My set up is: Mac, running 10.6.8, using CS5 & Powerpoint 2011

Wondered if anyone can help. I've drawn a load of flat icons in Illustrator as a client wants to use them in their powerpoint presentation.

Each icon has be "united" using the pathfinder tool so it's just one object, I have to place a transparent box behind this and using the pathfinder tool again "Minus Front". Then i export file as an emf file ready for powerpoint.

In powerpoint I insert the file and I can change the colour using the bucket BUT i get a white box surrounding the icon which i can't get rid of.

Any suggestions?

  • 1
    Why are you adding a transparent box behind and doing the Minus Front? I'm not sure I understand why that is necessary. Do you insert the EMF as an image? What bucket are you using in PowerPoint (which ribbon tab is it on)?
    – apex
    Jul 2, 2014 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


While I use Illustrator on my home computer, I can only use MS Visio on my office computer. Visio is similar to Illustrator in that it creates vector graphics. I create flat icons in Visio and export as EMF files. I then insert the EMF file in PPT. You will always get the bounding box (same as with Illustrator). To work directly with the EMF image as a native PPT object simply right-mouse click on the inserted EMF file and select Group > Ungroup. You may need to do this more than once depending on how many groups you had in your original drawing. Deselect the image and then select the blank space within your image and it should now select your transparent bounding box. Delete it and then regroup the remaining pieces and you have a native PPT object that can be filled, etc.

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