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Interchangeable Puzzle Pieces – Vertical

Using Puzzles

These are interchangeable puzzle pieces. The pieces form any of the frameworks will work together. The series example has been put together from the 3-piece framework and the 4-piece framework. Lots of ultimate variations.

These puzzles hold a lot of content. The series example shows text only, but there is enough room to put a photograph or icon in each. This is a powerful framework suggesting interdependence to create a whole without the inference of a flow – much better than a line of vertically oriented rectangles, yes?

Customizing the Puzzles

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the puzzle, be sure to hold the shift key down while sizing so that the puzzles stay uniform and scale correctly. If you are using more than one puzzle in this series, import them all and then size them all at once. This way they stay uniformly sized and shaped from page to page.

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the puzzles will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. Do not eliminate the lines unless the pieces are different colors.

PowerPoint 2007 options

The bevels create an effect much like real puzzles. The bevels add volume to the puzzle pieces without a layering problem. This is the best option for these frameworks. The series example uses bevels (see above).

Click here to go to the FAQ that explains a good bevel format for your puzzle pieces.

3D variations

3D doesn't work with these frameworks.


Shadows don't work with these frameworks.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients can be used to create a distinction between the pieces. The lines can then be eliminated. Pictures can be used as a fill; just be sure that the dimensions of the picture are roughly the dimension of the puzzle piece that will contain it.

There are techniques in both PowerPoint 2007 and pre-PowerPoint 2007 versions to cut a photograph into individual puzzle pieces.

Click here to go to the FAQ that explains cutting photographs into puzzle pieces.


Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. With these frameworks, however, you can get a little creative. Pieces come come in from "out of the blue," can grow into existence, etc.

Click on a name for more information.
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