For You To Try


Using basic rectangles and top-down split
Instead of a parallelogram, insert a rectangle this time from the Shapes menu. Place them from top to down leaving a little space between each rectangle. Vary the length of the rectangles to create an exciting split image effect like this:

Top 10 adventure sports slide looks eye catchy with split image effect


Parallelograms again but rotated in the opposite direction

Unlike the hack we started with, here we reverse the direction of the parallelograms and start from the bottom left of the image moving till the top right of the image.

Key Trends in Human Capital slide looks Trendy with this hack


Using Donut shape to create a circular split

Now, locate the Donut shape from the Shapes menu and place three to four donuts of varying sizes over your image. Drag the sizing handle away from or toward the centre to increase or decrease the size of a donut. To resize the shape proportionately and keep the centre of the shape in the same place, press and hold both CTRL and SHIFT while dragging the sizing handle. Here’s how the circular split effect looks like:

Tips to improve your focus and concentration slide looks better with concentric design


SMART TRICK: Simply add concentric layers over the image to create the exact same effect. How? Insert a circle, remove the fill color, increase the outline thickness and give it the same color as the background one. Now place them over the image (in the above image, we could have simply inserted three circles in light orange color over just one image!)


Obviously, if you use the smart trick you cannot change the colors of each split. Using intersect, you get say five splits or five images and you can customize each split as per your preference.


Try Out This Effect in Standard Screen (4:3 aspect ratio)

It’s not necessary to use the widescreen format for this effect. You can apply it in standard screen too. Here’s a product launch strategy presentation slide that will grab immediate attention thanks to the split effect:


Product launch slide looks hard hitting with the split image of a rocket launch


Are you using PowerPoint 2010?

Can this effect be achieved in PowerPoint 2010? No. You can apply the Smart Trick that we told you above to create a similar effect. That means, you can insert basic rectangle and circles over the image to create a uniform split. But if you intend to use uneven shapes and create uneven splits, that’ll be a time-consuming task in PowerPoint 2010.


PowerPoint 2010 does have the Shape Intersect option. What is called “Merge Shapes” in PowerPoint is called “Combine Shapes” in PowerPoint 2010. Not finding it in your PowerPoint Ribbon? That’s because it is hidden!


Follow the steps that we gave in our previous post “6 Easy Steps to Create a “Stand Out” Slide and Beat the Background Noise” to integrate the functionality in your PowerPoint 2010. Combine Shapes provides four options- Shape Union, Shape Combine, Shape Intersect, and Shape Subtract. These are, however, not as powerful as their counterparts in PowerPoint 2013. That’s because in PowerPoint 2010, you can intersect two shapes, but not an image and a shape as we did in the 2013 version. We even tried the workaround that we did for the “Stand Out” effect but that didn’t work here, sorry. :(


How did you like this hackathon? If you benefitted from this, please do share with your friends and followers.


Tweet This Split-Image Hack

Liked this blog? Please recommend us

Related posts:
66 thoughts on “Split Image into Multiple Pieces to Create the Most Breathtaking Effect in PowerPoint”
  1. Juana Cecilia Gutirrez Flores
    Juana Cecilia Gutirrez Flores
    Me ha parecido una entrada genial, no paro de experimentar, gracias
    1. slideteam
      Contenta de que gustado el post (Glad you liked the post Juana :)
  2. Yvette
    Brilliant! thanks for the tip!
    1. slideteam
      Our pleasure Yvette and thanks for appreciating it. :)
  3. Ellen Finkelstein
    Ellen Finkelstein
    Very nice! There's another way to do this and it might be easier. Put the image on the background (Format Background). Add a rectangle for the background --you used grays and beiges. Insert the parallelograms. Select them all, right-click and choose Format Shape or Object. In the Format Shape pane under Fill, choose Slide Background Fill. Do you think that gives the same result?
    1. slideteam
      Hey Ellen, that's a great hack you shared with us. In fact, that took lesser time (No surprise, you are PowerPoint MVP after all :) We'll definitely share this hack with our readers too in another post.
    2. Hani Muhtadi
      Hi Ellen, great hack you've shared! Would love to learn more if you have other tricks.
    3. Miguel Monteiro
      Miguel Monteiro
      Hi Ellen, in fact, using background fill gives a better result, since you can group the objects, reshape and reuse them at will, over and over again!
    4. Craig Hadden (@RemotePoss)
      Craig Hadden (@RemotePoss)
      Great idea Ellen! Slide background fill is a neat way to create some amazing effects. You can even combine it with animation to make it look like you made your slides in Adobe Flash!

      Here's a 4-minute video that shows some examples and how to make them. You won't believe they were made in PowerPoint!
    5. Tapiwa Mushore
      Tapiwa Mushore
      ellen you are a proffessional
  4. Virginia
    You can do the exact same thing with version 2010, but instead of using the Intersect function, you do it with the crop-to-shape function, and crop using the shape (rectangle, circle, etc) as a guide. At the end, after you finish cropping per all the shapes displayed, you delete all the shapes, and you have the exact same thing in the page.

    BTW, regardless of the method is important that the image copy for shape 2, 3 and so on is in the exact same place as the original image. I found it easier to copy and paste as many images as there are shapes at the beginning of the process and send them all to back. Then I selected the image that is showing and follow the process outlined. It works!
    1. slideteam
      Hey Virgina, thanks for sharing that workaround with us. We'll try that out in PowerPoint 2010. If it works, it will benefit a lot of PowerPoint 2010 users. :)
  5. Brahmdeep
    That's a pretty nifty trick....gonna give it a go in my next presentation.
    Thanks for sharing!
    1. slideteam
      Yes Brahmdeep, do give it a try. Your slide will look awesome! :)
  6. Sacchari
    Your imagination is wonderful! Thanks a lot!
    1. slideteam
      Yay! Thanks for the compliment Sacchari. :)
  7. Kashyap Shah
    Thanks for this wonderful tip. I'm surely going to use it in my next presentation. This can give you a very unique & appealing title slide background.
    1. slideteam
      Definitely Kashyap. This hack is the best design layout for title slide. Make a great first impression! :)
  8. maryam
    Thanks for the tip. It is fabulous.
    1. slideteam
      Thanks Maryam, glad you loved it. :)
  9. Jawed
    great I learnt really something new
    1. slideteam
      Good to hear that Jawed. Stay updated for more tips and tricks!
  10. JOhann
    Thanks for this handy tip. i will definitely use it for my next presentation.
    1. slideteam
      Nice to hear that Johann. Best of luck for your next presentation!
  11. Sidharth
    Thanks for the tip!
    1. slideteam
      Glad you liked it Sidharth! :)
  12. Sri
    Nothing short of awesomeness.
    1. slideteam
      Thanks a ton Sri! :)
  13. Sibi Sakaravarthy
    Sibi Sakaravarthy
    Fantabulous...This is the first trick I am learning..Thanks a lot....Slide team........Sure I will use it my coming ppt...Thanks for sharing.....!!!!:-)
    1. slideteam
      We are super glad to hear that. We are sharing lots of tricks. It makes us feel all the more happy when customers like you benefit from it and plan to use them in your presentations. Thanks Sibi! :)
  14. Arvind Singh
    Really Amazing. Thanks for sharing the tips. By sharing such secrets you are valuing us veru much
    1. slideteam
      We are flattered Arvind, thank you! It is users like you that motivate us to work harder. :)
  15. yaakob
    splendid tip. thanks so much.
    1. slideteam
      Glad you liked it. Thanks. :)
  16. Philip
    Simple but nice.
    1. slideteam
      Thank you!!
    1. slideteam
      Thank you Anne! :)
  17. Freddy`
    This article helped me a lot, thanks!
    1. slideteam
      You are welcome Freddy! :)
  18. Gábor Németh
    Thanks a lot! I'm looking forward to using it for my next ppt. :)
    1. slideteam
      We are happy to hear that, Gabor! Thanks. :)
  19. Syed Nidzamuddin
    Syed Nidzamuddin
    Thank you for this sharing. It really helps me to impress my boss and collegues
    1. slideteam
      Hi Syed, we are glad this hack has been useful to you. Stay tuned for more hacks! :)
  20. Christian Quintero
    Christian Quintero
    Excelente tip, simple sencillo pero de gran impacto!
    1. slideteam
      Gracias! :)
  21. Adela de San Luis
    Adela de San Luis
    Me parece genial lo voy a probar.
    1. slideteam
      Gracias!! :)
  22. Ivana
    that is simply awesome! thanks for sharing will use with my next presentation...
    1. slideteam
      Glad to hear that Ivana! :)
    2. slideteam
      Most welcome, Ivana! Stay tuned for our "Brush Effect" post that we will be publishing today. That will make your presentation look even more Wow!
  23. JENNA sexton
    JENNA sexton
    I cannot get this to work. I have 2013 and got all of it until the intersect. When I click that it takes the 2 merged cells and they are gone. Must be doing something wrong. Anyone help me? I love this look
    1. slideteam
      Hi Jenna, when you select the image, press Ctrl and then select the shape and click on Intersect, the first split is performed. Now, you have to insert the original image again (the complete image), right click on the image and send it backwards so that the shapes come in front. Now, perform the second split using the same method. So, you have to keep inserting the original image and perform split one by one. So, always copy the original image before performing splits so that you simply have to paste it and not insert it again and again. Hope this helps.
  24. Deepali
    very useful tutorial.
    1. slideteam
      Thank you Deepali! Glad you liked it.
  25. Ons
    Hello, I have a curved image that I want to show it part by part like a LEGO game could you please help me. Thank you.
    1. slideteam
      Hey, it's difficult to tell without having a look at the image. Please share it at [email protected] so that we can have a look and then guide you regarding the same. Thanks.
  26. Pootle
    This is a nice effect - how can you create something similar with triangles that would include three different picture 'frames' in one image? Can anyone recommend a tutorial or advice on how?
    1. slideteam
      Hi. Do you mean having three different pictures in one triangle? That is possible. Place three images next to each other and put a triangle over them. Now, select the first picture, press Ctrl and select the triangle as well. Go to Merge Shapes > Intersect. Now, try the same with the second image and the triangle. And do with the last image. You just have to take care that you place three images and triangle over them in such a way that the main portion of the image falls within the triangle and superfluous area is cut out.
      1. Pootle
        Hi sorry I wasn't clear - I meant having three pictures span across ONE slide i.e.

        1ST ROW (e.g. one picture split across 3 triangles)
        2ND ROW (e.g. different picture split across 3 triangles)
        3RD ROW (e.g. as above)

        Is this possible?
        1. slideteam
          Yes, that is possible too. Add a rectangle (first row) and fill it with an image (Picture Fill). Add another rectangle (second row) and fill it with a different image. Do the same for the third row. Now, put three triangles in the first row and start splitting it one by one. Do the same procedure for each row. You will have exactly what you wanted!
          1. Pootle
            You won't believe how long I've been trying to get an effect like this! I might have more questions about the triangles, but I think this should be exactly what I need! Thank you :)
            1. slideteam
              Feel free to ask as many questions as you want. :)
  27. Ayman
    Hi Anuj ... very useful and interesting tutorial.
    I liked the hacks very much.
    Do you think you can share with me the original power point slides examples in this tutorial so I can use them in my educational presentation to my school students. Thank you.
  28. Andrew Walker
    This is an informative blog. Thank you for sharing.
    1. slideteam
      Thank you Andrew for appreciating our content. Stay tuned for more!
Leave a Comment
Max length should be 2000 character.

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA - the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.