effect in PowerPoint adds more depth to your selected shape, and you may achieve the perfect
shadow effect the very first time you use PowerPoint's default shadow options. However, you may want that
shadow to be a wee bit longer, or just a little less pronounced. Or maybe you want the shadow to sport
a color that's different. Figure 1 below shows some fancy shadow effects applied within
Figure 1: Fancy shadow effects
These shadow effects are quite easy to achieve; follow these steps to get started in PowerPoint 2016:
Select a shape
that has been already
applied with a Shadow, that you want to
edit. The Ribbon will show 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).
Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
The Drawing Tools Format
tab is a contextual
tab. These tabs are special tabs in the
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.
This brings up the Shape Effects drop-down gallery, as shown in
Figure 3. From this drop-down gallery,
choose the Shadow option to bring up the Shadow sub-gallery.
Now choose Shadow Options, as shown highlighted in
red within Figure 3.
Figure 3: Shadow Options within Shape effects drop-down gallery
This opens the Format Shape
Task Pane with the
Effects tab active, as shown highlighted in red
within Figure 4.
Figure 4: Shadow options within the Format Shape Task Pane
Shadow 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 the similar shadow gallery that you can see in Figure
3 above. See our Apply
Shadow Effects to Shapes In PowerPoint 2016 tutorial for more information.
B. Color: Allows you to change the shadow color. Click
the down arrow next to color icon to access the Color drop-down menu
as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Shadow color options
Here, you can choose any color option for the shadow, as explained below:
Theme Colors: Here you can select any of the colors which are from the
active Theme of the presentation. You can also select any of the 5 tints or shades
for any Theme color. Learn more about Themes here.
Standard Colors: Here you can choose from any of the ten standard colors
-- these ten standard colors are just choices of colors that PowerPoint believes to be widely
used. You don't have to limit yourself to either the Theme colors or Standard colors, as you'll
learn in the next options, although it's a good design idea to use Theme colors as far as
Recent Colors: Here you can find the colors most recently used. If you have
just launched PowerPoint and created a new presentation, the Recent Colors option
may be entirely absent since you haven't selected any color recently!
More Colors: This option is to summon the Color dialog box, which helps you to create your
own new color for the picture border. To learn more about how to work with the Color option, read our
Add Solid Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint
2016 for Windows tutorial; explore step 3E in that tutorial. Even though the option explained in that tutorial is
More Fill Colors, the Color dialog box options work similarly for More Colors option
C. Transparency: Allows you to alter the transparency of the shadow.
You can use the slider, or type the shadow transparency value in percentages.
D. Size: Use the slider or enter the shadow size value in
percentages to increase or decrease the size (spread) of the shadow.
E. Blur: This option makes the edges of the shadow more feathered
(merged with the background). Again you can use the slider, or enter the blur value
F. Angle: This slider changes the angle of the shadow in relation
to the shape.
G. Distance: Allows you to format the starting and the ending point
of the shadow in relation to the position of the shape. You can use the slider or insert
the distance value in points.
Play around with the shadow options untill you get the perfect shadow effect. In Figure 6, you can see the changes we made
to various Shadow editing options within the Format Shape Task Pane, and towards right, you can also see the
Live Preview of the chagnes on the selected
Star shape. Once you are happy with the result, close the Format Shape Task Pane and get back to the
Figure 6: Shadow edited
Remember to save your presentation often.
Advanced Shadow Effect
Options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Shadow Effect Options in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Advanced Shadow Effect
Options in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Advanced Shadow Effect Options
in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Shadow Settings in PowerPoint 2002
and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
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?
Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.