Designing Overlays

Even though there are a number of image editing programs you can use to work with individual images, I have come to realise that creating and using overlays can in some instances be more efficient.

I designed and created this series of overlays in PowerPoint which can be effectively used with any slide that has a background image.


The Process

The overlay comprises a white border at the bottom of the screen, plus a shadow that appears to separate the background image from the white border. This was easily created using three shapes.

  1. The key shape is the 97% transparent rectangle which allows the background image to show through.
  2. The white border is simply a white rectangle shape.
  3. The shadow is created using a black moon shape, with 70% transparency and 10 point soft edges. This is the shape that needs the most attention.


Once I created the moon shape, I needed to turn this shape into an image (I cut, then paste back into the slide using the paste as picture option), then crop the shape.


I then aligned these three shapes and saved these as an image.

This image can then be inserted into any slide that has a background image, then re-sized to any dimension to suit your project.



Feel free to download the PowerPoint file with all of the elements you will need to use this series of overlays.


2 thoughts on “Designing Overlays

  1. How nice of you to share your work and allow us to have a peek at what you do and how you do it. And then as a bonus, you give us your files so we can use them. Many thanks.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to add this comment Barbara. It’s interesting in that in preference to downloading and using things others have created, I generally prefer to create my own from scratch, but I’m happy to share some of what I create – these free downloads I’ve been sharing recently are part of the Articulate e-Learning Heroes #53Freebies challenge. You can check out what others are sharing here:

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