Hiding shapes on a gradient, textured or patterned background
You've got a shape ... a navigation button, let's say ... on the slide master, so it appears on all of your slides.
That's fine, but suppose you don't want it to appear on a few of the slides.
While there are several solutions that involve multiple masters, or copying the master graphics to the slide then having PPT hide the master slide graphics ... well, you can tell already that it gets a little complicated. Maybe more complicated than it should be if all you want to do is make a few shapes disappear?
You could always draw a rectangle on your slide (set it to the same color as the background) to hide whatever's beneath it. And in fact that works fine when your background is a flat color.
But what if you decide to change the background color later? Or what if the background is a gradient fill? There's no way you'd match the colors in your rectangle to those in the background.
Why yes. There is. Watch:
And you're done. The rectangle has taken on the fill of whatever bit of the background is behind it.
Cool or what? Better yet, when you move the rectangle around, resize or even rotate it, it continues to pick up the fill of whatever portion of the background it's covering up. Magic.
We left the rectangle with a black outline so you could see it in the examples above; you'll want to assign NO outline when you try this at home.
There are just a few things to be aware of:
- It works well with gradient and textured background fills
- It works ok with patterned fills, but the patterns tend to become slightly misaligned
- It doesn't work with picture filled backgrounds in PowerPoint 2000
- It works with picture-filled SLIDE backgrounds in PowerPoint 2002 and up, but not with picture-filled slide MASTER backgrounds
- It only works with the slide or master slide's background fill, NOT with any graphics or other shapes that appear on the background.
Oh, and here's BACKGROUNDFILL.PPT, the original (66kb) PPT file the examples above came from.
We used the PPTools Image Export add-in to export the images from PowerPoint.