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Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to make changes to gradients and make your own new gradients in PowerPoint 2010.


Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8

Date Created: January 24th 2011
Last Updated: January 24th 2011






Once you have added gradient fills to shapes in PowerPoint 2010 you may want to make some changes to the gradient fill. You have already seen how you can use the More Gradients option to add different types of gradients as fills to the shapes. In this tutorial, we'll step into a little more detail and show you how gradient stops work. When you are done with this tutorial, you can create your own gradients, or edit existing ones.

A gradient stop is the point where a new color is introduced within the gradient blend. All gradients must have at least two or more stops -- we explain this in more detail later in this page.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Select a shape, and access the Format Shape dialog box as explained in the More Gradients tutorial. You'll end up with the dialog box that you can see in Figure 1. Note that all areas of this dialog box other than those that are concerned with Gradient Stops have been faded -- an explanation of the options within the faded areas has already been provided in the More Gradients tutorial.

    Gradient stops options in the Format Shape dialog box
    Figure 1: Gradient stops options in the Format Shape dialog box

  2. If you look at the first option in this area, you'll see that there is a gradient bar (highlighted in red within Figure 2) along with 3 gradient stops on it.

    Gradient bar
    Figure 2: Gradient bar

    If you see less or more than the 3 stops don't worry -- as long as you have at least 2 stops, you should be fine. That's because a gradient needs at least two colors to form with. Figure 3 shows a shape filled with a simple 2 color gradient.


    Figure 3: 2 Gradient stops

    Look at Figure 3 -- it contains a gradient formed between dark blue and light green. You can see where the blue starts, and the green ends. These points, where a new color starts, ends, or just jumps in between is called a stop.

    Look at Figure 4 now -- this one contains a gradient formed with 3 colors --- the black in between the blue and green forms a stop at around the 35% mark (35% from the left).


    Figure 4: 3 Gradient Stops

  3. In PowerPoint 2010, you can add and remove gradient stops.

    To add a gradient stop, make sure that you have selected the existing gradient stop after which you want to insert a new stop. Then click the Add Gradient Stop button (highlighted in red within Figure 5). This will add a new stop exactly between the selected stop and the next stop. Otherwise, you can also simply click on the gradient bar in the position where you want to add a new stop.

    Add Gradient Stop button
    Figure 5: Add Gradient Stop button

    To remove a gradient stop, just select the stop you want to remove, and then click the Remove Gradient Stop button (highlighted in red within Figure 6). You can also drag off the gradient stop off the gradient bar to remove it.

    Remove Gradient Stop button
    Figure 6: Remove Gradient Stop button

  4. After you have added gradient stops, you can change their position. To do that just click on the stop that you want to change the position of and drag it along the gradient slide bar to the new position. These stop positions are calculated percentage-wise from 0 to 100%.

    If you want to move a stop to a precise position, first select the stop you want to change the position of, and enter a percentage value in the Position box which you can see below the gradient bar (refer to Figure 1 above).

  5. You can also change the color of a stop. First select the stop for which you want to change the color, and then click the Color button which you can see below the gradient bar (refer to Figure 1 above). This will bring up the Color gallery that you can see in Figure 7.

    Color Gallery
    Figure 7: Color Gallery

    The options in the Color gallery are explained below -- you'll need to choose any one of these options for the stop color:

    1. Theme Colors: Here you can select any of the colors in 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.

    2. Standard Colors: You can choose any of the ten standard colors available -- 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 we'll show you in the next options, although it's a good design idea to use Theme colors as far as possible.

    3. Recent Colors: Here you can find the most recent colors that you have 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!

    4. More Fill Colors: This is to summon the Colors dialog box as shown in Figure 8. This dialog box has two tabs: Standard and Custom -- you can see the Standard tab in Figure 8.

      Standard tab of the Colors dialog box
      Figure 8: Standard tab of the Colors dialog box

      This tab offers 127 colors in a honeycomb style palette, 14 gray shades, black and white. You can even change the transparency value of the selected color in the Transparency slider below. If you want more color choices, then select the Custom tab of the same dialog box, as shown in Figure 9.

      Custom tab of the Colors dialog box
      Figure 9: Custom tab of the Colors dialog box

      In this tab, you can chose any color from the spectrum and later adjust the selected color's luminosity with the slider on the right. You can even enter specific values of RGB and HSL to create a specific color -- all these combinations provide 16 million color choices!

  6. Once you have selected the stop color, PowerPoint 2010 also allows you to change the brightness. Use the Brightness slider which you can see below the Color button (refer to Figure 1 above) to change the brightness level of the stop color. Moving the slider towards left makes the color darker and moving it towards right makes the color brighter. You also have an option of directly entering the brightness value from 0% to 100% in the box next to the Brightness slider.

  7. You can also change the Transparency level of each stop color -- first select the stop and then use the Transparency slider or enter the transparency value percentage-wise. 0% transparency equates to no transparency, and full opacity. 100% transparency equates to full transparency, and no opacity.

  8. Check the Rotate with Shape option to rotate the gradient fill when its container shape is rotated.

  9. When done, click Close to return to your slide. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

 

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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?

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