I can’t find a good way to draw smooth or complex shapes in PowerPoint, so easier to use other programs to draw the shape I want then bring that into PowerPoint as a PowerPoint shape (technically known as “Microsoft Office Drawing Object”). Here’s how to do it from Adobe Illustrator:
- Export your vector shape from Illustrator as an .emf (Enhanced Metafile) file.
- Insert the .emf file as a picture in PowerPoint.
- Turn the picture into a MS Office Drawing Object (a PowerPoint shape to you and me) by right-clicking on it and then clicking on Group > Ungroup in the menu that appears.
- There’ll be a warning message that says “This is an imported picture, not a group. Do you want to convert it to a Microsoft Office drawing object?”, just click on “Yes”
- You’ll now have a grouped object that you can manipulate in PowerPoint. If you further click on “Group > Ungroup” you can separate out each element and use them separately.
NOTE: This only works with solid colour vector shapes, if your vector shape is has a gradient colour you won’t be able to “ungroup” it down to its constituent parts.
AND even if you do ungroup a solid shape, it won’t be able to “merge shape” with objects created in PowerPoint.
AND if your shape is a line, it will retain its line width when you resize it.
Thank you to Heather for the solution: Heather Ackmann