Title of the article and an icon of a female superhero with a sudden change of colour half way up
Title of the article and an icon of a female superhero with a sudden change of colour half way up

Use part-filled icons for quick infographics

If your document needs to present simple numbers or stats to people, then an infographic style can really help to get that information across. Here’s one idea you can use: part-filled icons to represent percentages or fractions.

An icon of a team with the fill colour changing from solid to white sixty percent of the way up

You can create this right in PowerPoint – no special tools needed.

Step 1: Choose an icon. I recommend starting with the inbuilt icons. Or there is a list of icon websites here. Select a solid icon, rather than an outline style.
Step 2: Convert to shape. Select the icon, go to the Graphics Format tab and click Convert to Shape.
Step 3: Part fill the icon. Follow the instructions here, setting your % fill to match the number you are illustrating.
Step 4: Add a clear caption explaining what the number represents.

There are a few different formats you could use, according to the style of your deck.

Three different fill styles: solid plus white, solid plus pale grey and solid plus pale colour

You don’t have to use icons, you could use PowerPoint shapes such as arrows, chevrons, or triangles. Just pick an image that your readers will easily connect to your content.

Having problems with multi-part icons?

Sometimes when you convert an icon to a shape, it becomes multiple objects and the gradient fill will apply to each part separately and looks wrong. To fix that:

Select all the parts
Shape Format tab
Merge Shapes dropdown
Select Union

Now the gradient will apply to the whole icon as a single object.

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September 8, 2021

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