WordArt and Shapes

Use PowerPoint Word Art to draw attention to specific elements. Also learn how to use PowerPoint shapes in this free lesson.

Introduction

Introduction

There are many features and commands you can use in PowerPoint to create visually appealing slides. Two of these features are WordArt and shapes. WordArt allows you to create stylized text with effects such as textures, shadows, and outlines. It can be applied to text on any slide. You can also insert a variety of shapes such as rectangles, circles, lines, arrows, callouts, and stars.

In this lesson, you will learn how to apply WordArt styles and insert and modify shapes on a slide.

Creating WordArt

Video: Creating WordArt in PowerPoint 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (2:05).

PowerPoint allows you to add effects to the text inside of a text box, which is known as WordArt. For the most part, the types of effects you can add are the same as the ones you can add to shapes and text boxes (shadow, bevel, etc.). However, with WordArt, you can also transform the text to give it a wavy, slanted, or inflated look.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

To apply a WordArt style to text:

A WordArt Style will automatically apply several effects to your text at once. You can then refine the look of your text by adding or modifying text effects.

  1. Select a text box, or select some text inside of the text box. The Format tab will appear.
  2. Click the Format tab.
  3. In the WordArt Styles group, click the More drop-down arrow to view all of the available styles.
  4. Select the desired style preset to apply the style to your text.
    Selecting a WordArt StyleSelecting a WordArt Style

After you have applied a WordArt Style, you can still modify the font or font color from the Home tab if desired.

To add or modify text effects:

  1. Select a text box, or select some text inside of the text box. The Format tab will appear.
  2. Click the Format tab.
  3. Click the Text Effects command in the WordArt Styles group. A drop-down menu will appear, showing the different effect categories.
    The Text Effects commandThe Text Effects command
  4. Hover over an effect category. A drop-down menu will appear. You can hover the mouse over the different presets to see a live preview.
    Adding an effectAdding an effect
  5. Select the desired effect preset. The effect will be applied to your text. If you want, you can combine several different effects.
    The finished WordArtThe finished WordArt

In the WordArt Styles group, you can also use the Text Fill and Text Outline drop-down boxes to modify the fill and outline color.

Changing the text fill colorChanging the text fill color

Working with shapes and text boxes

Video: Inserting Shapes in PowerPoint 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (3:03).

PowerPoint's large shape collection allows you to organize and design the image you want. While you may not need shapes in every presentation you create, they can add visual appeal.

To insert a shape:

  1. Select the Insert tab.
  2. Click the Shapes command.
    The Shapes commandThe Shapes command
  3. Select a shape from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click and drag the mouse until the shape is the desired size.
    Creating a new shapeCreating a new shape
  5. Release the mouse button.

To resize a shape or text box:

  1. Click the shape to select it.
  2. Click and drag one of the sizing handles on the corners and sides of the text box until it is the desired size.
    Resizing the shapeResizing the shape
  3. To rotate the shape, drag the green handle.
    Rotating the shapeRotating the shape
  4. Some shapes also have one or more yellow handles that can be used to modify the shape. For example, with star shapes you can adjust the length of the points.
    Modifying the shapeModifying the shape

If you drag the sizing handles on any of the four corners, you will be able to change the height and width at the same time. The sizing handles on the top or bottom of the shape will only allow you to resize vertically, while the handles on the left and right sides will resize the shape horizontally.

Formatting shapes and text boxes

To change to a different shape:

  1. Select the shape or text box. The Format tab will appear.
    The Format tabThe Format tab
  2. From the Format tab, click the Edit Shape command.
    The Edit Shape commandThe Edit Shape command
  3. Click Change Shape to display a drop-down list.
    Choosing a new shapeChoosing a new shape
  4. Select the desired shape from the list.
    The new shapeThe new shape

To change the shape style:

  1. Select the shape or text box. The Format tab will appear.
    The Format tabThe Format tab
  2. Click the More drop-down arrow in the Shape Styles group to display more style options.
    The More drop-down arrowThe More drop-down arrow
  3. Move your cursor over the styles to see a live preview of the style in the slide.
    Previewing the shape stylesPreviewing the shape styles
  4. Select the desired style.

To change the shape fill color:

  1. Select the shape or text box. The Format tab appears.
  2. Select the Format tab.
  3. Click the Shape Fill command to display a drop-down list.
    Choosing a fill colorChoosing a fill color
  4. Select the desired color from the list, choose No Fill, or choose More Fill Colors to choose a custom color.

To change the shape outline:

  1. Select the shape or text box. The Format tab will appear.
  2. Click the Format tab.
  3. Click the Shape Outline command to display a drop-down menu.
    Choosing an outline colorChoosing an outline color
  4. From the drop-down menu, you can change the outline color, weight (thickness), and whether it is a dashed line.
    A thicker outlineA thicker outline

To change shadow effects:

  1. Select the shape or text box. The Format tab will appear.
  2. Click the Format tab.
  3. Click the Shape Effects command. A drop-down menu will appear.
  4. Hover the mouse over Shadow. You will see a list of shadow presets.
  5. Move your mouse over the menu options to see a live preview of the shadow effect in the slide.
    Choosing a shadow typeChoosing a shadow type
  6. Click the desired shadow effect to add it to your shape.

You can select Shadow Options from the drop-down menu and click the Color button to select a different shadow color for your shape.

3D effects

There are two types of effects you can apply to your shapes and text boxes to give them a 3D appearance: 3-D Rotation and Bevel. 3-D Rotation gives the appearance that you are viewing the object from a different angle, and it can be applied to any shape. Bevel adds thickness and a rounded edge to shapes, but it doesn't work with every type of shape.

To use 3-D Rotation:

  1. Select the shape or text box.
  2. Click the Format tab.
  3. Click Shape Effects from the Shape Styles group.
  4. Hover the mouse over 3-D Rotation. A drop-down menu will appear.
  5. Select the desired rotation preset from the drop-down menu. You can also click 3-D Rotation Options if you would prefer to type custom values.
    Choosing a 3-D rotation presetChoosing a 3-D rotation preset

To use bevel:

  1. Select the shape or text box.
  2. Click the Format tab.
  3. Click Shape Effects from the Shape Styles group.
  4. Hover the mouse over Bevel. A drop-down menu will appear.
    Choosing a bevel presetChoosing a bevel preset
  5. Select the desired bevel preset from the drop-down menu. You can also click 3-D Options if you would prefer to type in custom values.

If you click 3-D Options, you'll also be able to change the shape's material to give it a metal, plastic, or translucent appearance, and you can choose the lighting type to change how the shape is illuminated.

Viewing the 3-D OptionsViewing the 3-D Options

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing PowerPoint presentation. If you want, you can use this example.
  2. Add some WordArt effects to the text. If you are using the example, use the text on slide 2.
  3. Insert a shape.
  4. Change the shape to a different shape.
  5. Change the fill color.
  6. Change the outline color.
  7. Try various shadow effects.
  8. Try various 3D effects.