Shape fills such as
can have a transparency attribute that lets you reduce the opacity of a fill so that the slide object or
background behind shows through. Transparency is calculated in percentages and you can change its value all the
way from 0 to 100%. Some fill options, such as
background have no transparency options. Look at Figure 1 below, and you will see the
original shapes on the left with their semi-transparent counterparts on the right -- we intentionally placed all
these shapes on a patterned background so that you can see through the pattern within the transparent shapes
towards the right.
Figure 1: Original shapes and their semi-transparent counterparts -- from top to bottom: solid
color, picture, texture, and gradient
To set a transparency value for your shape, follow these steps:
- Select the shape that has a
solid color, gradient, pictures or texture fill. Right-click the shape to bring up the contextual menu that you
can see in Figure 2. Choose the Format Shape option.
Figure 2: Format Shape option selected
- This brings up the Format Shape dialog that you see in Figure 3 -- options
may differ depending upon the original fill of your selected shape -- in this instance, our shape had a solid
fill. You drag the Transparency slider, highlighted in red with Figure 3 to
change the transparency value.
Figure 3: Set transparency for solid fill
Tip: You can even use the up or down arrows towards the right (highlighted
in blue within Figure 3) to increase or decrease the transparency -- also you can directly type
in the transparency value within the box placed next to Transparency slider.
The Transparency slider for Picture or texture fills is
similarly highlighted in red within Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Set transparency for picture or texture fill
Gradient fills work a little differently as far as transparency is concerned -- you need to adjust the
transparency value of every single color "stop" comprised within the gradient fill you
choose. To do that, select each stop of your gradient, and change its transparency, as shown highlighted in red
within Figure 5, below.
PowerPoint does not allow you to set a transparent value for inserted
pictures -- you can therefore use any
picture as a
fill for a rectangular shape
, and then change the transparency value of the picture fill!
Figure 5: Set transparency for gradient stops
- Save your presentation often.
Transparency for Shape Fills in PowerPoint 2016 for
Transparency for Shape Fills in PowerPoint 2013 for
Transparency for Shape Fills in PowerPoint
2011 for Mac
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
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PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
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