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Transparency for Shape Outlines in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to apply transparency to shape outlines in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X

In PowerPoint you can set various attributes for shapes, adjusting Transparency for Shape Fills is one of such tasks. Similar to the shape fills, shape outlines such as solid lines and gradient lines also have transparency attribute. This attribute lets you reduce the opacity of the outline (also known as the border or line), so that the slide object or background behind shows through partially. Transparency is calculated in percentages and you can change its value all the way from 0 to 100%. Look at Figure 1 below, and you will see the original outlines (Line shapes) on the left with their semi-transparent (50%) counterparts on the right.

Solid and gradient outlines (lines) with their semi-transparent counterparts
Figure 1: Solid and gradient outlines (lines) with their semi-transparent counterparts

To set a transparency value for your shape outline in PowerPoint 2011, follow these steps:

  1. Select the shape for which you want to change the transparency of the outline, you can also select any shape, be it a closed one such as a Rectangle, or an open shape such as a Line, as we have done (refer to Figure 2). Right-click (or Ctrl+click) the shape to bring up the contextual menu that you can see in Figure 2. Within this menu, select the Format Shape option.

    Format Shape option selected
    Figure 2: Format Shape option selected
  2. This brings up the Format Shape dialog box that you see in Figure 3. Make sure that the Line option within the sidebar is selected as shown in Figure 3. Then, depending upon whether the line is solid colored or gradient, select either Solid or Gradient tab, we selected the Solid tab (highlighted in red within Figure 3) since we are working with a solid colored line. Now, drag the Transparency slider (highlighted in blue within Figure 3) to change the transparency value.

    Set transparency for solid line
    Figure 3: Set transparency for solid line

    Tip: You can even use the Up or Down arrow buttons towards the right (highlighted in green within Figure 3, above) to increase or decrease the transparency, also you can directly type in the transparency percentage value within the box placed next to Transparency slider.
    Changing the transparency of a Gradient Outline is little different, you need to adjust the transparency value of every single color stop comprised within the gradient fill you choose. To do that, click each stop of your gradient individually as shown highlighted in red within Figure 4, and change its transparency using the slider as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 4, below.

    Set transparency for gradient stops
    Figure 4: Set transparency for gradient stops

    Tip: To learn more about gradient stops, explore our Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2011 tutorial.
  3. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Transparency for Shape Outlines in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Transparency for Shape Outlines in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Transparency for Shape Outlines in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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