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Advanced Glow Options in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to make changes to the Glow effect applied to shapes in PowerPoint 2016.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






Applying a Glow effect adds a nice halo around a selected shape or most other slide objects. You may find that the Glow effect defaults just do not work for you all the time, especially since the default glow options are limited only to Theme Colors. So if you want to make some changes, you have to step outside these defaults and change the glow color, alter the spread or transparency, etc. In Figure 1, below you can see how changes made to the Glow effect's spread and transparency can help you end up with some cool, surreal results.

Do more with Glow effects
Figure 1: Do more with Glow effects

In this tutorial, you'll learn to access the advanced Glow Options in PowerPoint 2016, that make all these changes possible:

  1. Select the shape with a glow applied, 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).

    Shape Effects button
    Figure 2: Shape Effects button

    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 Glow, and then choose Glow Options from the sub-gallery, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Glow Options within the Glow sub-gallery
    Figure 3: Glow Options within the Glow sub-gallery
  3. This opens the Format Shape Task Pane with the Effects tab selected (highlighted in red within Figure 4). Within the Format Shape Task Pane, you'll find all the options you need within the Glow section (highlighted in blue within Figure 4).

    Glow Options within Format Shape Task Pane
    Figure 4: Glow Options within Format Shape Task Pane

    Glow 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 gallery similar to what you see in Figure 3 above. To learn more see our Apply Glow Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.

    B. Color:

    Allows you to change the glow color. Click the Color button to access a fly out menu (see Figure 5). Here you can choose any color for the glow. If you want some more explanation about options under Color menu, you can go to the More Glow Colors in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.

    Glow color options
    Figure 5: Glow color options

    C. Size:

    Use the slider or enter the glow size value in percentages to increase or decrease the size (spread) of the glow.

    D. Transparency:

    Allows you to alter the transparency of the glow. You can use the slider, or type the glow transparency in percentage values.
  4. Play around with the Glow editing options until you get the perfect glow effect. In Figure 6, you can see the changes we made to various Glow 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.

    Star shape with edited Glow effect
    Figure 6: Star shape with edited Glow effect
  5. Remember to save your presentation often.

See Also:

Advanced Glow Options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Advanced Glow Effect Options in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Advanced Glow Options in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
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PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
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