PowerPoint "Vector" Graphics

I’m working on a presentation and I came across this little feature in PowerPoint that I was unfamiliar with. It’s the Merge Shapes flyout menu/ It doesn’t work as well it does in Silhouette or Inkscape or Illustrator, but it does work if you use it just right!

Now, I use the quotes around the word vector because I’m not sure if it really does give you a vector graphic. It seems to act that way and there are individual points one can edit, so I’m going to say that it does. One test would be to copy and paste it into Inkscape or Illustrator or Corel. The real test would be to get it into GlowForge UI, but I’m not sure if one can paste into the GF program.

When I first tried it I was unsuccessful. I think it was because I was using the text box that comes automatically on a new slide. If I made a text box myself, then it would work according to the directions.

Nonetheless, I thought this was a pretty awesome find and I will be helpful to my presentation!


Slightly off your topic, but I have used ms Excel to create graphs, and then graph>pdf>inkscape>vector graphic. Maybe MS is good at that stuff?


Cool. Thanks for showing this to me. It has cool applications in my work life.

For the GF, do you know if can you somehow convert the PowerPoint vector graphic to an SVG?

Perhaps you could copy and paste the image into Inkscape or Illustrator or Corel, but then that would kind of defeat the purpose (I’d use those programs first)! I just checked, and in PowerPoint, you can only save it out in a non-vector format (GIF, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, Device Independent Bitmap, Windows Metafile, Enhanced Windows Metafile).

EDIT: The Wikipedia says that Enhanced Windows Metafile acts like an SVG…so maybe?!


I just tried it. You can copy and paste into Inkscape, but Inkscape does not really treat it as a path, but as an image.

You can save it in PowerPoint as an Enhanced Windows Metafile, and then open that in Inkscape. In that case, the image you created will be a path, and you can treat it as an SVG (change the path stroke style and fill, etc).

Cool! Thanks again for the info.


PDF will act as a container for vectors but just make sure you don’t have an invisible bounding box that makes an unwanted cut.


Did you know you can actually directly create graphs in illustrator? No idea why in 2017 that feature still exists, but it does (left over from 20+ years ago)


But I own an old copy of office. Illustrator is a tad pricey?


yeah, and horrible to create graphs in compared to Excel, but if you are just making a “cosmetic” graph, illustrator does produce extremely high-quality (since they are of course native graphics) graphs to then use in something like an engraving.


From an old post:

That is a pic of a graph using an equation in excel. @marmak3261 tested out another for me, and it seemed to go through well. Again it’s just to create equation driven lines, and I’m to lazy to do it in SolidWorks(SW is actually easier… )

Post that has spreadsheet:

Link to @marmak3261 where the above pic came from:

So I just want something that is easy to do equation driven graphics, is easy, and not necessarily inkscape because it wasn’t parametric enough for me. VBA and excel worked as a poor bodge.


I believe the graphics interchange format for all the office apps is vector-based, so yes - you can export vectors out of powerpoint or even Word or Excel.