Tombstone Generator (beta)


You can use Macabacus to quickly generate tombstones with a consistent appearance based on templates defined by you in PowerPoint. Your organization might have a single tombstone template used firm-wide, or multiple templates for different business groups or deal types. When you are ready to create a tombstone based on your template, a Macabacus wizard prompts you for the necessary text and image inputs.


Currently, this feature is available to any customer with a subscription that provides access to Macabacus' PowerPoint tools. In the future, access to this tool will be restricted to customers with an Enterprise subscription.

Creating Templates

Each tombstone template is a grouped PowerPoint shape generally consisting of:

  • Text boxes containing static text and/or placeholders for dynamic text (e.g., advisory role),
  • Static images that appear in all tombstones based on the template (e.g., your company logo),
  • Placeholders for dynamic images (e.g., client logos), and
  • Decorative shapes that contain no content but achieve the desired appearance (e.g., tombstone border).

To create a tombstone template, open a blank presentation and delete any shapes that appear by default. Lay out the individual tombstone shapes described above as desired, using the guidance below to define dynamic text and image placeholders:

Text Placeholders

Create a text placeholder by enclosing dummy text in square brackets (e.g., "[Client Name]"). The dummy text should indicate the nature of replacement text, and is used in Macabacus' Create Tombstone wizard to prompt the user for input. Be sure to consider how paragraph formatting properties (e.g., text wrapping, shrink text on overflow) handle replacement text of varying lengths.

Image Placeholders

An image placeholder shape defines the region into which Macabacus will fit a replacement image. The size of this placeholder defines the maximum dimensions of the replacement image, not its exact dimensions (to avoid image distortion).


Give the placeholder a solid fill color to indicate its region and include dummy text (e.g., "Client Logo") that indicates its role as an image placeholder.

To identify a shape in your template as an image placeholder, append a position code to the shape's name in PowerPoint's Selection Pane. Position codes are in the format [IMG-{horizontal code}-{vertical code}], where horizontal codes that begin with X and vertical codes that begin with Y are defined as follows:

XC The replacement image will be centered horizontally within the area defined by the image placeholder
XL The replacement image will be aligned to the left edge of the area defined by the image placeholder
XR The replacement image will be aligned to the right edge of the area defined by the image placeholder
YC The replacement image will be centered vertically within the area defined by the image placeholder
YT The replacement image will be aligned to the top edge of the area defined by the image placeholder
YB The replacement image will be aligned to the bottom edge of the area defined by the image placeholder

For example, the code [IMG-XC-YT] instructs Macabacus to horizontally center the replacement image within and align it to the top edge of the area defined by the placeholder. For images that do not appear at the top or bottom of the tombstone, you should generally using vertical position code YC.

Group Shapes

Once you have created the individual tombstone shapes and arranged them as desired, group them to create a template. Use PowerPoint's Selection Pane to name the grouped shape appropriately. This name is used to select the desired template in Macabacus' Create Tombstone wizard. Any ungrouped shapes in your presentation will be ignored by Macabacus.

Multiple Templates

If you require multiple templates, create them as described above in the same presentation (either on the same slide or separate slides). All of your tombstone templates should have the exact same height and width to avoid slide layout issues.

Saving Templates

If multiple Macabacus users will create tombstones, save your presentation to a shared location to which all such users have read access privileges. Otherwise, if only one person in the organization is responsible for creating tombstones, the presentation can be saved locally. Ensure that nothing but the tombstone templates presentation resides in the containing folder.

Then, open Macabacus' Settings dialog and go to the Tombstones section to specify the path to the folder where the presentation is saved. All users who will be creating tombstones will also need to specify this path in their own Macabacus settings (this is not a shared setting).

Generating Tombstones

To generate a tombstone based on your template, click the Macabacus > Shapes > More Shape Tools > Create Tombstone button. Populate the text fields and select images in the Create Tombstone wizard to populate the tombstone template. To populate an image, you can either "Choose" an image from the file system, or "Select" an image already on the slide. When you are done, click the OK button and inspect the tombstone before optionally publishing it to a Macabacus library.

This documentation refers to the latest Macabacus version. Some features and descriptions of these features may not apply to older versions of Macabacus. Update your Macabacus software to take advantage of the latest features.

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