More Gradients in PowerPoint 2013
Learn about the different options within More Gradients in PowerPoint 2013.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8
Add a quick gradient fill to your shape, and you may run into limitations - for one, PowerPoint's default gradient options choose all the gradient colors for you -- and all available gradients seem to be based on the same color family. While this sort of restraint does keep your slides looking consistent and aesthetic, they also seem to prevent you from playing more with gradients. To play more, you must choose the More Gradients option -- this option leads you to a detailed gradient editor that's capable of making changes to the gradient type, direction, angle, color, etc. We explain these extra gradient options available within PowerPoint 2013 in this tutorial.
Before we begin, we should understand that not all gradients are suitable for
all slide objects all the time. Look at the slide shown below in Figure 1.
Notice that the gradients used for shapes on the top part of the slide appear so
much better than the gradient shown on the bottom part of the slide, especially
when you have some text within the shape. So do choose your gradient colors with
Figure 1: Are your gradients subtle or gaudy?
Follow these steps to access the More Gradients option and lern how they work:
- Select the shape
to which you want to add a gradient fill. You will notice that the
Ribbon area now shows the
Drawing Tools Format tab, as shown highlighted in red
within Figure 2. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it.
Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a contextual tab. These tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time -- they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.
- Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the
Shape Fill button (highlighted in red
within Figure 3). This bring up the Shape Fill
drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 3. Within the
Shape Fill drop-down gallery, choose the Gradient
option to bring up the Gradient sub-gallery, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: More Gradients option within the Gradient sub-gallery
- Within the Gradient sub-gallery select the More Gradients
option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3
- This opens the Format Shape task pane, as shown in
Figure 4. Make sure you select the Gradient fill
radio button (highlighted in blue within Figure 4).
Figure 4: Format Shape task pane
All the gradient fill options are explained below, as marked in Figure 4 above:
- Preset gradients: Clicking the downward pointing
arrow next to this option brings up several ready to use default gradients
(see Figure 5). These can be either applied straightaway,
or used as a base to edit and create your own gradients using the other options
available in this dialog box (explained hereafter on this page).
Figure 5: Preset gradients
Figure 6 shows shapes filled with the preset gradients.
Figure 6: Shapes filled with preset gradients
- Type: There are four gradient types available -- these are
Linear, Radial, Rectangular,
and Path (see Figure 7).
Figure 7: Type drop-down list
- Linear gradient types are either horizontal of vertical
gradients although they can be diagonal to any degree -- use the
Angle option explained later on this page to change the
degree. Figure 8 shows some samples of the same linear
gradient rotated to different angle values.
Figure 8: Shapes filled with linear gradients rotated to different angle values
- Radial gradient types start with one color from a
center position, and then merge into other colors towards the edge of
the shape they fill. You can change the position of the center from
which the gradient radiates to either the center, or any of the four
corners as you can see in Figure 9. If your radial
gradient has many stops with contrasting colors, the gradient might
end up looking like concentric curves rather than smooth gradients.
Figure 9: Shapes filled with radial gradients centered from different positions
- Rectangular gradient types are the same as radial
gradients in all ways, but they spread out from a center position in a
rectangular (or square) form rather than a circular form. Compare
Figures 9 and 10 and you'll understand
what we are explaining! Again, you can change the position of the center
from which the gradient merges to either the center, or any of the four
corners as you can see in Figure 10.
Figure 10: Shapes filled with rectangular gradients centered from different positions
- Path gradient types again are similar to radial
or rectangular gradient types -- but they radiate using the shape as
a path -- so a triangular shape shows a triangular gradient, a star
shows a star-spread gradient, and so forth -- see Figure 11.
Not surprisingly, a path gradient or a radial gradient within a circle may
look the same, as you can see in the first shape in Figure 11.
Figure 11: Shapes filled with path gradients
- Linear gradient types are either horizontal of vertical gradients although they can be diagonal to any degree -- use the Angle option explained later on this page to change the degree. Figure 8 shows some samples of the same linear gradient rotated to different angle values.
- Direction: Lets you can set the direction
of the applied gradient to any of the available directions (see Figure 12).
Linear gradients provide 8 directions (see Figure 12), radial and rectangular gradients provide 5 directions, and path gradients provide no direction editing options.
Figure 12: Direction options
- Angle: Sets the angle of the gradient -- this option
is only available for linear gradients.
- Gradient stops: This option provides you with a
comprehensive gradient editor, almost as capable as a mini-application
within PowerPoint -- explore further in our
Editing with Stops in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
- Preset gradients: Clicking the downward pointing arrow next to this option brings up several ready to use default gradients (see Figure 5). These can be either applied straightaway, or used as a base to edit and create your own gradients using the other options available in this dialog box (explained hereafter on this page).
- Save your presentation often.
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