Shape fills such as solid colors, gradients, pictures, and textures can have a transparency attribute that lets you reduce the opacity of a fill so that the slide object or background behind shows through. Transparency is calculated in percentages and you can change its value all the way from 0 to 100%. Some fill options, such as pattern and slide background have no transparency options. Look at Figure 1 below, and you will see the original shapes on the left with their semi-transparent counterparts on the right, we intentionally placed all these shapes on a patterned background so that you can see the pattern through the semi-transparent shapes towards right.
Figure 1: Original shapes with various fills and their semi-transparent counterparts
To set a transparency value for your shape, follow these steps:
- Select the shape that has a solid color, gradient, pictures or texture fill. Right-click the shape to bring up the contextual menu that you can see in Figure 2. Within this menu, choose the Format Shape option.
Figure 2: Format Shape option selected
- This brings up the Format Shape Task Pane that you see in Figure 3, options may differ depending upon the original fill of your selected shape, in this instance, our shape had a solid fill. You drag the Transparency slider, highlighted in red with Figure 3 to change the transparency value.
Figure 3: Set transparency for solid fill
- The Transparency slider for Picture or texture fill is similarly highlighted in red within Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Set transparency for picture or texture fill
- Gradient fills work a little differently as far as transparency is concerned, you need to adjust the transparency value of every single color "stop" comprised within the gradient fill you choose. To do that, select each stop of your gradient individually, and change its transparency, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5, below.
Figure 5: Set transparency for gradient stops
- Save your presentation often.
Fills for Shapes: Transparency for Shape Fills (Glossary Page)
Transparency for Shape Fills in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Transparency for Shape Fills in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Transparency for Shape Fills in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Transparency for Shape Fills in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows