Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How to Divide a PowerPoint Map In-half

How to Video showing how to divide a PowerPoint clipart state or county map into two territories and color them differently. PowerPoint isn't really a drawing program but we have found a fairly effective way of doing this. Below are two ways to handle this.

The first is to copy the state and paste it right on top or on the side so that you can work on it. Go to the DRAW Pop Up menu in the Tool Bar and select EDIT POINTS, you will see all of the drawing points or handles. You then click on each point with the mouse pointer, while you hold down the Control key on the PC or the Option key on the Mac, the selected point will then disappear. You work your way nibbling around the area you want to delete. You end up at some point with a part of a state. Give it its own color and stroke or line and place it on top of the other map. And presto you have a state that looks to the viewer like you have cut it in half. But in reality is made up of two pieces, a full state and half state.

A second way is to use one of the line tools (I like the one that just uses straight lines) and zoom in to 400% and trace over the outline of the state with the drawing tools. Moving around it, tracing the shape of the state and just the part you want to keep. Give it a color and now you have again what looks like a state cut in half.

The drawing tools are located in the AUTO SHAPES pop up menu in the DRAWING TOOL BAR. In AUTO SHAPES select LINES, (we like the middle line on the bottom row, the FREE FORM LINE tool). With this line tool selected you can now trace over the map, making a complete closed path by clicking point by point around th edge. Bring the line back to the beginning point and give two quick clicks and you will have an object that can be filled with a new color.

To make this easier locate the Zoom Box in the upper right hand corner of the top tool bar and select 300 or 400% so you can really see what is going on. If you need to you can adjust the points by selecting the new object with your pointer and choosing EDIT POINTS from the DRAW popup menu on the far left of the tool bar. Also make sure SNAP TO GRID is not checked. This method isn't perfect but will work pretty well and allows you to set up the partial territories.

If you are using the EPS Adobe Illustrator version of our maps you can use the SCISSORS tool and cut the border and then re-join the lines giving you two halves.

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