This article continues on from previous articles. It tells you some of the
other nifty things you can do with autoshapes—add shadows and add 3-D effects.
Unfortunately you can’t use both features on the same object at the same
Before applying a shadow to your autoshape, you need to select the shape.
You also need to have the Drawing toolbar open (View – Toolbars – Drawing).
With the shape selected, click on the Shadow button.
Choose a shadow style from those displayed.
If the object already has a shadow, use this button to remove it, by selecting
No Shadow. For example, WordArt may include a shadow that you don’t want.
The shadow colour defaults to grey.
Use the buttons on the toolbar to modify the shadow, including its location
and colour. Each option also has its own size and position. These can be modified
via the Shadow Settings toolbar.
Click on Shadow Settings to display this toolbar.
The first button on the toolbar turns the shadow on or off.
The next four buttons let you nudge the shadow, up, down, left or right.
The last button is a Shadow Colour button. It has its own drop-down arrow.
Click the button to apply the colour under the button.
Click the drop-down to select a different shadow colour from the forty colours
Note that the bottom of this menu includes an option for More Shadow Colours.
This displays the Colours dialogue box. Select from the colour wheel, or choose
a custom colour.
Word 2002 includes an extra option – semitransparent shadow. Any text or
objects overlapping the autoshape will be visible through the shadow. It is
also another way of subtly changing the shadow colour.
Three-dimensional shapes appear to have height, width and depth.
Objects cannot have both a shadow and a 3-D effect.
3-D objects look best printed in colour or used on PowerPoint slides. Their
effect is often lost when printed to a Lexmark laser printer.
The steps are:
Click once on the 3-D button on the Drawing toolbar.
Choose an option for your object from those displayed. Each style has a
number (eg 3-D Style 2).
You can also choose No 3-D to turn off this feature (eg for WordArt). Just
click No 3-D.
As with the Shadow toolbar, there is an extra option on the menu – 3-D settings.
This displays the 3-D settings toolbar.
The first button on this toolbar turns the 3-D effect on or off.
The next four buttons are tilt buttons. Choose to tilt your 3-D down, up,
left or right.
The next button is for Depth. Choose how thick you want your object to be.
The measurements given are in points, or you can type a value into the Custom
The Direction button lets you choose the 3-D effect’s position. Think of
it as the way you are viewing the object—from the front, from the side, or
from an angle.
The Lighting button lets you change the direction the light is coming from.
It will affect the colour and shading of the object. Lighting can come from
above, below, left, right or at an angle.
You can also choose to have your light bright, normal or dim.
The look of the object can be modified with the Surface button. Choose from
wire frame, matte, plastic or metal. Experiment by choosing each one in turn.
The default is matte.
Finally you can choose a 3-D colour. The default here is Automatic (in other
words, choose a 3-D colour based on the object’s original colour). With Automatic
turned on, a blue object will get a blue 3-D effect. If the object is white,
the 3-D effect will be grey.
Choosing a different 3-D colour can dramatically change how your object appears.
Another way to change a 3-D object is to use a fill effect and a 3-D property.
Again, you can come up with some very interesting results.
A nice effect
Click on Autoshapes on the Drawing toolbar and choose More Autoshapes.
Choose Conceptual, and the jigsaw puzzle pieces.
Select the object and click on Draw – Ungroup.
Drag each piece away from the other pieces.
If you want to, give each piece a different fill colour. You can also rotate
them or resize them.
Give each piece a 3-D effect.
You can also choose to delete individual pieces instead of using them all.
These puzzle pieces can be used effectively in a PowerPoint presentation,
where the topic refers to puzzles, problems or challenges.
The next topic covers combining autoshapes with text, inside, outside, behind
and in front of the shapes.