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Design icons and buttons in PowerPoint

Download the source files

You can download the source files to follow along with the lesson and use in your own projects.

Video Transcript

Hey this is Bryan Jones from eLearningArt.Today I’m going to show you how to build these icon boxes in PowerPoint from scratch. And this is what the final design is going to look like and we will walk right through it.

I will give you access to the source files which I think will be really helpful especially with this file so that you can actually see… let me go to the selection visibility pane. I will give you access to the source files so you can see like how I have named things, how I have grouped things. And I may not do all of that in the lesson but the source files will show you how to do that and if you stick around till the end I also have a special bonus for you there.

So let’s go ahead and get into it.

If I were going to be starting, I’ll design on this kind of blank slide. But the first thing I would do here is start with a container box and that’s actually just going to be a shape. So if I go to Insert –> Shape –> Rectangle and I’m just going to try to get the sizing close to right… that’s good. Let’s go ahead and copy and we’ll paste that onto the new slide.

Now if I were starting from scratch and I didn’t know what the sizing was going to be I would probably duplicate this four times and just make sure that it fits so I’d do that and say okay… Ooops.

So I do that here. And then let’s say I wanted to make sure that there is a little bit of space there and then I would distribute horizontally, I have that on my quick access toolbar but you can do that another way as well. So I could distribute horizontally and actually I can see that it fits and if it didn’t I could scale it up from there.

So let’s just go ahead and say that we are okay with this design now. We’re going to want to format the shape and it’s going to be No Fill. And there’s going to be an outline and we’ll go ahead and make it Blue. And it looks like there was a Compound Dash, oops sorry, Dash type. It looks like that. I can’t really tell… No, it doesn’t really look all that dashed does it? Dash type. Oh, there is the dash; I was just too zoomed out. Okay. So we now have that container box and I would name it something that made sense like “container”. Okay.

The next thing I would do… let’s get rid of my old box here… is I would want to create a circle. So let’s go ahead and insert Shape –> Circle and if I hold shift well I am doing this is going to make it a perfect Circle and that sizing looks pretty good.

Let’s go ahead and make that White and No Outline. And there is more formatting we can do there but let’s go ahead and do that.

Call that “circle” and looking at this design here it looks like I need to do the container or the… the title at the bottom there so that looks like a rectangle. So let’s draw this rectangle here. That’s fine and I actually wanted to do the color of the bottom something so let’s hit Ctrl + Shift + Copy.

Oh and this background, if you wanted to see how I design that, I have another lesson that shows the background as well. So Ctrl + Shift + C for Copy, Ctrl + Shift + V for Paste so it’s just that format. That looks pretty good and then I would put that text box in there. I would make it the whole area and I would align it in the middle and I will just write “Test” in there.

Let’s go ahead and make that a little bit bigger – I will make that white. All right and I would name again. I would name everything so “text box” is what I would call that. Text in the rectangle we are going to call the “container footer”. Great.

And I was missing a little arrow there so let’s go ahead and I’m going to insert a triangle and make it like that and let’s apply that same formatting; Ctrl + Shift + C, Ctrl + Shift + V. let me thump that down a little bit and let’s just resize it. Okay.

Now let’s get the alignment right. I am holding control as I do that. Okay, that’s looking pretty good. All right so now I can see there is some effects there and there is also the icon that’s inside of there. And I am actually just going to copy this icon. It’s just a PNG and let’s put it in there. And what I would tell you is this is a PNG and there are some advantages to actually designing the icons in PowerPoint in terms of control of the color and I am just going to roll with this one because that’s how it is.

And let’s get that icon out of here. And if you look and see some of the effects that gives it some dimension you can see there’s kind of a shadow there. So let’s go ahead and apply that actually.

So if we go to Format and then we go to effects or Shape Effects, we can do shadow. I think it’s an Inner Shadow. Yeah that looks pretty good.

So just do the inner shadow and I can see a little bit of depth in there, right? There’s a button, yeah okay and there is also a reflection if you look back down there so let’s go ahead and do that as well. So Format –> Shape Effects – Reflection and we will just do that one.

And now we are looking pretty good like that. So one other note is the reason we did that is the text box has its own thing as we can come back and look at them like hide it if we only wanted to save out a portion of it.

But the next thing I would do is I would probably start grouping things so that they made sense. Like this container footer if I go Ctrl + G, I can group those. Now I would just call that “container footer” and then I would group this whole thing. I do Ctrl + G and then I would name that “container”.

And now what’s nice is we can go back and we can duplicate that and let’s just swap out the icons so very quickly. Now let’s get that about right and let’s distribute horizontally and now we have what’s pretty close there. All I have to do is swap out the icons and we will be in pretty good shape.

So yeah, so that’s how I would design icon boxes like this and hopefully you found that useful. I have a special bonus as I promised and I also have a few other lessons that I’d recommend.

If you found this video useful I’d appreciate it if you would like the video and if you want to get more videos like this you can subscribe to the channel and I have lots of PowerPoint design tutorials.

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