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Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Add gradient fills to shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. PowerPoint allows you to quickly add such blended fills between colors.

PowerPoint 2010 for Windows essentially provides four fill options: solid, picture, gradient, and texture, of course there's a fifth option called "No fill". We have already explored the first two options; in this tutorial, we'll show you how you can work with gradient fills.

To see a sample presentation containing gradient fills in PowerPoint, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Follow these steps to change or apply a gradient fill to a shape:

  1. Select the shape that you want to change the fill for. Alternatively, if you just want to follow this tutorial step-by-step, launch PowerPoint 2010. Most of the time, PowerPoint will open with a new slide in a presentation, PowerPoint 2010 users can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting Home tab | Layout | Blank.
  2. Within the Home or Insert tab of the Ribbon, click the Shapes button to access the Shapes gallery that you can see in Figure 1. Select any shape, and then either drag and draw, or click once on the blank slide to place an instance of the shape (we used a heart shape as you can see later in Figure 2).

  3. Figure 1: Shapes gallery
  4. Select the shape so that the Ribbon area now shows the Drawing Tools Format tab, as shown in 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. From the Drawing Tools Format tab, locate the Shape Styles group, then select the Shape Fill button to view the Shape Fill drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 3. From the Shape Fill drop-down gallery, choose Gradient.

  8. Figure 3: Shape Fill gallery
  9. This opens the Gradient sub-gallery (refer to Figure 3 above). Based on the Theme applied to the open presentation or slides, the gallery provides various options:
    • No Gradient: Just a solid color. This is the option you can use if you already have a shape with a gradient fill that you want to restore to a shape with a solid fill.
    • Light Variation: In this option gradients are formed in various directions with the default color merged with white or a light color. These color are based on the active Theme.
    • Dark Variation: In this variation gradients are formed in various directions with the default color merged with black or a dark color. This default color is based on the active Theme.
    • More Gradients: This option allows you to create your own gradients, look at the More Gradients page for more information.
  10. Click on the gradient type you want to use as a fill for your selected shape from the Gradient sub-gallery. Figure 4 shows the shape with a light variation gradient fill.

  11. Figure 4: Shape with gradient fill
  12. Once you are done, save your presentation.
  13. Tip: If your slide has many shapes that you want to fill with the same type of gradient, or even any other fill type, select all the shapes before you click on any of the fill options. This lets you add or change the fill of all selected shapes at one time.

Sample Presentation of Gradient Fill in Shape:

Click below to view this presentation on SlideShare

Click below to view this presentation on YouTube


See Also:

Fills for Shapes: Add Gradient Fills to Shapes (Glossary Page)

Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows