How to create a two-color circle in PowerPoint


To create a two-color circle, you will need a few tips because PowerPoint does not have a semicircle shape. Learn two ways to make semicircles so you can combine them.

Image: monticello / Shutterstock

You’ll find circles in many slides in Microsoft PowerPoint, but what you might not see as often are circles filled with two different colors. You might think, “Use semicircles!” But guess what? A semicircle is not available. You might be surprised to learn this, but PowerPoint shapes don’t include a semicircle. In this article, I will show you how to create a two-color circle by creating semi-circles. Fortunately, there are two ways to create semicircles, and you can choose between the two.

I am using Microsoft 365 on a 64-bit Windows 10 system, but you can use older versions. This article is not suitable for the web version. For your convenience, you can download the .pptx and .ppt demo files.

Method 1: reshape a shape

Perhaps the easiest way to create a semicircle is to reshape the shape of the partial circle in the Basic Shapes section. Let’s do it now:

  1. Insert a blank slide.
  2. Click the Insert tab, then click the Shapes drop-down list.
  3. In the Basic Shapes section, click the Partial Circle shape (Figure A).
  4. Hold down the Shift key while dragging the mouse for size and position (Number B). The shape resembles a partially eaten pie.
  5. Use the yellow dots to change the shape. Specifically, grab the top one and drag it down until it is opposite the yellow dot on the right. You remove the top part of this shape.
  6. Use the Shape Fill drop-down list on the Shape Format contextual tab to color the semicircle; I chose light green, as shown in Figure C.

Figure A

ppsemicircles-a.jpg

Choose the Partial Circle shape.

Number B

ppsemicircles-b.jpg

Insert a partial shape — be sure to hold down the Shift key.

Figure C

ppsemicircles-c.jpg

Add the color of your choice to the semicircle.

At this point you have a semicircle. Just hold down the Ctrl key while dragging the shape to copy it so that you have two semicircles. Flip the copy over by choosing Flip Vertical from the Rotate Objects drop-down list in the Organize group (on the Shape Format contextual tab). Drag the top semicircle down to match the right edge at the top of the first semicircle. To get closer, use Ctrl + the appropriate arrow key. Also let the temporary guidelines help you align the shapes.

Use the Shape Fill drop-down list to give the upper semicircle a different color. Then use the shape outline to remove the outline from both shapes. Number D shows the resulting two-color circle. To keep shapes together, select both of them (hold down Shift and click both), and then choose Group from the Group objects drop-down list in the Organize group (on the Shape Format contextual tab). Encrypted shows the results of rotating the grouped semicircles, inserting an image of an evergreen tree, and using a dark green fill color.

Number D

ppsemicircles-d.jpg

This two-color circle is made up of two semicircles.

Encrypted

ppsemicircles-e.jpg

Use the two-tone circle to create an interesting icon or image.

The second method takes a bit more work, in my opinion, but you might prefer it.

Method 2: subtract a shape

The second method uses a full circle and a rectangle, where the rectangle hides one half of the circle, then you subtract the square from the circle. This leaves a semicircle, which you can then copy, color, and group, just like before. To start, insert an oval shape. Make sure you hold down the Shift key to insert a perfect circle. Then insert a rectangle and place it on the half of the circle as shown in Figure F.

Figure F

ppsemicircles-f.jpg

You are now ready to subtract the rectangle part from the circle. Do this, select both objects then choose Subtract from the Merge Shapes drop-down list in the Insert Shapes group (in the Shape Format contextual tab). You have a half circle left, as shown in Number G.

Number G

ppsemicircles-g.jpg

Once you have a semicircle, you can copy it and make a full circle.

At this point you have a semicircle. From there, repeat the steps in the last section to copy, color, rotate, and group the two semicircles to create a two-color circle. Number H shows the circle turned the other way, but it is the same basic graphic as the first one shown in Encrypted.

Number H

ppsemicircles-h.jpg

Again, this two-color circle is made up of two grouped semicircles.

It doesn’t matter which method you use; after trying both, you’ll likely lean one way or the other, whichever you prefer. Neither is superior to the other in my opinion.

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