PowerPoint provides two types of shapes: open and close shapes. Shapes, such as rectangles, circles, etc. are closed shapes. Regular line
shapes, such as straight lines, curves, scribbles, etc. are open shapes. Arrowheads can be added only to open shapes. That's because an arrow
needs a pronounced, visible beginning and end.
PowerPoint 2013 provides plenty of options to format Shape Outlines -- this tutorial explores an attribute that's rarely associated with shape
outlines but can provide a surprisingly different look, especially when applied to lines that are thicker in weight. This attribute, Gradient
Outlines is not accessible from the Shape Outline gallery in the Ribbon but directly from the Format Shape Task Pane that we will explore later
in this page.
No Shape Outline
Whenever you insert a new shape into a PowerPoint slide, you can see that it is filled with a solid color and has an outline by default
(this may differ depending on the Theme applied to your presentation). You can remove the fill of the shape as well as the outline. In this
tutorial, we'll learn how to remove an outline from a shape so that it only includes a fill without any outline. Whatever you do, make sure
that you either remove the fill or the outline because if you remove both, then your shape will no longer be visible.
So what are effects? Effects are different than fills and outlines -- with the plethora of effects available in PowerPoint, you can make a
shape stand apart with a drop shadow. Other effects allow you to create convincing reflections, spreading glows, 3D bevel effects, and
even moth-eaten soft edges. Even better, all these effects are not destructible and can be turned on and off at your will.
Apply Preset Effects to Shapes
PowerPoint 2013 provides six types of Shape Effects -- and more than one of these effects can be applied to a selected shape. It
goes without saying that some combinations of these effects look better than others -- the restraint to not go overboard is always a
good thing. On the other hand, trying out all the effect combinations may take a lot of time -- fortunately, the Presets option comes
to your rescue. This option lets you use pre-combined combinations of the different effects -- these work well almost always.
Apply Shadow Effects to Shapes
PowerPoint's effects are used to enhance the look of your shapes -- and with PowerPoint 2013 providing a vast repertoire of effects,
you can easily get busy playing with all the options available! To save time, you can apply any of the Preset shape effects. If you
choose to apply individual effects, the time involved may be more but the results can be distinctive. For example, even with something
as simple as the Shadow effect, there is no dearth of options available.