Supercharge your PowerPoint productivity with
Supercharge your PPT Productivity with PPTools - Click here to learn more.

Proud member of


Image Export converts PowerPoint slides to high-quality images.

PPT2HTML exports HTML even from PowerPoint 2010 and 2013, gives you full control of PowerPoint HTML output, helps meet Section 508 accessibility requirements

Merge Excel data into PowerPoint presentations to create certificates, awards presentations, personalized presentations and more

Resize your presentations quickly and without distortion

Language Selector switches the text in your presentation from one language to another

FixLinks prevents broken links when you distribute PowerPoint presentations

Shape Styles brings styles to PowerPoint. Apply complex formatting with a single click.

Hiding shapes on a gradient, textured or patterned background


You've got a shape ... a navigation button, let's say ... on the slide master, so it appears on all of your slides.
That's fine, but suppose you don't want it to appear on a few of the slides.

While there are several solutions that involve multiple masters, or copying the master graphics to the slide then having PPT hide the master slide graphics ... well, you can tell already that it gets a little complicated. Maybe more complicated than it should be if all you want to do is make a few shapes disappear?


You could always draw a rectangle on your slide (set it to the same color as the background) to hide whatever's beneath it. And in fact that works fine when your background is a flat color.

But what if you decide to change the background color later? Or what if the background is a gradient fill? There's no way you'd match the colors in your rectangle to those in the background.

Is there?

Why yes. There is. Watch:

And you're done. The rectangle has taken on the fill of whatever bit of the background is behind it.

Cool or what? Better yet, when you move the rectangle around, resize or even rotate it, it continues to pick up the fill of whatever portion of the background it's covering up. Magic.

We left the rectangle with a black outline so you could see it in the examples above; you'll want to assign NO outline when you try this at home.

There are just a few things to be aware of:

Oh, and here's BACKGROUNDFILL.PPT, the original (66kb) PPT file the examples above came from.

We used the PPTools Image Export add-in to export the images from PowerPoint.

Search terms:hide,shape,background,fill

Did this solve your problem? If so, please consider supporting the PPT FAQ with a small PayPal donation.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape Contents © 1995 - 2022 Stephen Rindsberg, Rindsberg Photography, Inc. and members of the MS PowerPoint MVP team. You may link to this page but any form of unauthorized reproduction of this page's contents is expressly forbidden.

Supercharge your PPT Productivity with PPTools

content authoring & site maintenance by
Friday, the automatic faq maker (logo)
Friday - The Automatic FAQ Maker

Hiding shapes on a gradient, textured or patterned background
Last update 07 June, 2011