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Apply Soft Edges to Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to apply soft edge effects to shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Soft Edges adds a natural-looking moth-eaten, feathered edge to selected shapes.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher




Learn PowerPoint

Learn how you can use Presets in Shape Styles in PowerPoint and Microsoft Office.



Among the various shape effects available within PowerPoint 2013 for Windows, probably the most subtle one is the Soft Edges effect. This effect adds an eaten-up, feathered edge to a selected shape. Soft Edges work best with larger shapes, especially if you use some of the larger Soft Edge variations available. PowerPoint provides some ready-to-use Soft Edges, these can be seen within Figure 1, below.

Default Soft Edge effects
Figure 1: Default Soft Edge effects

Additionally, there is an option to format soft edges beyond these readymade offerings in PowerPoint 2013. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to apply the default soft edge effects to a shape.

To see a sample presentation containing shapes with Soft Edges applied in PowerPoint 2013, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Follow these steps to apply Soft Edges to a shape in PowerPoint 2013:

  1. Select the shape so that the Ribbon area shows the Drawing Tools Format tab, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it. Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Shape Effects button (highlighted in blue within Figure 2).
  2. Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
  3. Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a contextual tab. These tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time, they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.
  4. This brings up the Shape Effects drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 3. From this gallery, choose the Soft Edges option, this bring up the Soft Edges sub-gallery (refer to Figure 3 again).
  5. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    Figure 3: Soft Edges Option selected within the Shape Effects drop-down gallery
  6. The options within the Soft Edges sub-gallery are explained below, as marked in Figure 3, above.
  7. A. No Soft Edges

  8. Use this option to remove soft edges from a selected shape.
  9. B. Soft Edge Variations

  10. There are six soft edge styles available in several point sizes ranging from 1 point to 50 points. Three of these styles (5 points, 10 points, and 25 points) can be seen in Figure 4.
  11. Soft Edges style variations
    Figure 4: Soft Edges style variations
  12. C. Soft Edges Options

  13. This allows you to format soft edges beyond ready made offerings in PowerPoint 2013. Want to learn more about those options? Read our Advanced Soft Edges Options In PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
  14. Move the cursor over any of the effects within the Soft Edges gallery to see a Live Preview of the effect. Click on any of the effects to apply it to the selected shape. In Figure 5 you can see a soft edge style applied to the selected Rectangle shape.
  15. Soft Edges applied to the Rectangle shape
    Figure 5: Soft Edges applied to the Rectangle shape
  16. Tip: Place your shape in the area that is not covered by the Shape Effects drop-down gallery as shown in Figure 5 above, so that you can see the live preview.
    Tip: Try applying Soft Edge effects applied to the shapes with picture fills to provide a cool effect.
  17. Remember to save your presentation often.

Sample Presentation:

Click below to view on SlideShare

Click below to view on YouTube


See Also:

Shape Effects: Apply Soft Edges to Shapes (Glossary Page)

Apply Soft Edges to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Apply Soft Edges to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Apply Soft Edges to Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Apply Soft Edges to Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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