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Shape Styles in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Explore Shape Styles with fills, outlines, and effects in PowerPoint 2016.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






PowerPoint's fill, line, and effect attributes enable you to customize the look of shapes and other slide objects in your presentation. However, it may take ages to get that perfect color coordination and even after spending time the final look may not match the Theme of the presentation. So as an awesome alternative to end up with a coordinated color combination for the slide objects in your presentation, you can use Shape Styles.

Shape Styles are a collection of prebuilt styles housed within a gallery of the same name. These styles are all Theme-specific. So if the presentation's Theme changes, you'll end up with new Shape Styles. Figure 1 below shows a selection of Shape Styles presets applied to some shapes.

Shape Styles make it easy to create coordinated content
Figure 1: Shape Styles make it easy to create coordinated content

Note: Want more individuality than what is afforded by Shape Styles? Go ahead and apply Shape Styles first as a starting point. Then change fills, lines, and effects.

Follow these steps to apply ready made Shape Styles to selected shape(s) in PowerPoint 2016:

  1. Select the shape 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.

    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. Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the downward pointing arrow located within the Shape Styles group (highlighted in red within Figure 2 above)to bring up the Shape Styles drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 3. Hover the cursor over any of the style previews in the gallery. As you move over different previews, the selected shape shows you a Live Preview of the style applied (see Figure 3 again).

    Shape Styles drop-down gallery in PowerPoint
    Figure 3: Shape Styles drop-down gallery

    Tip: Place your shape in an area that is not covered by the Shape Styles drop-down gallery, so you can see the Live Preview.
  3. Click on the preview thumbnail in the gallery to apply the style to the selected shape. Figure 4 shows the selected style applied to the shape.

    Shape Style applied to the shape
    Figure 4: Shape Style applied to the shape
  4. Remember to save your presentation often.

See Also:

Shape Styles in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Shape Styles in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Shape Styles in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Shape Styles in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
PowerPoint Online for Windows and Mac

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