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How to Format Shapes with 3-D Controls in Office 2011

Using Office 2011 for Mac’s 3-D format controls, you can easily take a simple shape and give it a three-dimensional appearance. On the Bevel tab of 3-D Format option in the Format Shape dialog, you control the following:

  • Bevel Top and Bottom: Click either control to choose from several pre-formatted styles.

  • Bevel Height and Width: Use the spinner controls to make adjustments.


The Depth & Surface tab offers two sections: Depth & Contour and Surface.

If nothing seems to be happening when you adjust these controls, first apply a 3-D rotation (discussed in the next section). After you rotate the shape, you can see what happens when you adjust the Depth & Contour controls.

  • Depth Color and Contour Color: Click to display the colors palette.

  • Depth: Use the spinner control to increase and decrease depth.

  • Size: Use the spinner control to adjust size. Smaller is often better.

  • Surface Material: Click to choose from a pop-up menu.

  • Lighting: Click to choose from a list of fancifully named effects.

  • Angle: Use spinner controls to change the angle of the light source.


Not only do you have the ability to give 3-D appearance to a shape, but you can also give true 3-D rotation and perspective to a shape using the Format Shape dialog by experimenting with the following:

  • Rotation type: Choose from several types, including oblique perspectives.

  • Axes X, Y, and Z: These options refer to the axes about the center of the shape. The axes do not display on screen; you have to use your imagination. Use the rotation buttons or spinner controls to rotate the shape about the axes.

  • Perspective: Increase and decrease perspective using the arrows or the spinner controls.

  • Distance from Center: This is the distance from the center of the shape, which is where the axes cross.

  • Keep Text Flat: When selected, keeps text in the shape in the same relative position.

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