PowerPoint's fill options for shapes are extensive. The texture fills for shape incidentally are not too different from picture fills, other than the fact that they can be tiled. PowerPoint includes a built-in library of textures, and you can also import any picture, to be used as a texture. If you want to see a sample presentation showing texture fills in PowerPoint, scroll down to the bottom of this page.
Before we get into textures, it's important to understand how PowerPoint treats them differently from pictures. Yes, both textures and pictures are bitmaps saved in pixel based formats like JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG, TIFF, etc. The main difference between textures and pictures is that while textures are seamless, bitmaps are not necessarily seamless. Seamless means that if you tile up a texture, it will not show any edges while tiling thus providing an illusion of a seamless expanse.
In Figure 1, the graphic on the left shows how a texture tiles up, while the graphic on the right shows how a regular bitmap that is not seamless tiles up. If you want to see the Figure below in a larger size, click on it to open a new window that shows a larger preview.
PowerPoint 2013 for Windows includes 24 seamless textures which can be applied to any shape, and you can even import more seamless textures that you can buy from third-party providers like Ppted.com. You can also use a non-seamless picture as a texture, almost like the sample on the right in Figure 1 above!
Follow these steps to change or apply a texture fill to a shape:
- Open your presentation and select the shape that you want to format.
- 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 inserted and selected
- Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Shape Fill button shown highlighted in red within Figure 3. This brings up the Shape Fill drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 3. From the Shape Fill drop-down gallery, choose Texture to bring up the Texture sub-gallery, see Figure 3 again.
Figure 3: Texture sub-gallery
- You can either choose any of the visible textures from this Texture sub-gallery. This applies the texture to the selected shape. Alternatively, click the More Textures option, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above.
- This opens the Format Picture Task Pane that you can see in Figure 4. Make sure that the Fill tab is selected (highlighted in red within Figure 4), then click the Picture or texture fill radio button (highlighted in blue within Figure 4).
Figure 4: Format Picture Task Pane
- Within the Format Picture Task Pane, click the down-arrow next to the Texture option to open the same Texture gallery that we visited earlier. If you are using a third-party texture collection, such as the one from Ppted.com, click the File button below Insert picture from. Make sure you select the Tile picture as texture check-box (shown highlighted in green within Figure 4, above).
- You can also find several Tiling options for the texture fill. These options are explained in our Tiling Options in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial page.
- If you want, you can also apply transparency to the texture fill. Use the Transparency slider or type in the value in percentage. If you want the texture fill to rotate when the container shape is rotated, select the Rotate with shape check-box.
- In Figure 5 below, you can see the previously selected heart shape with added texture fill.
Figure 5: Shape with texture fill
- Remember to save your presentation often.
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