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Apply Reflection Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to apply Reflection effects to selected shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.


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Product/Version: All versions

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






Apply any of the various effects in PowerPoint, and your shapes may stand out; literally out of the slide! In this series on Shape Effects in PowerPoint 2016, we have explored several effect types. On this page, you will learn how you can quickly add a convincing Reflection effect to a shape.

While this tutorial pertains to shapes, there's no reason why you cannot use the same Reflection effects on other slide objects. Reflection applies a blurred, semi-transparent duplication of the original object; in the same way as you may have seen the reflection on water or glass. Look at Figure1 where we have a few sample Reflection effects applied to shapes.

Reflection effects applied to shapes
Figure 1: Reflection effects applied to shapes

Note: Although you can add both a shadow and reflection effect to any shape in PowerPoint, it's good to use just one of these two effects in a shape so as to mimic reality where you see one of these two at a time.

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

Follow these steps to apply reflection effects 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 Reflection option; this brings up the Reflection sub-gallery (refer to Figure 3 again).

    Reflection sub-gallery within Shape Effects drop-down gallery
    Figure 3: Reflection sub-gallery within Shape Effects drop-down gallery

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

    A. No Reflection: Use this option to remove reflection from a selected shape.

    B. Reflection Variations: You can choose any of nine default reflection styles available. All variations can be seen in Figure 3, above; use these variations.

    C. Reflection Options: If you want more control on reflection, then choose this option. Look at our Advanced Reflection Options in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial to know more about this option.
  3. Move the cursor over any of the effects within the Reflection sub-gallery to see a Live Preview of the effect on the shape, as shown in Figure 4.

    Live Preview of the Reflection effect on the selected shape
    Figure 4: Live Preview of the Reflection effect on the selected shape

    Tip: Place your shape in the area that is not covered by the Shape Effects drop-down gallery as shown in Figure 4, so that you can see the Live Preview.
  4. Click on any Reflection effect to apply it to the selected shape. In Figure 5 below you can see a Reflection effect applied to the previously selected shape.

    Reflection effect applied to a Star shape
    Figure 5: Reflection effect applied to a Star shape
  5. Remember to save your presentation often.

Click below to view on SlideShare

Click below to view on YouTube

See Also:

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

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