In the last article I covered how to create Autoshapes
and fill them with a colour. This article goes a step further and tells
you how to fill your shapes with gradients, textures, patterns and pictures.
If necessary, review the previous chapters to remind you
how to draw some Autoshapes. Then follow the instructions below to fill
The Drawing toolbar
If you do not already have the drawing toolbar displayed,
do it now. Right-click on any existing toolbar and choose Drawing. The
toolbar normally displays at the bottom of the Word window.
Before you can fill a shape, it needs to be selected (have
its handles displayed).
One of the buttons on the toolbar looks like a paint pot.
Its screen tip says Fill Colour. Just to the right of this button is a
down-arrow. Click on the arrow to view a menu.
One of the options on the menu is Fill Effects. Click on
this option. The following dialogue box is displayed.
The first tab in this dialogue box is Gradient. Click on
the radio button next to the option you prefer. Your options here are as
A single colour
merged with black.
Any two colours.
Click on the drop-down arrow under each colour to choose More Colours.
Then select from Standard or Custom.
a range of built-in colour effects, including Rainbow, Fog and Peacock.
You also have a choice of Shading Styles. These include
Horizontal, Vertical, Diagonal Up, Diagonal Down, From Corner and From
Centre. Click on each one to view what it will look like (check the Variants
Note that PowerPoint includes an extra one, From Title.
This means the colour will radiate from wherever the title is located on
Finally, you have Variants – choose whether you want to
run from a light to a dark colour, or vice versa. Just click on the variant
you want to use.
Click on OK when done.
Two colours, and a From Centre shading style for a circle, with the
lighter colour in the centre. Remove the line. The circle looks like
a ball (a 3-D effect). The other 3-D effect from the Drawing toolbar
gives you a cylinder rather than a ball.
that the colour you see on the screen may not be the same as the
printed colour, or the colour displayed on the screen (for PowerPoint
presentations). This is due to variations in monitors, video cards
and monitor settings (brightness and contrast, for example). If you
have ever bought paint from a colour chart, you will know what I
The Texture tab in this dialogue box
lets you choose a texture as a fill for your object. Scroll down to see
more. Click on the texture you wish to use and click on OK.
Click on Other Texture to select a graphic you have saved
to disk. These can be .gif or .jpg files. Your texture will be added to
the end of the “gallery”, and can be selected.
Add a texture as a fill.
Copy the shape, and then paste it.
Give the second shape a fill colour, choosing
Drag the second shape over the top of the
This will change the texture’s colour.
Another fill option is Pattern. This is the third tab of
the dialogue box.
Select a pattern. Then select a Foreground colour and a
Background colour. The Sample box will display the pattern.
Click on OK when done.
careful when using patterns on a shape containing text. The text
needs to stay readable. You may need to change the text colour, size
or make it bold.
Draw a shape and insert a picture as a fill.
You need to know the location of your picture (or photo)
for this to work.
can look great when combined with other Autoshapes. Please remember
though that the picture or photo may be cropped, or parts of it may
not be visible. You do not have a lot of control over which part
of the picture or photo is displayed. Use the yellow diamond on the
Autoshape to modify its proportions. This should display more (or
less) of the picture as required
your shape, or select an existing shape.
the arrow next to the Fill Colour button, and choose Fill Effects.
on the Picture tab. The following dialogue box appears.
on the Select Picture button.
to where your picture is located, and select it.
Next time, I will talk about shadows and 3-D effects.