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Make a Jigsaw Puzzle in PowerPoint

Make your own jigsaw puzzle in PowerPoint to gradually reveal a photo or logo hiding underneath. We’ll show how to make the pieces plus a download sample PowerPoint file for our loyal subscribers.

You can use them as a powerful storytelling tool, ideal for illustrating how different parts of a story connect.

Puzzle shapes are versatile and can serve various functions within a slide. You can combine puzzle pieces to create different shapes, such as rectangles or squares. Scattered jigsaw pieces can illustrate concepts like chaos or problems that are easy to solve.

Making your own jigsaw puzzle piece is quick and easy. First select the image you want to make into a Puzzle.

Launch PowerPoint. Insert your Image on the slide.

Add a Rectangle

Navigate to the Insert | Shapes.

In the Shapes list, under the Rectangles group, select the Rectangle shape.

Add the rectangle shape to the slide on top of the image.

Add a circle

To incorporate various types of cut outs and heads, navigate to Insert tab, within the Illustrations group, click the Shapes dropdown list, and then select the oval shape from the Basic Shapes group.

Add the oval shape to the slide and position them so they look like a puzzle piece with a half-circle on the side of the square.

Remove outlines by right clicking the shapes, selecting Outline, and then choosing No Outline. This is optional.

Merge the two shapes

To create heads on the puzzle piece, merge the two shapes together.

Select both shapes, On the Shape Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click the Merge Shapes dropdown list, and click Union.

With the shape outlines removed, you will see a puzzle piece with its head on the shape:

Terminology break – tabs and blanks

What do you call the little bulges and matching notches in jigsaw puzzle pieces? There are many different names, we’ll go with the ones used by Wikipediatabs and blanks.

Make the blank

Since we need two ovals to make the puzzle piece connect, copy, and paste the current oval, then position the oval on another side of the rectangle.

To make a cut out on the puzzle piece, just Subtract the second shape.

Select the Rectangle box and then holding Ctrl, select the second oval shape that should be subtracted. On the Shape Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click on the Merge Shapes dropdown list, and select Subtract.

You will notice the following shape with a cut out or blank:

Copy and Rotate

Once you have one piece, in this simple puzzle all you need to do is copy that piece and rotate it into the other three positions.

Copy the final shape, move it to the right, rotate the puzzle piece to 90 degrees, and position it adjacent to the first shape.

Repeat the process of copying and rotating until you have added the fourth puzzle piece or until your image is completely covered by the puzzle pieces. You can also change its color to make the effect more visible or stick to your corporate colours. The puzzle is now ready.

Jigsaw puzzle in a presentation

In the end you have an image or graphic overlaid with shapes that fit together.  In a presentation you could move the pieces to gradually reveal the image underneath.

Add Animations

Or use the Exit animations (like Fly out) to gradually reveal the image with a click.

Slide 5 of our exclusive download has different animations for each puzzle piece.

Download the PowerPoint Jigsaw

Subscribers to Office Watch or Office for Mere Mortals can download a complete PowerPoint file with the jigsaw in various forms including one with animations to reveal the shape.

That PPT file gives you a big head start.  Replace the image with your own, recolor the shapes or change the animations.

This download is available EXCLUSIVELY to Office Watch subscribers. The link to this and other special downloads is in each issue of Office Watch or Office for Mere Mortals

The idea for this article came from Microsoft in this brief and hard-to-follow 35 second video. We thought it deserved a longer step-by-step explanation and example file.

About this author

Mayurakshi Mohapatra

Maya has been a contributor to Office Watch since 2017. She's an experienced Technical Writer working in the gaming, entertainment and financial industries. Boasts a Master of Arts (M.A.) in English Language and Literature. After a stay in Sydney, she speaks both English and Australian . ‘Making a difference’ is her motto in life.