Expert Educator Columns, Featured
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Marija Petreska: The Art of Powerpoint

by Marija Petreska
Expert Educator Columnist, Macedonia

I bet you have never thought of PowerPoint as a canvas for art work. Nor have we. It was an innocent play with the shapes and colors in PowerPoint that led us to a whole new discovery. We could create our own infographics with handmade clip art and background paper in PowerPoint with the shapes and edit options and the colors. It turned out to be so fun that we now have over ten handmade interactive infographics and at least four more not yet published.

This post is a step by step guide how to create your own clip art and background paper, how to connect it all in a story on a slide, how to merge the slides into an infographic and make it an interactive one.

Step 1 Creating Handmade Clip Art

The one thing you need to be skillful with is the edit shape button

and the rotate button

Now you can create your art. You can change and transform shapes. Here are some examples:
Next arrange, duplicate, rotate and resize
Don’t forget the bring forward and send backwards buttons

And it would be simpler to move things around if you grouped elements

Now assemble and color

Step 2 Creating Background (in this example a befunky photo editor was used)

We first created a pink colored slide that was saved as an image and was uploaded to BeFunky photo editor and an effect was added.

Step 3 Making the Story

Have multiple slides with a part of the story. If your clip art is grouped it would be easy to move them around and flip them. Ungroup to move different parts of the body (like for example move the head or ears and even hands up and down). Best advice is to have each clip art grouped but also have each part of the body of the clip art grouped previously. So if you ungroup the mouse the mouses head stays grouped and you can move it around without worrying that an eye might be left out.

Step 4 Saving the Slides as Images
Step 5 Connecting Images into a Long Infographic using PhotoshopFirst adjust the canvas size so that it fits all your slides

Copy and paste the slides into the new canvas use Ctrl+c (for copy) and Ctrl+v (for paste)

Move around the slides to make a perfect match
Save as PNG
And here is the result
Step 6 Making it Interactive
Upload it to Thinglink and add links
YouTube and Vimeo videos, Soundcloud recordings, images are some of the free things you can embed in your images all the other links will not open inside the image but open in a new tab.

Here is another example:

Step 1 Creating Clip Art

Turn, put over, edit points, make one for each side

assemble and color
And here is the result. I mean just a slide
and another one
Step 2 Creating BackgroundPut a square shape over the slide and color it. Put an overlay of a texture fill and make it more transparent. You’ll get a result that you’ve probably only got using Photoshop. This was something a student discovered while experimenting

We haven’t finished this one just yet since we plan to link it to our twitter hashtags (the ones we used on our Swaying Tweets lessons) and Office Mixes I have created for a modified flipped classroom.

So here is how you can use PowerPoint to create art for infographics.

Link your infographics to Office Mixes and YouTube videos (save Mixes to YouTube so that it could be embedded in), text (or online Word and Excel documents and even another PowerPoint presentation, or just images created from PowerPoint slides),  Soundclouds (these are embeddable), online OneNote notebooks (what a nice idea to have the notebook embedded in your interactive ebook), and an online whiteboard (so you’ll have all the things you need for the lesson on a single infographic). You can add quizzes, extra activities, suggested films and crafts. If you are English language teacher as I, add dictionary references for unfamiliar words and pronunciation soundclouds, grammar references and additional reading. Make it more fun add twitter hashtags that you’ll use on the lesson, links to your Edmodo posts ( I used to be able to make them public I can’t find that option now), you can even add ClassDojo behavior reports.

Find all our interactive infographics at Each has a how to sub-page where you can find step by step instructions how each was made.

Don’t I have the cleverest students! I do have to mention my two heroes Bobi Sofronijoski and Emanuela Stefanoska and my little hardworking sixth graders who never mind staying after classes 🙂


  1. sjeeta says

    All your creations are awesome. You are my next source of inspiration after Kurt Soser. Very nice your cliparts. All the best for all your creative work.


  2. Hi Marija!

    These cliparts are amazing, very imaginative and original artwork!

    I’m the Community Manager at and if there is any suggestions or questions you may have about our app, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at I’d love to help!




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