Use these links to navigate the FAQ:

Merging charts and tables from Excel

Preserve animations when merging pictures

All about Merge index page


Microsoft MVP Logo

Merging pictures from the web / URLs, preserving animations

Where you can merge pictures from

When you specify pictures to merge into shapes, you can specify:

If you have difficulty merging pictures from the web, check your security settings. Add the domains to your Trusted Sites in IE and if necessary, add the sites in question to your Trusted Sites in IE and then finally, lower the security settings for Trusted Sites.

Pictures lose animation when merged

When Merge merges pictures, it resizes the picture to fit the shape you're merging the picture into, then deletes the shape. Because of this, animations applied to the original shape are lost.

To preserve animations, use a picture-filled shape to begin with (you can fill it with any picture ... it doesn't matter, so long as the shape's picture-filled.)

When Merge sees that the shape is picture-filled, it assumes that you want to use the merged picture to fill the shape rather than to replace the shape with the merged picture, so it fills the shape with the new picture but doesn't delete it.

Result: your animations are intact.

To prevent distorting the merged picture, Merge resizes the shape to match the proportions of the picture.

That leads to an interesting situation: A customer discovered that he couldn't merge shape fills using URLs that point to pictures (though PowerPoint itself permits this when you do it by hand). Merge can't test the size of pictures that aren't available locally, so it was unable to do the job.

We've added a workaround for this. To take advantage of it, you must make a change to your PPTools.INI file. Add the following line immediately after [PPTMerge]:


It should now look like this:


Odd sort of name for the setting, it's true. It tells Merge not to try to match the aspect ratio of the filled shape to the picture you're merging. Instead, it tells PowerPoint to fill the shape with the picture.

If you're connected to the internet and the picture's where the URL or path points, it all works. If the picture's not there, whether locally or at a URL, you'll get a white-filled shape instead.

With this setting active, Merge simply fills the shape with the picture. It's up to you to ensure that the proportions of the pictures and the shapes match. Otherwise the pictures will be distorted to fit the shapes.

This setting only affects what happens when Merge merges pictures into picture-filled shapes (where it replaces the shape's picture fill with the picture being merged). It doesn't change the way Merge merges pictures into normally filled shapes.

The setting is probably only of use when you need to merge pictures from URLs, but if you don't want Merge to resize shapes to fit the picture (and don't mind the picture being resized to fit the shape), it could be useful as well.

In general, our advice is "If you don't need it, don't use it. If you don't KNOW you need it, you probably don't."

[Previous] [Home] [Next]