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Apply Glow Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to apply the Glow effect in PowerPoint 2016 that adds a hazed color perimeter outside the shape area.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






As part of our series on PowerPoint effects for shapes, we will explore the Glow effect. This effect adds a hazed color perimeter outside the shape area. This effect effect is an Outer Glow surrounding the shape, as you can see in the samples within Figure 1 below, and not an Inner Glow effect. You can choose from various glow colors such as Theme colors or even any other color of your choice to match the look of the slide content.

Glow sample effects
Figure 1: Glow sample effects

To see a sample presentation containing Glow effects in PowerPoint, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Follow these steps to apply the glow effect to a shape in PowerPoint 2016:

  1. Select the shape so that the Ribbon 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 shown in Figure 3. From this gallery, choose the Glow option. This brings up the Glow sub-gallery (refer to Figure 3 again).

    Glow sub-gallery within the Shape Effects drop-down gallery
    Figure 3: Glow sub-gallery within the Shape Effects drop-down gallery

    The options within the Glow sub-gallery are explained below, as marked in Figure 3, above.

    A. No Glow:

    Use this option if the shape has a glow applied which you want to remove.

    B. Glow Variations:

    Provides several glow variations based on color and spread:

    Color: The six color variations are based on the six accent colors of the active Theme. Learn more about Themes.

    Spread: There are four glow width (spread) variations available.

    C. More Glow Colors:

    Opens color swatches so that you can choose more colors for glow. If you want more information on this option, look at our More Glow Colors in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.

    D. Glow Options:

    If you want to make further changes to the color or the spread of the glow, choose this option. You can learn more about these options in our Advanced Glow Effect Options in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.
  3. Move the cursor over any of the effects within the Glow sub-gallery to see a Live Preview of the effect on the shape as shown in Figure 4.

    Shape showing the live preview of the Glow effect
    Figure 4: Shape showing the live preview of the Glow effect

    Tip: Place your shape in the area that is not covered by the Shape Effects drop-down gallery as shown in Figure 4 above, so that you can see the Live Preview.
  4. Click on any effect to apply to the selected shape. In Figure 5 you can see that a glow effect has been applied to the previously selected shape.
    Glow effect applied to the Star shape
    Figure 5: Glow effect applied to the Star shape
  5. Remember to save your presentation often.

Sample Presentation

Click below to view on SlideShare

Click below to view on YouTube

See Also:

Apply Glow Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Apply Glow Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Apply Glow Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Apply Glow Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

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PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac

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