Add a fill or effect to a text box

You can change the look of your text box (text box: A movable, resizable container for text or graphics. Use text boxes to position several blocks of text on a page or to give text a different orientation from other text in the document.) by changing its fill or by adding effects to it, such as shadows, glows, reflections, soft edges, bevels, and three-dimensional (3-D) rotations.

In this article


Overview of fills, gradients, and effects

A fill is the interior of a text box. When you change the fill color of a text box, 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 shapes

Changing the fill color of a text box affects only the inside or back of the text box. If you add another effect, such as a shadow, and want a different color for that effect, you must change the color of the shadow separately.

A 3-D effect adds depth to a text box. You can add a built-in combination of 3-D effects to your text box, or you can add individual effects. You can also add combinations of individual effects to your text box in these 2007 Microsoft Office system programs: Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint.

Top of Page Top of Page

Add or change a text box fill

Which program are you using?


Excel

  1. Click the text box that you want to add a fill to.

To add the same fill to multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

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

Drawing Tools Format tab image

  • 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 text box 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 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.

 Note   Pattern fills are not available in Excel 2007, however you can use this add-in to achieve the same effect. For more information, see Add pattern fills to an Excel 2007 chart or shape.

Top of Page Top of Page

Outlook

  1. Click the text box that you want to add a fill to.

To add the same fill to multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

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

Text Box Tools Format tab image

  • 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 text box 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 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.

  • To add or change a pattern, click Pattern, and then click the options that you want.

Top of Page Top of Page

PowerPoint

  1. Click the text box that you want to add a fill to.

To add the same fill to multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

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

Drawing Tools Format tab image

  • 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 text box 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 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.

 Note   Pattern fills are not available in PowerPoint. However, you can add fills to shapes. For more information, see For more information, see Add pattern fills to PowerPoint 2007 shapes.

Top of Page Top of Page

Word

  1. Click the text box that you want to add a fill to.

To add the same fill to multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

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

Text Box Tools Format tab image

  • 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 text box 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 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.

  • To add or change a pattern, click Pattern, and then click the options that you want.

Top of Page Top of Page

Add or change a text box effect

Which program are you using?


Excel

  1. Click the text box that you want to add an effect to.

To add the same effect to multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

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

Drawing Tools Format tab image

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

To customize the glow colors, click More Glow Colors, and then choose the color that you want. 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 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.).

  • To add or change a soft edge, point to Soft Edges, and then click the size of the edge 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 or 3-D rotation, to the text box and then add a soft edge, you will not see any visual change to the text box because the 3-D effect takes precedence. However, if you delete the 3-D effect, the soft edge effect is visible.

Top of Page Top of Page

Outlook

  1. Click the text box that you want to add an effect to.

To add the same effect to multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

  1. Under Text Box Tools, on the Format tab, do one of the following:

Text Box Tools Format tab image

  • To add or change a shadow, in the Shadow Effects group, click Shadow Effects, and then choose the shadow that you want.

To customize the shadow color, point to Shadow Color, and then click the color that you want.

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 Shadow 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.).

  • To add or change a 3-D effect, in the 3-D Effects group, click 3-D Effects, and then choose the options that you want.

Top of Page Top of Page

PowerPoint

  1. Click the text box that you want to add an effect to.

To add the same effect to multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

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

Drawing Tools Format tab image

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

To customize the glow colors, click More Glow Colors, and then choose the color that you want. 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 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.).

  • To add or change a soft edge, point to Soft Edges, and then click the size of the edge 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 or 3-D rotation, to the text box and then add a soft edge, you will not see any visual change to the text box because the 3-D effect takes precedence. However, if you delete the 3-D effect, the soft edge effect is visible.

Top of Page Top of Page

Word

  1. Click the text box that you want to add an effect to.

To add the same effect to multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

  1. Under Text Box Tools, on the Format tab, do one of the following:

Text Box Tools Format tab image

  • To add or change a shadow, in the Shadow Effects group, click Shadow Effects, and then choose the shadow that you want.

To customize the shadow color, point to Shadow Color, and then click the color that you want.

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 Shadow 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.).

  • To add or change a 3-D effect, in the 3-D Effects group, click 3-D Effects, and then choose the options that you want.

Top of Page Top of Page

Delete a text box fill

Which program are you using?


Excel

  1. Click the text box that you want to delete a fill from.

To delete the same fill from multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

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

Shape Styles group image

Top of Page Top of Page

Outlook

  1. Click the text box that you want to delete a fill from.

To delete the same fill from multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

  1. Under Text Box Tools, on the Format tab, in the Text Box Styles group, click Shape Fill, and then click No Fill.

text box stylesText Box Styles group

Top of Page Top of Page

PowerPoint

  1. Click the text box that you want to delete a fill from.

To delete the same fill from multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

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

Shape Styles group

Top of Page Top of Page

Word

  1. Click the text box that you want to delete a fill from.

To delete the same fill from multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

  1. Under Text Box Tools, on the Format tab, in the Text Box Styles group, click Shape Fill, and then click No Fill.

text box stylesText Box Styles group

Top of Page Top of Page

Delete a text box effect

Which program are you using?


Excel

  1. Click the text box that you want to delete the effect from.

To delete the same effect from multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

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

Shape Styles group image

  • To delete a built-in combination of effects from the text box, point to Preset, and then click No Presets.
  • To delete a shadow from the text box, point to Shadow, and then click No Shadow.
  • To delete a reflection from the text box, point to Reflection, and then click No Reflection.
  • To delete a glow from the text box, point to Glow, and then click No Glow.
  • To delete soft edges from the text box, point to Soft Edges, and then click No Soft Edges.
  • To delete an edge from the text box, point to Bevel, and then click No Bevel.
  • To delete 3-D rotation from the text box, point to 3-D Rotation, and then click No Rotation.

 Note   To delete multiple individual effects, repeat step two above.

Top of Page Top of Page

Outlook

  1. Click the text box that you want to delete the effect from.

To delete the same effect from multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

  1. Under Text Box Tools, on the Format tab, do one of the following:

Text Box Tools, Format tab, Effects buttons

  • To delete a shadow, in the Shadow Effects group, click Shadow Effects, and then click No Shadow Effect.
  • To delete a 3-D effect, in the 3-D Effects group, click 3-D Effects, and then click No 3-D Effect.

 Note   If you do not see the Drawing Tools, Text Box Tools, or Format tabs, make sure that you clicked the text box.

Top of Page Top of Page

PowerPoint

  1. Click the text box that you want to delete the effect from.

To delete the same effect from multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

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

Shape Styles group

  • To delete a built-in combination of effects from the text box, point to Preset, and then click No Presets.
  • To delete a shadow from the text box, point to Shadow, and then click No Shadow.
  • To delete a reflection from the text box, point to Reflection, and then click No Reflection.
  • To delete a glow from the text box, point to Glow, and then click No Glow.
  • To delete soft edges from the text box, point to Soft Edges, and then click No Soft Edges.
  • To delete an edge from the text box, point to Bevel, and then click No Bevel.
  • To delete 3-D rotation from the text box, point to 3-D Rotation, and then click No Rotation.

 Note   To delete multiple individual effects, repeat step two above.

Top of Page Top of Page

Word

  1. Click the text box that you want to delete the effect from.

To delete the same effect from multiple text boxes, click the first text box, and then press and hold SHIFT while you click the other text boxes.

  1. Under Text Box Tools, on the Format tab, do one of the following:

Text Box Tools, Format tab, Effects buttons

  • To delete a shadow, in the Shadow Effects group, click Shadow Effects, and then click No Shadow Effect.
  • To delete a 3-D effect, in the 3-D Effects group, click 3-D Effects, and then click No 3-D Effect.

 Note   If you do not see the Drawing Tools, Text Box Tools, or Format tabs, make sure that you clicked the text box.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Word 2007