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Applying Effects for Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Explore effects that can be applied to shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. We look at shadows, reflections, glows, soft edges, bevels, and 3D rotation.

Shapes are the building blocks of PowerPoint, and there is so much that you can do with them. You have already explored Shape Fills and Shape Outlines in PowerPoint 2011. The third characteristic that you can apply to shapes is Effects, PowerPoint 2011 for Mac provides six distinct Shape Effects:

  1. Shadow
  2. Reflection
  3. Glow
  4. Bevel
  5. 3-D Rotation
  6. Soft Edges

Each of these effects are explained in individual detailed pages within this series. Before you get there, it's important that you understand how you can apply a Shape Effect:

  1. Select the shape that you want to apply the effect to. Alternatively, if you just want to follow this tutorial step-by-step, launch PowerPoint. You will see the Presentation Gallery which allows you to set all attributes of your new presentation, such as a preset Theme or template. Make selections or just click Cancel in this gallery to open a blank presentation with a new slide, PowerPoint 2011 users can change the slide layout of this slide to Blank by selecting Layout | Blank within the Home tab of the Ribbon.
  2. Within the Home tab of the Ribbon, locate the Insert group and click the Shape button to access the Shape gallery with different types of shape options that you can see in Figure 1. Select any shape option to access the related submenu, select the shape you prefer (we selected the Rectangle shape, as you can see in Figure 1).

  3. Figure 1: Shape gallery
  4. Click and drag on the slide to insert the shape, or click once on the blank slide to place an instance of the shape. Select the inserted shape so that the Ribbon area now shows the Format tab, as shown highlighted in red in Figure 2. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it.

  5. Figure 2: Format tab of the Ribbon
  6. Note: 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 Format tab, locate the Shape Styles group, within this group, click the Effects button (highlighted in blue in Figure 2 above) to view the Effects drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 3.

  8. Figure 3: Effects drop-down gallery


  9. Let us explore these Shape Effects options:
  10. A. Shadow

  11. Applies a shadow to the selected shape. PowerPoint provides three types of shadows: outer,inner, and perspective. You can apply any of these, or customize them to your requirement. Learn how to apply Shadow Effects to shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
  12. B. Reflection

  13. Adds a reflection to the selected shape, and you can choose from several reflection styles. Remember, you should not use shadow and reflection for the same slide object such as a shape. Learn how to apply Reflection Effects to shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
  14. C. Glow

  15. Provides a hazed, blurred color perimeter outside the shape area. PowerPoint provides several glow variations; the glow colors are based on the Theme colors although you can also choose any other color as well. Learn how to apply Glow Effects to shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
  16. D. Bevel

  17. Applies bevel effects to the selected shape. You can also customize your own bevel. Learn how to apply Bevel Effects to shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
  18. E. 3-D Rotation

  19. Imparts parallel, perspective, and oblique 3-D effects to the selected shape. Learn how to apply 3-D Rotation to shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
  20. F. Soft Edges

  21. Although this effect is not listed within the Shape Effects gallery (see Figure 3), you can access it through the Format Shape dialog box. This effect makes the shape edges feathered, almost like a moth-edge. Learn how to apply Soft Edges to shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

See Also:

Shape Effects: Applying Effects for Shapes (Glossary Page)

Applying Effects for Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Applying Effects for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Applying Effects for Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Applying Effects for Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows