articles in this series looked at how to create AutoShapes, and
how to fill them with a colour, gradient, texture or picture. This
article covers two more special effects—shadows and 3-D.
To apply a shadow to an AutoShape, first you need to select
the shape. You will also need to have the Drawing toolbar displayed (right-click
on any existing toolbar and choose Drawing).
Clicking the Shadow Style button gives you a number of
shadow styles to choose from. Just click the shadow style you want.
To remove a shadow, select the object, click the Shadow
Style button again and choose No Shadow from the top of the menu.
The shadow colour defaults to grey. However, you can change
Select the object, and click the Shadow Style button. One
of the menu options is Shadow Settings.
This displays a mini-toolbar. The last button on the toolbar
is Shadow Colour.
Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the button to
display your colour choices.
Click “More Shadow Colours” to select from the colour wheel
or create a custom colour.
Shadows (in Office XP) can be set to semitransparent. This
means the shadow appears in a lighter shade. It also means other objects
and text will display through the shadow.
On the same toolbar are buttons allowing you to nudge (move)
the shadow up, down, left or right. The shadow only moves in small increments,
so you will need to keep clicking to make a significant difference.
See below for some shortcuts on creating your own shadows
manually, for more control.
It can look very effective to remove the line around AutoShapes
with a shadow. Be careful if doing this with a white shape on a white background.
It will disappear from sight. However, a white shape with a shadow can
look interesting in its own right.
Right-click on the shape and select Format—AutoShape.
Click the Colours and Lines tab.
Under the Line heading, change the Colour drop-down box
to No Line. Click OK.
shadows on other objects such as text boxes. Remove shadows from
WordArt, or modify their colour and/or position.
Even clipart can be given a shadow, although
your choices are reduced.
Add three-dimensional effects to your objects. This gives
them depth as well as height and width.
3-D objects look best printed in colour or used on PowerPoint
slides. Their effect is often lost when printed to a laser printer that
only prints black and shades of grey..
Select your shape.
Click once on the 3-D button on the Drawing toolbar.
Choose an option for your object form those displayed.
You can also choose No 3-D to turn off this feature (eg
The option “3-D Settings” displays a 3-D settings toolbar.
Use this to tilt the 3-D effect, modify depth, modify direction, change
lighting angle, change surface texture and change the colour of the 3-D
The colour tries to match the object’s existing colour,
and uses grey where the colour of the object is white.
an object a fill effect and a 3-D property for an interesting
Good fill effects include gradients and
on AutoShapes on the Drawing toolbar and choose More AutoShapes.
Choose Conceptual, and the Jigsaw Puzzle
Ungroup the pieces. Separate them from
Recolour, rotate, resize, etc.
Give each piece a 3-D effect.
Create your own
Unfortunately, you cannot apply both a shadow and a 3-D
effect to an object. However, you can “cheat”, by drawing your own shadow
as a separate object and dragging it into position. One way to create a
and paste the shape.
the first shape a 3-D effect.
the second shape as your shadow. Fill it with grey and remove its line.
and/or resize it as required. Holding down the Alt key as you
click and drag bypasses the “snap to grid” feature.
the order of the shapes, putting the shadow behind the shape.
Select the shadow and click Draw > Order > Send to Back.
the first object, hold down Shift, and click the second object.
Click Draw > Group.
Of course you can use a different shadow colour if you
Next time I will be talking about text wrap.
This is an example of a 3-D object with shadow added manually.
It has been regrouped so it moves as a single object.