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Apply 3-D Depth to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to apply 3-D depth to selected shapes in PowerPoint 2016.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






Depth, as a parameter for 3-D objects plays a very important role. In simple terms, Depth is the distance from the highest to the lowest, and typically has a value that’s larger than zero. Even though you rotate a shape that has a Depth of zero, you won’t see any optimum results. So, you can first rotate your object, but you must add Depth soon after. Look at Figure 1 below, where you can see the original shape with a Bevel effect on the left. The shape thereafter has been applied some 3-D Rotation without any Depth. The final shape on the right has Depth added. You can add depth to your shapes using details provided in this tutorial.

Adding Rotation and Depth to a 3-D object
Figure 1: Adding Rotation and Depth to a 3-D object

If you are familiar with 3-D programs, you will realize that depth in PowerPoint is similar to extrusion. To use an analogy, a thick book will show depth when placed on the shelf. A single sheet of paper on the other hand has almost no depth. You can add depth to your shapes using details provided in this tutorial.

Follow these steps to apply Depth to a shape in PowerPoint 2016:

  1. Select and apply 3-D Rotation to a shape. Figure 1, below shows a shape with 3-D rotation effect applied.

    Shape rotated without applying any depth gives flat effect
    Figure 1: Shape rotated without applying any depth gives flat effect

    As you can see in Figure 1 above, the shapeis rotated, and has no depth. This lack of depth results in a flat effect. We will now add depth to this rotated object.
  2. Make sure that the shape is still selected so that the Ribbon area shows the Drawing Tools Format tab, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 1, above. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it. Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Shape Effects button (highlighted in red within Figure 1, above).
  3. This brings up the Shape Effects drop-down gallery as you can see in Figure 2. Choose the Preset option, and then select 3-D Options from the sub-gallery, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.

    3-D Options in the Preset sub-gallery
    Figure 2: 3-D Options within the Preset sub-gallery
  4. This brings up the Format Shape Task Pane with the Effects tab active. Below 3-D Format section, you'll find the Depth option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Depth option within Format Shape Task Pane
    Figure 3: Depth option within Format Shape Task Pane

    Depth options enable you to add or change Depth Size and the Depth Color values; both options are explained below:

    Depth Size: As you can see in Figure 3 above, Depth size is 0 pt. Change it 25 pt to see a prominent depth added to the shape, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5, later on this page. You can enter any values based on your requirement.

    Depth Color: Optionally, you can add color to the depth. To do so, click the down-arrow next to Color icon to access a fly out menu (see Figure 4). Here you can choose any color for the depth. Note that this does not change the color of the shape itself.

    Depth and color options for Depth
    Figure 4: Depth and color options for Depth
  5. Play around with the Depth options to achieve the effect you want. In Figure 5, you can see the changes we made to the Depth 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 Depth effect applied to a star shape
    Figure 5: 3-D Depth effect applied to a star shape
  6. Remember to save your presentation often.

See Also:

Apply 3-D Depth to Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
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PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
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Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

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