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3-D Rotation Options For Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Explore 3-D Rotation Format options available for shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






PowerPoint's 3-D options allow you to rotate shapes or add beveled edges. And these 3-D options are surprisingly powerful. In fact, some of these options are good enough to be compared to a basic 3-D program! While you can always apply a 3-D Rotation preset effect to a shape, you can actually rotate your shape in 3-D space on your own by altering the X, Y, and Z position coordinates. That's exactly what we did for the rotated shapes you see in Figure 1, below.

Enhance your 3-D Rotation effects
Figure 1: Enhance your 3-D Rotation effects

This tutorial explains these extra 3-D Rotation options in PowerPoint 2016. Make sure you start with selecting a shape to which you have added a Bevel effect. then proceed further:

  1. Select the shape so that the Ribbon area shows the Drawing Tools Format tab, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 2. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it. Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Shape Effects button highlighted in red within Figure 2).

    Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
    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.
  2. This brings up the Shape Effects drop-down gallery as you can see in Figure 3. Within the Shape Effects drop-down gallery choose 3-D Rotation, and then choose 3-D Rotation Options from the sub-gallery, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    3-D Rotation Options within 3-D Roation gallery
    Figure 3: 3-D Rotation Options within 3-D Rotation gallery
  3. This opens the Format Shape Task Pane with the Effects tab active (highlighted in red within Figure 4). Within the Format Shape Task Pane you'll find all the 3-D Rotation options within the 3-D Rotation section (highlighted in blue within Figure 4).

    3-D Rotation options within the Format Shape Task Pane
    Figure 4: 3-D Rotation options within the Format Shape Task Pane

    3-D Rotation options within the Format Shape task pane are explained below, as marked in Figure 4, above:

    A. Presets:

    Click the down-arrow next to the icon, which brings up a 3-D Rotation gallery very similar to the options that you can see in Figure 3 above. See our Apply 3-D Rotation Effects to Shapes In PowerPoint 2016 tutorial for more information.

    B. Rotation:

    Here you can choose the three axes in 3-D space: X (Width) Rotation, Y (Height), Rotation, and Z (Depth) Rotation to rotate the selected shape in 3-D space. You can either use the direction buttons or enter the angle values. Each change in value will show you how it effects the shape.

    Additionally, you can enter Perspective values from 0 to 120 degrees or use the direction buttons to narrow or widen the field of view. The Perspective option will be grayed out if you have chosen any preset styles other than the Perspective preset styles (highlighted in blue within Figure 3, earlier on this page).

    C. Keep text flat:

    This check-box allows you to keep the text flat even after you apply a 3-D Rotation effect to a shape.

    D. Distance from ground:

    Here you can alter the distance from the base level of the shape. This might influence different shapes in dissimilar ways.

    Note: Click the Reset button to convert a 3-D formatted shape back to a 2-D shape.
  4. Play around with the 3-D Rotation editing options to achieve the effect you want. In Figure 5, you can see the changes we made to various 3-D Rotation editing options within the Format Shape Task Pane, and towards right, you can also see the Live Preview of the changes on the selected Star shape. Once you are happy with the result, close the Format Shape Task Pane and get back to the slide.

    3-D Rotation options edited within the Format Shape Task Pane
    Figure 4: 3-D Rotation options edited within the Format Shape Task Pane
  5. Remember to save your presentation often.

See Also:

3-D Rotation Options For Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
3-D Rotation Options For Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
3-D Rotation Options For Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
3-D Rotation Options in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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