Advanced Shadow Effect Options in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Learn how you can work with advanced Shadow effect options in PowerPoint 2010.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
Date Created: February 17th 2011
Last Updated: February 17th 2011
In this series of tutorials on Shape Effects in PowerPoint 2010, you have already learned to apply shadow effect to a shape. This detailed tutorial goes beyond the default options, and shows you how you can work further with shadow effects.
Follow these steps to get started:
- Select the shape you want to apply the shadow effects to. You may
also select a shape that already has shadow
effect applied. Then
double click the shape to activate the Drawing Tools Format tab in
the Ribbon (see Figure 1). Within this tab locate the Shape Styles
group and click the Shape Effects button that you can see in Figure
1 (highlighted in red).
Figure 1: 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.
- This brings up the Shape Effects drop-down gallery shown in Figure
From the Shape Effects drop-down gallery choose Shadow | Shadow Options
(the last option in Figure 2).
Figure 2: Shadow Options within Shape effects
- This opens the Shadow tab of the Format Shape dialog box, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Shadow options within the Format Shape dialog box
The options in this dialog box are explained below:
- Presets: Click the downward arrow next to the icon,
which brings up the similar shadow gallery that you can see in Figure
2 above. See the Apply
Shadow Effects to Shapes In PowerPoint 2010 tutorial for more information.
- Color: Allows you to change the shadow color. Click
the downward arrow next to color icon to access the Color fly out menu
(see Figure 4). Here you can choose any color for the
Figure 4: Shadow color options
- 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.
- 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 I'll show you in the next options, although it's a good
design idea to use Theme colors as far as possible.
- 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: Provides more color choices --
selecting this option summons the Colors dialog
box with two tabs: Standard and Custom, first select the Standard
tab (see Figure 5).
Figure 5: 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 shadow color in the Transparency slider below -- anything from 0% transparent (opaque) to 100% transparent.
If you want more color choices, then select the Custom tab of the same dialog box, as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6: 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! Again, you can even change the transparency value of the selected color in the Transparency slider below.
Click OK to exit this dialog box.
- Transparency: Allows you to alter the transparency
of the shadow. You can use the slider, or type the shadow transparency
value in percentages.
- Size: Use the slider or enter the shadow size
value in percentages to increase or decrease the size (spread) of
- 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 in points.
- Angle: This slider changes the angle of the shadow
in relation to the shape.
- 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.
- Presets: Click the downward arrow next to the icon, which brings up the similar shadow gallery that you can see in Figure 2 above. See the Apply Shadow Effects to Shapes In PowerPoint 2010 tutorial for more information.
- Click Close to apply the shadow changes, and get back to the slide.
- Remember to save your presentation often.
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