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Gradient Fills for Text in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to add gradient fills to selected text in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Try and use gradient fills for text in larger sizes for best results.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X





Gradient fills are typically blended fills between two or more colors that graduate from one color to another. Text filled with a gradient can look great or gaudy depending upon the type of gradient you use for your text. Look at the slide shown below in Figure 1. Notice that the gradient used for text on the top part of the slide has many colors that make it look too garish. Compare it with the gradient used for the text on the bottom part of the slide that looks much more elegant.

Two examples of gradient fills for text
Figure 1: Two examples of gradient fills for text.

There are some more guidelines that will help you create great looking gradient fills for your text:

  • Gradient fills look great as text fills only when your text is fairly large sized.
  • Using too many colors in the gradient fill may make your text distracting.
  • Try to use the gradient colors which contrast well with the slide background.
  • Also use gradient colors that are not too different so that you achieve a subtle merge of colors.

Follow these steps to learn how to apply a gradient fill to your text in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac:

  1. Select text to which you want to apply a gradient fill. Alternatively, if you just want to follow this tutorial step-by-step, insert a text box on a blank slide and type some text in it. Also, change the text font to something "blockier", such as Arial Black (see Figure 2). Select the text, or the entire text box to bring up the Format tab on the Ribbon as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.
  2. Format tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 2: Format tab of the Ribbon
  3. 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 within these tabs.
  4. Within the Format tab, locate the Text Styles group. Then click the down-arrow within the Fill button that you can see highlighted in red within Figure 3.
  5. Fill button within Text Styles group
    Figure 3: Fill button within Text Styles group
  6. This opens the Fill drop-down gallery for text, as shown in Figure 4. In this drop-down gallery, select the Text Effects option, shown highlighted in red within Figure 4.
  7. Text Effects option to be selected
    Figure 4: Text Effects option to be selected
  8. Alternatively, you can directly right-click (or Ctrl+click) the selected text box, and from the contextual menu, select the Format Text option as shown in Figure 5.
  9. Format Text option to be selected
    Figure 5: Format Text option to be selected
  10. Either way, you will summon the Format Text dialog box as shown in Figure 6. Make sure that Text Fill option is selected within the sidebar (highlighted in red within Figure 6).
  11. Format Text dialog box with Gradient Style set to None
    Figure 6: Format Text dialog box with Gradient Style set to None
  12. Select the Gradient tab (highlighted in green within Figure 6, above). Note that all options within this tab except the Style option are greyed out. This is because no gradient has been selected yet. This is confirmed by the Style option mentioning None (highlighted in blue within Figure 6, above).
  13. To learn about how to select a gradient style and set all other options within Gradient tab, refer to Step 5 in our Add Gradient Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial. Even though that tutorial explains Gradient Fills for shapes, the techniques are similar enough except for the Rotate gradient with shape option since we are applying gradient fill to text here. In Figure 7 you can see the gradient options selected within the Format Text dialog box.
  14. Format Text dialog box with Gradient Style set to Linear
    Figure 7: Format Text dialog box with Gradient Style set to Linear
  15. After making the required selections, click the OK button within the Format Text dialog box (highlighted in red within Figure 7). This will take you back to your slide where your selected text is now filled with the gradient fill you set. Figure 8 shows the selected text with a gradient fill applied.
  16. Text with gradient fill applied
    Figure 6: Text with gradient fill applied
  17. Remember to save your presentation often.

See Also:

Gradient Fills for Text in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Gradient Fills for Text in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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