This tutorial explains how to use PowerPoint ® to create a custom USA map in .JPG or .PNG format for use on websites… sized exactly as you need it. Note: the map used in this tutorial and many others like it can be purchased and downloaded immediately at http://www.presentationmall.com.
Step #1 Prepare the map for Editing Start with a blank USA map in PowerPoint Format. Open the PowerPoint Map file. The image will look like the image below to start. It is currently sized to North American letter size 8 1/2 x 11 in Landscape Mode.
First you want to edit the map at the current size. You could re-size first, but it’s easier to work with a larger version first, customized to your requirements, then resize before saving.
To change colors of the states, you must make sure the map is UNGROUPED. To ungroup the map, select the map, right click and choose Group >> Ungroup.
After ungrouping, each individual state will have an individual selection boundary. Click on the white space in the slide to deselect each of the states.
Now you’re ready to start editing.
Step 2. Customize the map.
One of the most common task is to customize the map by changing the colors of the states to make territories. To change the color of a state, simply click on the state to select it. Then using the Shape Fill tools provided in PowerPoint choose a color. The state object will change to the selected color.
Continue changing the colors until you have the USA Map just as you want it.
A few editing tips.
- Zoom map to 400% or 200% to make those New England states easier to select and work with. Zooming is also useful to prevent selecting the state names, which are text boxes. To zoom, click on View .. Zoom.
- Hold the control key to select multiple objects as the same time. This way you can change the color of multiple states at once.
- To deselect a state or group of states, click on the white space outside the map.
An example of what the final map could look like:
Step 3. Size to fit your space.
Next determine what size you want your final map to be. Typically web images are managed in pixels wide by pixels high. Width by Height. If you want your image to fit into a 500 pixel wide area, you will need to resize the slide to 500 pixels wide. However, in most North American configurations of PowerPoint, sizes are measured in inches. So you’ll first need to convert 500 pixels to its equivalent in inches. There are several online calculators that will do this for you. One can be found here: http://auctionrepair.com/pixels.html . You’ll want to use the resolution in the drop-down menu at 75dpi, which is suitable and optimal for web images.
Once you’ve determined the width in inches from the conversion tool above, you’re ready to re-size your slide. NOTE: you don’t need to worry about the height because PowerPoint will automatically configure the proportional height for you.
In PowerPoint, click on “View” at the top of the window, then double-click on “Slide Master” in the resulting menu. Here you will then see a top menu item for “Page Setup”. Click the Page Setup Icon.
In the Width field, set the width in inches that you derived from the conversion tool. In the case of 500pixels x 375 pixels, the conversion would be 6.67 inches x 5 inches. After you set your dimensions, click “ok”. Then, click the “Close Master View” in the menu at the top. The map will then be automatically sized to the new slide size.
Now, all you have to do is save the image as a JPG or PNG for use in other applications such as for a website. JPG images can be used in PowerPoint, Microsoft Word and many, many other applications.
To save, select “Save As” from the File menu. Then choose “JPEG File Interchange Format (*.jpg)” or “PNG Portable Network Graphics Format (*.png)” from the “Save as type:” drop down. Click Save.
Now your newly customized and sized map is ready for use on your website or other illustration project.