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How to Add a Custom Border to Your PowerPoint Map


Video Transcript

Hi Bruce Jones here from and we had a great question that came in about borders. So this is just a little training video talking about borders and some of the tools that you have. So the question was,

“Bruce, I’m loving your maps, but I have one question on how to outline the state where the darker line, what I’m using the county’s version of two states that are side by side. I can’t seem to get the state board to appear darker and therefore it’s hard to tell where the board of is. Each state.”

So let’s just talk a little bit about borders and I’ll show you in two different maps, a solution around. Objects in PowerPoint have a fill and a stroke or line. You can control both. So if I click on the Colorado county map, you’ll notice that I can go up to my shape fills up here at the top in the ribbon, and I can change the field color.

I can also change the line and the style of it. I can control the outer line of the border. You notice the tools may be different on your PowerPoint, maybe a different place but it’s basically, you’re going to find this somewhere. This is the line, and the shape fill. And this, I can change the color of the border, or so turn red. And I can also change the weight of it, so I could highlight an area that.

You can make it a little bigger or thicker or also dashes you can do different things with it. Also all the different colors. It’s very customizable. Let’s make it really thick I really want to emphasize this border. Objects can also be in front or back so I’m just going to arrange it right here with the Arrange window and Align it. Bring the front. Now I don’t have that little black line. I will also need to bring the type forward or the county back.

You can also, outline an area because each one of these is a separate object. I can go into my line tools and just trace over it. Usually what I do is I would enlarge the map to make it easier to see. I can get pretty big go all the way up to 400%. I’m just going to get big enough so I can see it really well. And if I come up to my shapes. Again, this can be in different places on your version of PowerPoint, but it’s normally up here in the ribbon. You notice I bring up the window of all these different shapes and arrows all this cool stuff can add. You have 12 different lines. I like this one right here, this is the Freeform line. I think is the easiest one to use Stay away from these curvy ones because they are hard to control. I just go to the Freeform Line. And I just retrace. You just got to look at it and just kind of trace around it. Say I want to highlight this section right here because this is where any just go in close.


PowerPoint freeform drawing tool

It’s going to look nice, especially if we give the line a little bit of thickness. You can highlight your territory.

The maps have been drawn to corners, so wherever there’s a joint or corner, that is going to be a point that’s a good place to go.


Colorado County Borders

Let’s make it read it, make it a little thicker.

Now I’ve highlighted that area. Also remembering PowerPoint, you don’t have a layer feature, so everything lays on top of each other. I would do this as one of the last things you do because sometimes it’s hard to get below the layers.

In our maps, if you go to the last slide, you’ll see there’s a highway map, and you can take that outer border and add it to the main map. I’m just going to copy it.

Okay, so just let’s see here, copy the border and paste, and if you haven’t moved anything, it should go right on top of the map. Give it a different color, will make it blue, and we’ll make it a little thicker. And now you have an outer border, all the way around so that’s pretty cool. Alright, so that works really well. So now you can create custom borders.

National County Map Custom Border

Let’s go to the big map national county map. A lot of a lot of my customers use this map. The individual states and broken down, and I’m just going to zoom in here. And we’ll come over to this area up here the Pacific Northwest. Built into this map on the last screen are state borders. And again, I keep these separate on the last screen.

I can grab this border. Let’s say I wanted to highlight these states. So, I’m holding down my shift key and clicking on the outer regions with my pointer. I’m going to copy them.

And it will come back to the main map, and this is something I would do at the end of your customizing so that you’re not trying to move all these pieces around, and we’ll paste it on top.

Again if nothing has moved it should drop right on top. Perfect. And let’s give make it red so you can see it. And we’ll make it a little thicker. It looks like so. Now you’ve highlighted that area.

You can also go in with the drawing tool that Freeform tool, and just go the area also. Remember that drawing tools are in shapes, and they’re right here.

Hope that helps. Great questions and those questions in will make more training videos. All right, see you soon, bye.


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