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Office 2011 for Mac: Adding Shadows, Glow, and Reflection to Shapes

Office 2011 for Mac makes it easy to add effects to shapes. In addition to being able to format the inside of a shape, you can use the different tabs of the Format Shape dialog in Office 2011 applications to choose shadows, glow effects and reflections to adorn the outer part of your shape.

Formatting a shape's shadow in Office 2011

When you use the Shadow formatting controls of the Format Shape dialog, you can choose from inner, outer, and perspective shadow styles.

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After you choose a shadow style, you can control several aspects of the shadow by using slider and spinner controls: angle, color, size, blur, distance from the shape, and transparency. To turn shadows on or off, select or deselect the Shadow check box.

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Adding a glow effect to a shape in Office 2011

Similar to the shadow effect is the glow effect. It's like a shadow, but it surrounds the entire shape like a halo instead of being directional. To add a glow effect, in the Glow and Soft Edges tab of the Format Shape dialog, click the Color pop-up menu and choose a color. Drag the sliders or use the spinner controls to adjust the size of the glow and how transparent it is.

The same dialog has an option for Soft Edges, which is like an inverse of a glow because it eats into the shape area itself rather than growing it larger. You can decide how big the optional soft edges should be. As with most special effects, limit using glow to specific purposes so you don’t overuse it.

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Adding reflection to a shape in Office 2011

Reflection is a popular feature, but be careful not to overuse it. If you've added reflection from the Ribbon and wondered whether you can fine-tune how the reflection looks, the Format Shape dialog is the place. You can control the following aspects of the reflection:

  • Reflection: When the check box is selected, the shape has reflection.

  • Transparency: Use the slider or spinner to adjust see-through.

  • Size: Use the slider or spinner to adjust the reflection's size.

  • Distance: The slider and spinner determine how far away the reflection will be from the shape.

  • Rotate Reflection with Shape: When selected, the reflection will rotate when the shape is rotated.

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