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Microsoft Office 2007

Modifying Objects in Word

Once you have created an object, you can change its appearance to meet your design needs by resizing, shading, adding shadows, and/or creating 3-D effects. This document will show you how to use all of these Office drawing options. For information about using these effects in Excel and PowerPoint, please refer to Modifying Objects in Excel and PowerPoint.

return to topResizing Shapes

Objects can be easily resized to fit within any space constraints you may have within your document.

  1. Select the shape that you want to adjust

  2. Click and drag a handle until the shape is the size you want
    HINT: To maintain the shape's width-to-height ratio, hold down [Shift] while you drag the corner handle.

  3. Once your shape has reached the desired size, release the mouse button

return to topReshaping AutoShapes

Some AutoShapes appear with a yellow diamond(s). If your shape has one or more, you can use a diamond to change the width or resize parts of your shape without affecting its overall size. Here are some examples of how the yellow diamond works:

Before After
First yellow diamond example-before First yellow diamond example-after
Before After
Second yellow diamond example-before Second yellow diamond example-after

Using the Yellow Diamonds:

  1. Select your shape

  2. Click and drag the yellow diamond for the desired effect

return to topColoring Shapes

Once you have drawn objects using the drawing tools or selected a shape from the Shape menu, you can enhance them with color. There are two ways to add color to your object: use the SHAPE FILL and SHAPE OUTLINE buttons on the Ribbon, or use the dialog boxes available in each program.

An even more customized look can be obtained by adding fill effects such as a gradient, pattern, texture, or picture as fill for your object.  

Coloring Shapes: Ribbon Option

In most cases you can change the color of either the interior or the outline of the object. However, in some cases (e.g., lines and connectors) you can change the color of only the object's border.

To color the inside of the shape: 

  1. To show the Format command tab, double click the object or line that you want to fill or color

  2. In the Shape Styles group, click SHAPE FILL » select the desired color
    Shape Fill button and menu

To color the border of the shape: 

  1. To show the Format command tab, double click the object or line that you want to color

  2. In the Shape Styles group, click SHAPE OUTLINE » select the desired color
    Shape Outline button and menu

Coloring Shapes: Dialog Box Option

  1. To show the Format command tab, double click the object or line that you want to color

  2. In the Shape Styles group, click ADVANCED TOOLSAdvanced Tools button
    The Format AutoShape dialog box appears.
    Format AutoShape dialog box

  3. Select the Colors and Lines tab

  4. To color the inside of an object, in the Fill section, from the Color pull-down list, select the desired color

  5. To color the border of an object, in the Line section, from the Color pull-down list, select the desired color

  6. Click OK

return to topAdding Shadows

You can add a shadow to any object. The size, direction, and color of shadows can also be modified to fit your needs.

NOTE: You can enhance objects by adding 3-D or shadow effects. Word allows you to apply only one type of effect to an object, but Excel and PowerPoint allow you to combine these effects with a single object.

  1. To show the Format command tab, double click the object or line that you want to add a shadow to

  2. In the Shadow Effects group, click SHADOW EFFECTS » select the desired effect
    Shadow Effects button and menu

Customizing Shadows

  1. To show the Format command tab, double click the object or line with a shadow to customize

  2. To change the shadow's color, in the Shadow Effects group, click SHADOW EFFECTSShadow Effects button
    A pull-down list appears.

  3. In the pull-down list, select Shadow Color » select the desired color

  4. To nudge the shadow's positioning relative to the object, in the Shadow Effects group, click the appropriate NUDGE buttonShadow Direction buttons

  5. To change how opaque or translucent the shadow is,
    1. Click SHADOW EFFECTS » SHADOW COLOR » MORE SHADOW COLORS...
      The Colors dialog box appears.
    2. Select the Standard tab
    3. To change the opacity of the shadow, slide the Transparency slider bar
      HINT: Smaller numbers create more opaque shadows, while larger numbers create fainter and more translucent shadows.

return to topAdding 3-D Effects

Lines, most shapes, and freeform objects can be given a 3-D appearance. With 3-D, you can change depth, color, rotation, angle, direction of lighting, and surface texture.

NOTE: You can enhance objects by adding 3-D or shadow effects. You may add one or the other to any object, but not both. 

  1. To show the Format command tab, double click the object or group of objects you want to appear in 3-D

  2. In the 3-D Effects group, click 3-D EFFECTS » select the desired effect
    3-D Effects button and menu

Customizing 3-D

  1. To show the Format command tab, double click the object or group of objects you want to customize 

  2. To change the direction of the 3-D effect, in the 3-D Effects group, click the appropriate TILT button Rotate 3-D Effects buttons

  3. To customize additional 3-D effects, in the 3-D Effects group, click 3-D EFFECTS » select the desired customization
    3-D Effects button and menu

3-D Color
Determines the color of the 3-D effect

Depth
Determines the size of the effect, giving the appearance of more or less depth

Direction
Determines the angle of the 3-D effect in relation to the object

Lighting
Alters the color pattern of the effect, giving the appearance of light shining on the edges of a 3-dimensional object from different directions

Surface
Alters the color of the effect and object slightly, giving the appearance that they are made of different materials

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