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Transparency for Shape Outlines in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to apply transparency to shape outlines in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Windows XP and higher

In PowerPoint 2010, Shape Outlines such as solid colors and gradients have a transparency attribute that lets you reduce the opacity of the outline so that the slide object or background behind shows through. Transparency is calculated in percentages and you can change its value all the way from 0 to 100%. Look at Figure 1 below, and you will see the original shapes on the left with their semi-transparent (50%) counterparts on the right.

Solid and gradient outlines (lines) with their semi-transparent counterparts
Figure 1: Solid and gradient outlines (lines) with their semi-transparent counterparts

To set a transparency value for your Shape Outline, follow these steps:

  1. Select the shape for which you want to change the transparency of the outline, we selected a solid colored Line shape. Right-click the shape to bring up the contextual menu that you can see in Figure 2. Within this menu, choose the Format Shape option.

    Format Shape option selected
    Figure 2: Format Shape option selected
  2. This brings up the Format Shape dialog that you see in Figure 3. Select the Line Color option within the sidebar. Drag the Transparency slider (highlighted in red within Figure 3) to change the transparency value.

    Set transparency for solid line
    Figure 3: Set transparency for solid line

    Tip: You can even use the Up or Down arrow buttons towards the right (highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above) to increase or decrease the transparency, also you can directly type in the transparency percentage value within the box placed next to Transparency slider.

    Gradient Outlines work a little differently as far as transparency is concerned, you need to adjust the transparency value of every single color stop comprised within the gradient fill you choose. To do that, select each stop of your gradient individually, and change its transparency, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 4, below.

    Set transparency for gradient stops
    Figure 4: Set transparency for gradient stops

    Tip: To learn more about gradient stops, explore our Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2010 tutorial.
  3. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Transparency for Shape Outlines in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Transparency for Shape Outlines in PowerPoint 2011 for Windows

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