Creating Custom Masked Images in Google Slides: The Tedious Task of Achieving Shape Masks

Google slides with template

So you have a shape, and you want to create a mask in Google Slides, how you do it?

This is a step by step guide to getting a custom vector shape, into google slides as a mask, that can be then used again and again!

WARNING: You will need Powerpoint (or Keynote) to achieve this!

By taking your vector shape, bringing it into powerpoint and then adding an image, you can create a mask that allows you to change the image in Google Slides.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for creating custom masked images in Google Slides:

  • 1. Create your vector shape.

    This can be done in a program such as Adobe Illustrator, Figma or Sketch. The shape can be anything you desire. If you are creating a shape with holes in it, you need to make sure to 'union' the shape to make sure all parts are one shape.
  • 2. Add your svg to a Powerpoint document, and convert to shape

    Import the SVG into powerpoint. Select the shape and under the Graphics Format menu choose Convert to shape. This converts your SVG into an EMF or WMF, a friendly file type for Powerpoint and GoogleSlides.
    with arrow to create shape
  • 2. Create a mask by using the shape format tools

    In powerpoint select both image and shape and using the shape format tools, select intersect. This will create a mask in a way that allows the image to be changed in Google Slides.
    Intersect menu in powerpoint
  • 3. Save the PowerPoint document and upload it back to Google Drive.

    Open the document as a Google Slides document, and you will now have a mask where the image can be changed you can copy this into any other presentation, you can change the image fill to anything you want.

Additional steps for using Keynote instead of powerpoint

  • 1. Create your vector shape.

  • 2. Convert your vector shape to an EMF file using a tool such as Cloud Convert.

    This will allow you to open the shape in Google Drawings. (Tip: Logging into Cloud Convert with a google account allows you to open the file directly, saving the step of downloading and re-uploading to Google Drive.)
    Cloud convert screenshot showing save to google drive
  • 3. Open the EMF file in Google Drawings

    Opening the file from Google Drive will give you the option of opening the file in Google Drawings.
    google drive open in drawings app
  • 4. Copy the shape into google slides

    Select the shape and copy & pasteit into Google Slides. This will add the vector shape to your presentation.
    copy paste shape to slides
  • 5. Download the Google Slides document as a Powerpoint file and open it in Keynote.

    Powerpoint files are directly compatible with Google Slides files. So when you create things in powerpoint they often work in Google Slides.
  • 6. Mask the image in keynote.

    Selecting both the shape and the image, choose Mask with selection.
    keynote mask with selection option
  • 7. Save the keynote as a PowerPoint document and upload it back to Google Drive.

    Open the document as a Google Slides document, and you will now have a mask where the image can be changed you can copy this into any other presentation, you can change the image fill to anything you want.

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