Create a Custom United States Map for your Website Using PowerPoint

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

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.

United States Map in Power PointClick image for a larger view.

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.

Group Ungroup USA PowerPoint Map

Group Ungroup USA PowerPoint Map

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.

Change State Color on USA PowerPoint Map

Change State Color on USA PowerPoint Map

Continue changing the colors until you have the USA Map just as you want it.
A few editing tips.

  1.  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.
  2. Hold the control key to select multiple objects as the same time. This way you can change the color of multiple states at once.
  3. 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:

Colored Map of USA in PowerPoint Slide

Colored Map of USA in PowerPoint Slide


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: . 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.

USA PowerPoint Map for Website

USA PowerPoint Map for Website

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.

Download a PDF of this tutorial.

United States County Map – Editing Colors of States and Counties

This question and answer pertains to the US County Map available for download at

United States County Map

United States County Map in PowerPoint Format
Buy Now!

Editing colors in the USA county map is easy using the editing tools provided in PowerPoint. Each county is an individual shape that can be customized using the shape fill.   Here are step by step instructions for changing a county color.

  1. Because each county shape is quite small in the slide, we recommend first, using the zoom feature to make the view of the map size larger and the individual counties easier to work with.  Of course, you will not be able to see the entire USA in a single screen unless you have a large monitor.  So you will need to use the vertical and/or horizontal scroll to position to the area you want to work with.
  2. Once you have the state you want to work in zoomed in, click on the state. This will put a bounding box on the state.  Once you see the state group selected, click again to select the county you want to edit.
  3. Once you have selected the county(ies) you wish to edit, use the shape fill and shape outline to meet your needs.  These are found in the drawing tools in PowerPoint. In the newer versions of PowerPoint, this is located on the “Home” tab. In older versions of PowerPoint, the drawing tools show up along the bottom of the PowerPoint window.


  1. To change the color of the entire state, select the state by clicking once.  When you see the bounding box around the state, you know it’s selected.  Then click on the fill color you want color the counties in the state.
  2. To change the color on multiple counties within a state at one time, simply select the state. Then, hold down the “shift” key while selecting the counties you want to color. Then use the shape fill as described above.   To select multiple states, hold down the “shift” key while selecting states
  3. As with any PowerPoint map, it’s easier to edit when you zoom in on the map, increasing the size of the shapes.

Edit PowerPoint Map – Coloring States and Objects

One of the benefits of editable PowerPoint maps is that you can edit individual objects, such as state, county and division objects. Adding color to an object is easy.

  1. First, make sure the map has been ungrouped.
  2. Next, simply click on the object to select it.
  3. After the object you want to edit is selected, click on the “Shape Fill” located in PowerPoint’s drawing tools palette.
  4. Choose the color you want to use.

As soon as you choose the color, the selected object(s) are colored.

Now what if you want to choose multiple objects? It can be a real pain to select each individual object and apply the color individual. Instead you want to select multiple objects and probably even group those objects.

To select multiple objects hold down the “Ctrl” key while selecting the individual objects you want to include. You can then apply the color changes to those selected objects.

Or, if you think you’ll have more edits to that same group in the future, you may benefit from grouping those objects.

To group objects:

  1. Select the objects you want to group
  2. Right-click the selection
  3. Choose Group, then Group again.

Then you can apply the colors or attributes from the drawing tools palette.

This is demonstrated in the following video.


Ungroup Maps In PowerPoint

Often when you import a WMF map or open one of our PowerPoint maps, you notice that you can’t immediately select the individual state, county or division objects.  This is typically because the map is grouped.

In order to edit the map, you must first “ungroup” the drawing. To do this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the image containing the objects you want to edit.
  2. Right-click on the image. This will bring up a menu.
  3. From the menu, select Group (or Grouping in earlier versions of PowerPoint)
  4. Then, choose ungroup.
  5. Select anywhere outside the map to deselect the objects. Then you can free select any of the individual objects on the map and edit using the editing tools provided by Microsoft PowerPoint.

PowerPoint Maps Welcome

Hello. My name is Laurie Williams. My husband, Jim and I own and operate, a website where we provided quality editable digital maps for folks to use in presentations, illustrations, websites and other graphics projects.

A large portion of our customers use our maps as part of PowerPoint presentations. Our maps are very easy to use, but sometimes our customers need a little extra help in understanding how to edit some of the features of our maps.

This blog is designed to help support those customers AND anyone else for that matter, who may need a little assistance with using PowerPoint to edit maps and similar vector artwork.

If you have a specific question, or need help with a specific item, let us know! We’ll be happen to help!

Thanks for visiting. I hope you can find some useful information here!

Happy Presenting!