In previous tutorials, we showed you how you can add gradient fills to shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows, and how you can use the More Gradients option. 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. Follow these steps to get started:
- Select a shape, and access the Format Shape dialog box as explained in the More Gradients tutorial. You'll end up with the dialog box that you can see in Figure 1. Note that all areas of this dialog box other than those that are concerned with Gradient Stops have been faded, an explanation of the options within the faded areas has already been provided in the More Gradients tutorial.
Figure 1: Gradient Stop options in the Format Shape dialog box
- If you look at the first option in this area, you'll see that it is a drop-down list and the active item in this list is Stop 1. If you have the same dialog box open in PowerPoint 2007 or later now, just click on the downward pointing arrow on this list, and you'll see one or more Stops, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Gradient Stops
- If you see less or more than the 3 Stops shown in Figure 2, don't worry, as long as you have at least 2 Stops, you should be fine. That's because a gradient needs at least two colors to form with. Figure 3 shows a shape filled with a simple 2 color gradient.
Figure 3: 2 Gradient Stops
- Look at Figure 3, 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.
- Look at Figure 4, 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.
Figure 4: 3 Gradient Stops
- In PowerPoint 2007, you can add and remove Gradient Stops.
- To add a Gradient Stop, make sure that you have selected the Gradient Stop after which you want to insert a new Stop. Then click the Add button to add a new Gradient Stop.
- To remove a Gradient Stop, just select the Stop you want to remove, and then click the Remove button.
- After you have added Gradient Stops, you can change their Stop Position in an imaginary gradient bar, these Stop Positions are calculated percentage-wise from 0 to 100%. First select the Stop you want to change position of, and then use the percentage box to change Stop Position values.
- You change the color of a Stop the same way. First select the Stop for which you want to change the color, and then click the downward arrow next to the Color option. This brings up the Color gallery that you can see in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Color gallery
- The options with in the Color gallery are explained below, you'll need to choose any one of these options for the Stop Color:
- Here you can select any of the colors in the active theme of the presentation. You can also select any of the 5 tints or shades of any theme color. Learn more about themes here.
- You can choose any of the ten standard colors available, 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 we'll show you in the next options, although it's a good design idea to use theme colors as far as possible.
- Here you can find the most recent colors that you have 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!
- This is to summon the Colors dialog box as shown in Figure 6. This dialog box has two tabs: Standard and Custom, first select the Standard tab (again, refer to Figure 6).
Figure 6: Standard tab of the Colors dialog box
- This tab offers 127 colors in a honeycomb style palette, 14 gray shades, black and white. You can even change the transparency value of the selected color in the Transparency slider below. If you want more color choices, then select the Custom tab of the same dialog box, as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7: Custom tab of the Colors dialog box
- In this tab, you can chose any color from the spectrum and later adjust the selected color's luminosity with the slider on the right. You can even enter specific values of RGB and HSL to create a specific color, all these combinations provide 16 million color choices!
- Click OK to exit this dialog box.
- Next, you set the Transparency of each Stop Color, first select the stop and then set the transparency percentage-wise in the slider. 0% transparency equates to no transparency, and full opacity. 100% transparency equates to full transparency, and no opacity.
- Check the Rotate with Shape option to rotate the gradient fill when its container shape is rotated.
- When done, click Close button to return to your slide. Save your presentation often.
A. Theme Colors
B. Standard Colors
C. Recent Colors
D. More Fill Colors
Fills for Shapes: Gradient Stops (Glossary Page)
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