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Shape Styles in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Explore Shape Styles to add coordinated fills, outlines, and effects in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






PowerPoint's fill, line, and effect attributes enable users to customize the look of shapes in a presentation. However, it may take ages to get that perfect color for a shape fill, and even after spending so much time the final look may not match the overall Theme of your presentation. To end up with shapes that use coordinated colors, you can use the Shape Styles gallery that contains a collection of preset styles. These styles are all Theme-specific, so if the presentation Theme is changed, you'll end up with new Shape Styles that are always coordinated.

Note: Want more individuality than what is afforded by Shape Styles? Go ahead and apply Shape Styles and then use the attributes as a starting point to changing the fill, lines, and effects.

Follow these steps to apply Shape Style presets to selected shapes:

  1. Select the shape that you want to apply the style to. Alternatively, launch PowerPoint. You will see the Presentation Gallery, click Cancel in this gallery to open a blank presentation with a new slide. PowerPoint 2011 users can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting Home tab | Layout | Blank.
  2. Insert any shape on your slide, we selected the Rectangle shape from the Shape gallery, as you can see in Figure 1.

    Shape gallery
    Figure 1: Shape gallery
  3. Click and drag on the slide to insert the shape, or click once on the blank slide to place an instance of the shape. Then, select the shape, and you will see the Format tab making an appearance on the Ribbon, as shown in Figure 2 (highlighted in red).

    Selecting the shape makes the Format tab visible
    Figure 2: Selecting the shape makes the Format tab visible

    Note: The 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.
  4. Click the Format tab and locate the Shape Styles group which displays a collection of preset Shape Styles that you can see in Figure 3. Hover the cursor over these Shape Style previews to make a downward arrow visible which you can see highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Preset Shape Styles
    Figure 3: Preset Shape Styles
  5. Click the downward pointing arrow (highlighted in red within Figure 3 above) to bring up the Shape Styles drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 4.

    Shape Styles drop-down gallery
    Figure 4: Shape Styles drop-down gallery
  6. In this gallery, the preview highlighted in dark yellow border (refer to Figure 4 above) is the current style of the selected shape. To apply a new style, just click on any other preview thumbnail that represents a different Shape Style in the gallery as shown in Figure 5 (highlighted in red).

    New style selected in the Shape Styles drop-down gallery
    Figure 5: New style selected in the Shape Styles drop-down gallery
  7. Figure 6 shows previously selected Rectangle shape with the new Shape Style applied (compare with Figure 2).

    New Shape Style applied to the shape
    Figure 6: New Shape Style applied to the shape
  8. Remember to save your presentation often.

See Also:

Shape Styles in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Shape Styles in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Shape Styles in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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