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No Fill for Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Remove fill from shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. This option can be helpful if you need a shape with no fill, but just a thin outline.

Whenever you insert a new shape into a PowerPoint slide, it is filled with a solid color by default (or the default fill may be different depending on the Theme applied to your presentation). Most of the time, you may leave that unaltered, but there may be times you want just the outline to be visible. Look at Figure 1, where you can see a rectangle with no fill, and a red outline. This sort of outlining focuses the part of the picture that has to be highlighted. It is in scenarios like these where it can be useful to learn how to remove any fill.


Figure 1: Flower highlighted using a rectangle with no fill

In this tutorial, we'll show you how you can remove the fill from a shape in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac:

  1. Open your presentation and select the shape that you want to format.
  2. Alternatively, if you want to start from scratch, launch PowerPoint. You will see the Presentation Gallery. Here, select the Blank Presentation to open a blank presentation with a new slide. You can change the Slide Layout to Blank by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Blank option. Then, insert a shape and select it.
  3. Note: Make sure that your selected shape has a line attribute of some sort and is not set to the No Line attribute. When you set your shape to have a No Fill, then at least the line's visibility will ensure that you can see your shape!


  4. We selected a Smiley Face shape, as shown in Figure 2. Selecting the shape brings up the Shape Format tab on the Ribbon (highlighted in blue within Figure 2). Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it.

  5. Figure 2:Shape Format tab
  6. Note: The Shape Format tab is a Contextual tab. Contextual 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.
  7. Within the Shape Format tab, click the down-arrow of the Shape Fill button (highlightedin red within Figure 3). This brings up the Shape Fill drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 3.

  8. Figure 3: Shape Fill drop-down gallery
  9. Within the Shape Fill drop-down gallery, choose the No Fill option (the first option within the drop-down gallery), as shown in Figure 3, above.
  10. This removes the fill from the selected shape on the active slide. In Figure 4, you can see the previously selected Smiley Face shape after removing its solid fill. You may next want to add a thicker outline as explained in our in our Formatting Outlines for Shapes (Weight/Thickness) in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac tutorial.

  11. Figure 4: Shape without any fill
  12. Remember to save your presentation often.

See Also:

Fills for Shapes: No Fill for Shapes (Glossary Page)

No Fill for Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
No Fill for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
No Fill for Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
No Fill for Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
No Fill for Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
No Fill for Shapes in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows