Tracing Illustrations in PowerPoint

Last updated on July 7th, 2023

PowerPoint gives you a basic set of tools that you can use to trace objects and images. Of course PowerPoint is not intended to be used as a tracing software like Adobe Illustrator, or InkScape but you can still use the tools to trace images.

Tracing in PowerPoint 2010

Tracing in art is known as copying an object or drawing, especially with the use of translucent tracing paper while tracing in computers use complex digital image processing algorithms to detect edges in a picture or image to automatically generate tracings of objects.

You can use tracing techniques to make plain silhouettes from pictures or photos that you have and then use the resulting images or shapes in any PowerPoint presentation. This way, you can avoid using copyrighted photos or show real faces in PowerPoint presentations. Instead you can trace your own family photos and nobody may recognize you from the slide.

How to Trace a Shape in PowerPoint

For this example we will use a cartoon image from Phineas and Ferb. You can start inserting a picture in a new slide.

Then, apply some basic effects to bright the image. You can adjust the contrast and brightness.

Learn how to trace an image in PowerPoint, tracing technique using Microsoft PowerPoint.

We will use freeform shapes to draw the edges of this cartoon. You can start adding a freeform shape for the body. Then for the glasses and close the shapes so you can fill with different colors.

Learn how to trace an image in PowerPoint, tracing technique using Microsoft PowerPoint.

For some edges, you may want to make curved lines, so you will need to edit points (Right click over the shape and click Edit Points). Then choose the point to change and right click again to open the context menu. Try to change the point to Straight Point so you can adjust the directional vectors.

Learn how to trace an image in PowerPoint, apply a straight point.

Finally, apply some styles to the shape to match the original design. Well, it doesn’t look exactly the same but this brief example can help you to draw your own silhouettes in PowerPoint and make awesome slides.

Tracing in PowerPoint - Example using the tracing capabilities of PowerPoint.

If you need more information you can learn how to vectorize in Illustrator or PowerPoint. Shapes can be really powerful to make awesome PowerPoint templates and backgrounds for your slides. This was just a free sample about how to use cartoons and tracing in PowerPoint.