Gradient fills are typically blended fills between two or more colors that graduate from one color to another. Although shapes filled with gradients look so incredible, make sure you choose the colors that form the gradient very carefully. PowePoint's basic gradients are all very useable since they just blend a Theme color with white or black, making the resultant gradient lighter or darker, as shown in Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Basic gradient fills for shapes
These lighter or darker gradients work well all the time. However when you start customizing your gradients, you could end up with gaudy gradients that make your slides look bad and also affect readability of any text within your shape, we only look at custom gradients within our More Gradients in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
Scroll down this page to see a sample presentation that contains shapes with gradient fills. Then follow these steps to change or apply a basic gradient fill to a shape PowerPoint 2013 for Windows:
- Open your presentation and select the shape that you want to fill with a gradient.
- Alternatively, if you want to start from scratch, launch PowerPoint. Most of the time, PowerPoint will open with a new slide in a presentation. You can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Blank. Then, insert a shape and select it.
- We selected a Heart shape, as shown in Figure 2. Selecting the shape brings up the Drawing Tools Format tab in the Ribbon, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it.
Figure 2: Heart shape within Shapes drop-down gallery
- Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Shape Fill button as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3. This bring up the Shape Fill drop-down gallery, shown in Figure 3. Within the Shape Fill drop-down gallery, choose the Gradient option to bring up the Gradient sub-gallery, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 3.
Figure 3: Gradient sub-gallery within the Shape Fill drop-down gallery
- Within the Gradient sub-gallery (refer to Figure 3 above) you'll see gradient variations based on the Theme applied to the open presentation or slides. The options within the Gradient sub-gallery are explained below:
- No Gradient: Changes the fill to just a solid color. This is the option you can use if you already have a shape with a gradient fill that you want to restore to a shape with a solid fill.
- Light Variations: In this option gradients are formed in various directions with the default color merged with white or a light color. These color are based on the active Theme.
- Dark Variations: In this variation gradients are formed in various directions with the default color merged with black or a dark color. This default color is based on the active Theme.
- More Gradients: This option allows you to create your own gradients, look at our More Gradients page to learn more.
Figure 4: Shape with gradient fill
Sample Presentation of Gradient Fill in Shape.
Click below to view this presentation on SlideShare
Click below to view this presentation on YouTube
Fills for Shapes: Add Gradient Fills to Shapes (Glossary Page)
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows