Puzzles are a great visual metaphor for presentations. We are sharing our process for creating a custom image for a presentation, with a puzzle piece theme. We do not want a single, flat image as that limits our presentation design options. But rather than create dozens of custom puzzle piece images in Illustrator or Photoshop, we prep a few images in these programs and let PowerPoint do most of the work.

1. Using Adobe Illustrator we created a image of 5 connecting puzzle piece shapes. These were exported as .SVG (vector) images.

2. Next we created a library of flag images that would be used in the puzzle pieces. These could be PNG or SVG format. We like the scalable nature of vector .svg images, and flags work well in this format. Here is an example of one flag image:

3. Insert the puzzle piece INSERT tab >> PICTURES tab >> FROM THIS DEVICE. From the dialog find the puzzle piece file.

4. Right click the puzzle piece and select FORMAT PICTURE.

5. On the left pane select FILL. In the right pane select PICTURE OR TEXTURE FILL.

6. Click FILE and from the dialog find the American Flag image.

7. Check the box to TILE the picture as texture and UNCHECK the box at the bottom “ROTATE WITH SHAPE”.

9. However, if you uncheck the TILE picture as texture box, select CROP and then use the outer dots (not crop bars) to adjust the flag image size and position.

10. Have fun with formatting your shape! All PowerPoint style effects are available: bevel, drop shadow, reflection, etc. Because the ROTATE WITH SHAPE option is turned off the puzzle piece shape rotates, but the flag stays in the same orientation!

Download the PowerPoint slide of the puzzle piece American flag HERE.

Sara @ TLC