Shape Outline

Setting the Shape Outline

Using the Shape Outline control (on the Drawing Tools Format tab), you can change the style of line objects or the border for solid shape objects. You can change these settings for the outline:

  • Color: The color used for the outline.
  • Weight: The thickness of the line.
  • Dashes: The dashing pattern used for the lines that outline the object. The default uses a solid line, but different patterns are available to create dashed lines.
  • Arrows: An arrowhead that can appear on either or both ends of a line.

 

Applying Shape Effects

The Shape Effects button on the Drawing Tools tab on the Ribbon lets you apply several interesting types of effects to your shapes. When you click this button, a menu with the following effect options is displayed:

  • Preset: Lets you select from several popular combinations of shape effects.
  • Shadow: Applies a shadow to the picture. You can select one of several predefined shadow effects, or you can call up a dialog box that lets you customize the shadow.
  • Reflection: Creates a reflected image of the picture beneath the original picture.
  • Glow: Adds a glowing effect around the edges of the picture.
  • Soft Edges: Softens the edges of the picture.
  • Bevel: Creates a beveled effect.
  • 3-D Rotation: Rotates the picture in a way that creates a three dimensional effect. The best way to discover how to use these effects is to experiment with them to see how they work.

 

Applying a shadow

To apply a shadow effect to an object, select the object, click the Shape Effects button, click Shadow, and then select one of the preset shadow effects that appears in the gallery that is displayed. If you want more control over the shadow that is applied, you can choose Shadow Options from the bottom of the Shape Effects>Shadow menu. This opens the Format Shape dialog box. It gives you precise control over such factors as the color, amount of transparency, size, blurriness, angle, distance of the shadow.

 

applying a shadow in microsoft word

Applying a reflection

A Reflection effect displays a reflected version of the main shape, creating the impression that the shape is floating above a reflective surface such as glass or water. To apply a reflection to a shape, select the shape, click the Shape Effects button, click Reflection, and then choose one of the preset reflection effects from the gallery.

For more control over the reflection, choose Reflection Options at the bottom of the gallery. This action summons a dialog box, which lets you adjust the transparency, size, distance, and blur of the reflection.

 

applying a reflection - shape outline in microsoft word

Applying Glow and Soft Edges

The Glow and Soft Edges effects both manipulate the edges of a shape to create a glowing effect or to simply soften the edges. You can apply these effects to a shape by selecting the shape, clicking the Shape Effects button, and then clicking either Glow or Soft Edges and choosing an effect from the gallery that appears.

If you want more exact control over either of these effects, choose Glow Options or Soft Edges Options from the bottom of the gallery to summon the dialog box. Then you can adjust the factors that create the glowing or softening effect.

 

applying glow and soft edges - shape outline in microsoft word

Applying a bevel

The Bevel effect lets you chisel away at the edge of a shape to create an interesting three-dimensional effect. The easiest way to apply a bevel is to select the shape, click the Shape Effects button, click Bevel, and then choose one of the bevel effects from the gallery that appears. Alternatively, you can choose 3-D Options from the bottom of the gallery to open the dialog box. From this dialog box, you can control the amount and type of beveling on the top and bottom of the shape, the apparent depth and contour of the bevel, and the type of surface and lighting effects used to create the bevel.

 

Adding 3-D Rotation

The 3-D Rotation effect lets you spin a shape around as though it were a three-dimensional object. You can apply a preset 3D rotation to an object by choosing one of the options from the gallery that appears when you choose Shape Effects>3-D Rotation. Or, you can choose 3-D Rotation Options from the bottom of the gallery to summon the dialog box. Then, you can play with the X, Y, Z, and Perspective settings to create an almost endless variety of three-dimensional rotations.

 

adding 3D rotation - shape ouline in microsoft word

Flipping and Rotating Objects

To flip an object means to create a mirror image of it. To rotate an object means to turn it from its center. Word lets you flip objects horizontally or vertically, rotate objects in 90-degree increments, or freely rotate an object to any angle. Rotation works for text boxes and Shape text. Thus, you can use rotation to create vertical text or text skewed to any angle you want. However, flipping an object doesn’t affect the object’s text.

 

Flipping an object

Word enables you to flip an object vertically or horizontally to create a mirror image of the object. To flip an object, follow these steps:

1. Choose the object you want to flip.

2. On the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Rotate button in the Arrange group and then choose Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical.

 

Rotating an object 90 degrees

You can rotate an object in 90-degree increments by following these steps:

1. Choose the object you want to rotate.

2. On the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Rotate button in the Arrange group, and then choose Rotate Right or Rotate Left.

3. To rotate the object 180 degrees, click the appropriate Rotate button again.

 

Using the rotate handle

Remember how all the bad guys’ hideouts were slanted in the old Batman TV show? The rotate handle lets you give your drawings that same kind of slant. Using the rotate handle, you can rotate an object to any arbitrary angle by just dragging it with the mouse. The green rotate handle appears above the object, connected to the object by a line. You can rotate an object to any arbitrary angle by simply dragging the rotate handle either clockwise or counterclockwise.

using the rotate handle - shape outline in microsoft word

The following steps show you how to use the rotate handle:

1. Click the object you want to rotate.

2. Drag the rotate handle in the direction you want to rotate the object.

As you drag, an outline of the object rotates around. When the object’s outline is at the angle you want, release the mouse button and the object is redrawn at the new angle.

To restrict the rotation angle to 15-degree increments, hold the Shift key while dragging around the rotate handle.

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