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Microsoft Office 2007

Modifying Objects in Excel and PowerPoint

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 options in Word, please refer to Modifying Objects in Word.

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. Colors can be applied to the border and/or interior of most objects. For more information, refer to Using Color in Excel and PowerPoint.

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.  

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 on 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 Shape Styles group, click FORMAT SHAPEFormat Shape buttton
    The Format Shape dialog box appears.
    Format Shape dialog box: Shadowoptions

  3. From the Categories list, select Shadow

  4. To select a shadow, click PRESETS » select the desired preset shadow

Customizing Shadows

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

  2. In the Shape Styles group, click FORMAT SHAPEFormat Shape button
    The Format Shape dialog box appears.
    Format Shape dialog box: Shadowoptions

  3. From the Categories list, select Shadow

  4. To select a color for the shadow, click COLOR » select the desired color

  5. Use the slider bars or nudge buttons to adjust the desired attributes

Color
Determines the color of the shadow

Transparency
Determines the opacity of the shadow
HINT: Smaller numbers create more opaque shadows, while larger numbers create fainter and more translucent shadows.

Size
Determines how large or small the shadow appears

Blur
Determines how sharp the edges of the shadow appear
HINT: Smaller values provide sharper edges.

Angle
Specifies which direction the shadow is cast in relation to the object

Distance
Specifies how close or how far the shadow is in relation to the object

  1. When finished, click CLOSE

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 Shape Styles group, click SHAPE EFFECTS » PRESET » select the desired 3-D effect
    Preset 3-D Effects button and menus

Customizing 3-D

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

  2. In the Shape Styles group, click SHAPE EFFECTS » select 3-D Rotation » More 3-D Settings...
    The Format Shape dialog box appears with the 3-D Rotation options displayed.
    Format Shape dialog box: 3-D Rotation options

  3. Set the desired options

Rotation Preset
Provides access to a gallery of pre-created 3-D effects which can be applied to your object.

Rotation: X
Changes the angle of the object along its horizontal axis. You may choose to type a rotation angle, use the nudge buttons to change the value one degree at a time, or use the Left and Right buttons to rotate five degrees at a time.

Rotation: Y
Changes the angle of the object along its vertical axis. You may choose to type a rotation angle, use the nudge buttons to change the value one degree at a time, or use the Up and Down buttons to rotate five degrees at a time.

Rotation: Z
Changes the angle of the object according along the axis of its depth. You may choose to type a rotation angle, use the nudge buttons to change the value one degree at a time, or use the Clockwise and Counter-clockwise buttons to rotate five degrees at a time.

Rotation: Perspective
Changes how much your object seems to grow and shrink according to its "distance". You may choose to type a rotation angle, use the nudge buttons to change the value one degree at a time, or use the Narrow Field of View and Widen Field of View buttons to rotate five degrees at a time.

Keep Text Flat
Text does not rotate with the object, but continues to appear on top of whichever portion of the shape is visible. If this option is not selected, text may become distorted while rotating.

Distance from ground
Moves objects with some rotation applied to the right or left.

Reset to 2-D
Erases any 3-D rotation effects.

  1. To apply the effects and close the Format Shape dialog box, click CLOSE

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