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Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Work with gradient stops and create new gradients in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. Using gradient stops, PowerPoint allows you to create your own simple or elaborate gradients.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X

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Once you add gradient fills to shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, you may want to make the gradient fill look a little or a whole lot different. Yes, you can use the More Gradients option to add different types of gradients as fills to the shapes, but that only provides more gradient fill types, and does not let you customize the colors within the gradient.

Look at Figure 1, below. The first rectangle on the slide shows the gradient that blends between just two colors, green and blue.

The next rectangle adds two more colors, a middle blue shade and a leafy green to end up with a 4 colored gradient.

Finally, the last rectangle alters the transparency settings of some colors, so that you can see through this rectangle the slide background beneath.

In this tutorial, we'll step into a little more detail and show you how gradient stops work. When you are done with this tutorial, you can create your own gradients, or edit existing ones, as shown in Figure 1, below.

Add colors and transparency to your gradient stops
Figure 1: Add colors and transparency to your gradient stops

First let us explore what a Gradient Stop is. Quite simply, this is the point where a new color is introduced within the gradient blend. All gradients must have at least two or more stops, follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Select a shape, and access the Format Shape Task Pane as explained in the More Gradients tutorial. You'll end up with the pane that you can see in Figure 2. Note that all areas of this pane other than those that are concerned with Gradient Stops have been faded. Options within the darkened area are already been explained in our More Gradients in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac tutorial.
  2. Options for editing Gradient stops
    Figure 2: Options for editing Gradient stops
  3. If you look at the first option in this area, you'll see that there is a gradient bar (highlighted in red within Figure 3) with some gradient stops.
  4. Gradient bar
    Figure 3: Gradient bar
  5. Don't worry about the number of gradient stops you see. As long as you have at least 2 stops, it should be fine. That's because a gradient needs at least two colors to be formed. Figure 4 shows a shape filled with a simple 2 color gradient.
  6.  2 Gradient stops
    Figure 4: 2 Gradient stops
  7. Look at Figure 4, it contains a gradient formed between dark blue and light green. You can see where the blue starts, and the green ends. These points, where a new color starts, ends, or just jumps in between is called a stop.
  8. Look at Figure 5 now. This one contains a gradient formed with 3 colors, the black in between the blue and green forms a stop at around the 35% mark (35% from the left).
  9. 3 Gradient Stops
    Figure 5: 3 Gradient Stops
  10. In PowerPoint, you can add and remove gradient stops.
  11. To add a gradient stop, make sure that you have selected the existing gradient stop after which you want to insert a new stop. Then, click the Add gradient stop button (highlighted in red within Figure 6). This will add a new stop exactly between the selected stop and the next stop. Alternatively, you can also simply click on the gradient bar at the position where you want to add a new stop.
  12. Add Gradient Stop button
    Figure 6: Add Gradient Stop button
  13. To remove a gradient stop, just select the stop you want to remove, and then click the Remove Gradient Stop button (highlighted in red within Figure 7). You can also drag the gradient stop off the gradient bar to remove it.
  14. Remove Gradient Stop button
    Figure 7: Remove Gradient Stop button
  15. After you have added a gradient stop, you can change its position. To do that just click on the stop that you want to change the position of, and drag it along the gradient bar to the new position. These stop positions are calculated percentage-wise from 0 to 100%.
  16. If you want to move a stop to a precise position, first select the stop you want to change the position of, and enter a percentage value in the Position box, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 8.
  17. Change the position of your gradient stop
    Figure 8: Change the position of your gradient stop
  18. You can also change the color of a stop. First select the stop for which you want to change the color, and then click the Color button (highlighted in red within Figure 9). This will bring up the Color drop-down gallery (see Figure 9 again).
  19. Color drop-down gallery
    Figure 9: Color drop-down gallery
  20. The options within the Color drop down gallery are explained below. You'll need to choose any one of these options for the stop color:
  21. A. Theme Colors

  22. Here you can select any of the colors which are from the active Theme of the presentation. You can also select any of the 5 tints or shades for any Theme color. Learn more about Themes here.
  23. B. Standard Colors

  24. Here you can choose from any of the ten standard colors, these ten standard colors are just choices of colors that PowerPoint believes to be widely used. You don't have to limit yourself to either the Theme colors or Standard colors, as you'll learn in the next options, although it's a good design idea to use Theme colors as far as possible.
  25. C. Recent Colors

  26. Here you can find the colors most recently used. If you have just launched PowerPoint and created a new presentation, the Recent Colors option may be entirely absent since you haven't selected any color recently!
  27. D. More Colors

  28. This option summons the Colors dialog box as shown in Figure 10.
  29. Colors dialog box
    Figure 10: Colors dialog box
  30. In this Colors dialog box, you can chose any color from the wheel. Thereafter, optionally adjust the selected color's luminosity as well as opacity with the sliders at the bottom. You can also pick a color from within or outside PowerPoint interface. Once you are happy with the color attained, click OK to close the dialog box and apply the color to the gradient stop.
  31. You can also change the Transparency level of each stop color. First select the stop and then use the Transparency slider or enter the transparency value percentage-wise (both the slider and the box are shown highlighted in red within Figure 11, below).
  32. Change Transparency value
    Figure 11: Change Transparency value
  33. 0% transparency equates to no transparency, and full opacity. 100% transparency equates to full transparency, and no opacity.
  34. Use the Brightness slider (highlighted in blue within Figure 11, above) to change the brightness level of the stop color. Moving the slider towards left makes the color darker and moving it towards right makes the color brighter. You also have an option of directly entering the brightness value from 0% to 100% in the box next to the Brightness slider.
  35. Select the Rotate with shape check-box (highlighted in green within Figure 11, above) to rotate the gradient fill when its container shape is rotated.
  36. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Fills for Shapes: Gradient Stops (Glossary Page)

Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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