Add or delete a shape fill or shape effect

You can change the look of your shape by changing its fill or by adding effects, such as shadows, glows, reflections, soft edges, bevels, and three-dimensional (3-D) rotations to it. You can also Change or remove a text box or shape border.

To change the look of a text box, see Add or delete a fill, outline, or effect for text or WordArt. To change the look of a picture, see Add or change an effect for a picture.

ShowWhat is a fill, gradient, or shape effect?

A fill is the interior of a shape. When you change the fill color of a shape, you can also add a texture, picture, or gradient to the fill. 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.

In this article


Add or change a shape fill

  1. Click the shape that you want to add a fill to.

To add the same fill to multiple shapes, click the first shape, and then press and hold CTRL while you click the other shapes.

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Fill, and then do one of the following:

The Format tab under Drawing Tools

If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you have selected the shape. You might have to double-click the shape to open the Format tab.

  • To add or change a fill color, click the color that you want, or to choose no color, click No Fill.

To change to a color that is not in the theme colors (theme colors: A set of colors that is used in a file. Theme colors, theme fonts, and theme effects compose a theme.), 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 (theme: A set of unified design elements that provides a look for your document by using color, fonts, and graphics.).

 Tip   You can also adjust the transparency of the shape by clicking 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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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 dialog box, click the Fill tab.
  3. In the Fill pane, select Pattern fill and then select a pattern, foreground color, and background color for your pattern fill.

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Add or change a shape effect

  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.

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Effects, and then do one of the following:

The Format tab under Drawing Tools

If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you have selected the shape. You might have to double-click the shape to open the Format tab.

  • 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.

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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.

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shapes Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Fill, and then click No Fill.

The Shape Styles group

If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you have selected the shape. You might have to double-click the shape to open the Format tab.

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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.

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Effects, and then do one of the following:

The Shape Styles group

If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you have selected the shape. You might have to double-click the shape to open the Format tab.

  • 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 from the shape, point to Shadow, and then click No Shadow.
  • To delete a reflection from the shape, point to Reflection, and then click No Reflection.
  • To delete a glow from the shape, point to Glow, and then click No Glow.
  • To delete soft edges from the shape, point to Soft Edges, and then click No Soft Edges.
  • To delete an edge from the shape, point to Bevel, and then click No Bevel.
  • To delete 3-D rotation from the shape, 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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Applies to:
Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010