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No Fill for Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

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

After learning how to add different fills for shapes in PowerPoint 2016, now it’s time to learn how to remove any fill from a shape so that your shape only has an outline without a fill. 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 are 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 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 Windows:

  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 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.

  5. Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
  6. 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.
  7. Within the Drawing Tools Formattab, click the right-side portion of the Shape Fill button (highlighted in 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. From the Shape Fill drop-down gallery, choose the No Fill option, as shown highlighted in blue within 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 heart shape after removing its solid fill.

  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 Mac
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