Add a fill or effect to a shape

To add a fill or effect, click your shape, click Format, click the arrow next to Shape Fill or Shape Effects, and select a color, gradient, texture, or effect.

  1. Click the shape that you want to fill. To add the same fill to multiple shapes, click the first shape, and then press and hold Ctrl while you click the other shapes.

  2. On the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Fill.

    Shape Fill color options menu

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add or change a fill color, click the color you want.

    • To choose no color, click No Fill.

    • To use a color that isn't one of the theme colors, click More Fill Colors, and then either click the color that you want on the Standard tab, or mix your own color on the Custom tab. Custom colors and colors on the Standard tab do not update if you later change the document theme.

    • To adjust the transparency of the shape, click More Fill Colors. At the bottom of the Colors dialog box, move the Transparency slider, or enter a number in the box next to the slider. You can vary the percentage of transparency from 0% (fully opaque, the default setting) to 100% (fully transparent).

    • To add or change a fill picture, click Picture, locate the folder that contains the picture that you want to use, click the picture file, and then click Insert.

    • To add or change a fill gradient, point to Gradient, and then click the gradient variation that you want. To customize the gradient, click More Gradients, and then choose the options that you want.

    • To add or change a fill texture, point to Texture, and then click the texture that you want. To customize the texture, click More Textures, and then choose the options that you want.

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What else do you want to do?

Add a pattern fill

Add or change a shape effect

Delete a shape fill

Delete a shape effect

What is a fill, gradient, or shape effect?

See also

Add a pattern fill

  1. Right-click the shape that you want to add a pattern fill to and select Format Shape.

  2. In the Format Shape pane, click Fill, and then click Pattern Fill.

    Selecting Pattern Fill in the Format Shape pane

  3. Select a pattern, and if you like, click the arrows next to Foreground and Background and select a color combination.

Add or change a shape effect

You can add a variety of effects to your text boxes and shapes, such as beveled edges or reflections.

  1. Click the shape that you want to add an effect to. To add the same effect to multiple shapes, click the first shape, and then press and hold Ctrl while you click the other shapes.

  2. On the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Effects, and select an option from the list.

    The Shape Effects menu

    • To add or change a built-in combination of effects, point to Preset, and then click the effect that you want.

      To customize the built-in effect, click 3-D Options, and then choose the options that you want.

    • To add or change a shadow, point to Shadow, and then click the shadow that you want.

      To customize the shadow, click Shadow Options, and then choose the options that you want.

    • To add or change a reflection, point to Reflection, and then click the reflection variation that you want.

      To customize the reflection, click Reflection Options, and then choose the options that you want.

    • To add or change a glow, point to Glow, and then click the glow variation that you want.

      To customize the glow, click Glow Options, and then choose the options that you want.

    • To add or change a soft edge, point to Soft Edges, and then click the size and color of the edge that you want.

      To customize the soft edges, click Soft Edges Options, and then choose the options that you want.

    • To add or change an edge, point to Bevel, and then click the bevel that you want.

      To customize the bevel, click 3-D Options, and then choose the options that you want.

    • To add or change a 3-D rotation, point to 3-D Rotation, and then click the rotation that you want.

      To customize the rotation, click 3-D Rotation Options, and then choose the options that you want.

      Notes: 

      • To create a custom effect by adding multiple individual effects, repeat step two above.

      • If you add a 3-D effect, such as a bevel, to the shape and then add a soft edge, you will not see any visual change to the shape because the 3-D effect takes precedence. However, if you delete the 3-D effect, the soft edge effect will be visible.

Delete a shape fill

  1. Click the shape that you want to delete a fill from. To delete the same fill from multiple shapes, click the first shape, and then press and hold Ctrl while you click the other shapes.

  2. On the Format tab, in the Shapes Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Fill, and then click No Fill.

    Selecting No Fill

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Delete a shape effect

  1. Click the shape that you want to delete the effect from. To delete the same effect from multiple shapes, click the first shape, and then press and hold Ctrl while you click the other shapes.

  2. On the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Effects, and then do one of the following.

    The Shape Effects menu

    • To delete a built-in combination of effects from the shape, point to Preset, and then click No Presets.

      Note:  When you click No Presets, you do not remove any shadow effects that have been applied to your shape. To remove shadows on a shape, follow the step below.

    • To delete a shadow, point to Shadow, and then click No Shadow.

    • To delete a reflection, point to Reflection, and then click No Reflection.

    • To delete a glow, point to Glow, and then click No Glow.

    • To delete soft edges, point to Soft Edges, and then click No Soft Edges.

    • To delete an edge, point to Bevel, and then click No Bevel.

    • To delete 3-D rotation, point to 3-D Rotation, and then click No Rotation.

Note:  If you have added multiple individual effects, repeat step two above to delete all the effects.

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What is a fill, gradient, or shape effect?

A fill is color, pattern, texture, picture, or gradient applied to the interior of a shape. A gradient is a gradual progression of colors and shades, usually from one color to another color, or from one shade to another shade of the same color.

SmartArt graphic with solid fill and gradient fill shapesee

Changing the fill color of a shape affects only the inside or front of the shape.

If you add an effect to a shape, such as a shadow, and want a different color for that effect, you must change the color of the shadow separately from the fill color.

A 3-D effect adds depth to a shape. You can add a built-in combination of 3-D effects to your shape, or you can add individual effects. You can add combinations of individual effects to your shape in these programs: Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint.

See also

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