Office hacks: use the live cube PPT document more colorful

Inserting cube shapes in PPT can increase the beauty of PPT, for example, many of the common three-dimensional charts are built by cube deformation, in addition it can also be used as a decorative element. Let’s see how to use live cubes to add color to your PPT documents.

Insert editable built-in cubes – create three-dimensional charts

In the series version of PowerPoint, we can directly insert the chart to create a three-dimensional bar chart, but the bars are limited by the table data, which is very inconvenient to adjust (Figure 1).


Figure 1 Directly inserting a cubic column is more restricted

In PowerPoint 2010 and above, we can directly insert a cube through “Insert→Shape→Basic Shape→Cube” to get a cube. This inserted cube is more convenient for us to create a cooler three-dimensional chart.

First start PowerPoint 2019 (this example is also applicable in 2010 and above), insert the corresponding number of cubes in the PPT and the chart, then adjust the inserted shape to the same size and spacing as the original data in the three-dimensional bar chart. Select all the inserted cubes to copy them to the new slide, so that we get a three-dimensional chart can be edited at will (Figure 2).


Figure 2 Extracted three-dimensional diagram

Since this is a shape we inserted ourselves, we can do more beautification operations according to our needs. For example, in the PPT we only roughly show the rising trend of the data, at this time we can adjust the height of a single cube arbitrarily (the previous method of inserting a chart cannot freely adjust the height, but only by adjusting the data to achieve). Next, insert a free curve and the origin as the rising mark of the chart data, while adding a “floating” animation for the cube, and use the animation brush function to quickly add the same effect for other cubes. This gives the report a more three-dimensional presentation (Figure 3).


Figure 3 Make your own cubic diagram

Do-it-yourself cubes – using cubes to decorate text

The above method is simple, but still has many shortcomings in actual use, because the inserted cube is a whole, if we need to fill different colors for different elevations, or adjust the size of a certain face, this inserted cube can not be achieved. For example, the 2019 New Year’s Eve ad of Racer uses a cube as the carrier of promotional text in the page, and its side elevation and front side are different in proportion, so it is difficult to adjust the size of such a cube if it is inserted directly (Figure 4).


Figure 4 The cube element in the Racer ad

As you can see by observation, the above cube is actually a combination of two rhombuses and a rectangle, so we can combine them by inserting the above two shapes, and because the cube is composed of different shapes like this, we can make individual settings for each elevation separately.

First in PowerPoint 2019 (this example is also applicable in 2010 and above), click “Insert→Shape→Any Polygon”, and then “Trace” on the prismatic surface of the original figure of the Racer, while through the “Edit the vertices” method, so that the inserted shape and the original picture exactly match. Continue to insert a rectangle, and then combine the three shapes together, so that the production of a cube is complete (Figure 5).


Fig. 5 Inserting a combination of shapes

Ditto for completing the copying of the other shapes and finally combining them together so that they can be published as text decoration carriers. More sizes of cubes can be made in-house using the same method, and each shape can be filled independently (Figure 6).


Figure 6 Combine the cube effect by yourself

Directly inserting 3D cubes with the help of drawing – creating three-dimensional promotional pages

The cube inserted above is strictly a partial cube, because the non-visible part at the back does not exist. If you want to insert a real 3D cube shape, we can also use Windows 10’s own “Paint 3D” to achieve it, which generates a three-dimensional body can also be beautified by “mapping” each elevation to create a cooler effect.

The following example is to fill in different elevations with movie images to create a three-dimensional promotional PPT.

After launching Paint 3D, switch to “3D Shapes”, select the cube, and use the mouse to draw a cube shape on the canvas, and you can also get various angles by 3D rotation. Rotate the cube to the front position, switch to “Stickers→Add Stickers”, then prepare several movies’ promotional images and upload them to the sticker directory, and stick them to each side of the cube in turn, the sticker effect in Paint 3D can be naturally transitioned to the adjacent side (Figure 7).


Figure 7 Cube sticker

After completing the sticker operation rotate the cube to a certain angle so that we can see the sticker film at the same time and use this as a PPT material for the film promotion (Figure 8).


Figure 8 Rotate the cube

Click “File→Save As” to directly save as 3D model. Return to PowerPoint 2019, choose to insert the 3D model made in the previous step, in order to enhance the effect, you can also add a “rotating far to near” animation effect for the inserted cube, and finally with promotional text, so the 3D promotional PPT is not cool (Figure 9).

It should be noted that the method of inserting drawing 3D is only applicable to PowerPoint 2019, if we are using the old version, we can only export the cube as a picture in drawing 3D first, and then choose to insert the picture in PPT.


Figure 9 Display effect


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