Add and modify shadows for Pictures, Shapes, SmartArt, Charts, and Tables in Powerpoint

PowerPoint 365
The shadow effect creates a contrasting area formed by an object on the opposite side of a natural or imaginary light source. The shadow depends on the light source angle and its intensity.

There are three variations of shadow effects:

  • Outer – create a shadow at the outer edge of the object. The object looks popped out of the surface.
  • Inner – create a shadow at the inner edge of the object. The object looks pressed into the surface.
  • Perspective – create a 3D vertical plane shadow. The object looks like standing in front of the light source.

Apply the shadow effect using the ribbon tabs

   1.   Select the Shadow type from the Shadow list:

  • On the Picture Format tab, in the Picture Styles group, click the Picture Effects dropdown list, then select the Shadow list:
    Shadow list in Picture Format tab PowerPoint 365
  • On the Shape Format tab (or SmartArt Format tab, Chart Format tab), in the Shape Styles group, click the Shape Effects dropdown list, then select the Shadow list:
    Shadow list in Shape Format tab PowerPoint 365
  • On the Table Format tab, in the Table Styles group, click the Effects dropdown list, then select the Shadow list:
    Shadow list in Table Format tab PowerPoint 365

   2.   From the Shadow list, select one from the Outer, Inner, or Perspective shadows:

Shadow gallery in Shape Format tab PowerPoint 365    or    Shadow gallery in Picture Format tab PowerPoint 365

Or click the Shadow Options... to open the Format *** pane to choose more options for the shadow effect.


Apply the shadow effect using the Format pane

On the Format pane (such as Format Shape, Format Picture, Format Chart Area, Format Data Series, etc.), in the Effects group, in the Shadow section:

Shadow in Format Shape pane PowerPoint 365

Choose one of the predefined shadow effects from the Presets list. They are the same as in the Shadow list in the ribbon: Outer, Inner, and Perspective shadows. To fine-tune the shadow:

  • Choose the Color, see how to apply a solid color,
  • Move the slider or set a specific value in the appropriate field for each shadow attribute: Transparency, Size, Blur, Angle, and Distance.

Note: The shadow is applied to either the object or its frame. It depends on the object type and background transparency settings:

  • If the shape is filled, then the shadow will be applied to the shape:
    Filled shape shadow example in PowerPoint 365
  • If the shape contains text and is not filled, then the shadow will be applied to the text as well:
    Not filled shape shadow example in PowerPoint 365

    Note: Shadows can cause animation problems. They do not animate along with the text.

  • If the shape contains other objects, such as other shapes or pictures with offsets, and is not filled, then the shadow will be applied to the objects inside the shape:
    Shape with objects shadow example in PowerPoint 365    or    Shape with picture shadow example in PowerPoint 365

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