PowerPoint 2010 Masterclass – Formatting Shapes

ppt03PowerPoint 2010 has many professional-looking, pre-defined objects that can be inserted into our presentations.

In this blog we are going to look at how we can modify them and specifically look at formatting shapes.

The techniques you will learn in this tutorial can be used with the other types of objects and can also be used with other Microsoft Office applications.

The options we will cover include:

Fill options
Transparent, solid, gradient, picture

Line options
Colour, style

Shadow and reflection options
Internal/external shadows, reflections

You can download a sample shapes document >>here<<, in Powerpoint 2010 format, to accompany these instructions.

Let’s get down to business.

Background Fill

Open the shapes document that you downloaded above. (Ensure you have enabled editing).

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Right-click on the circle shape and select the Format Shape option at the bottom of the dialogue box that appears (Shown right).

This opens up the Format Shape dialogue box (shown below).

Learn to love this dialogue box because we will be seeing quite a lot of it during the course of this lesson.

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Make sure the Fill option is highlighted and click on the radio box for No fill.

If you have carried out the instructions correctly, the word Correct will appear inside the circle.

Click Close.

Now right-click the star shape and select the Format Shape option again.

This time, with the Fill option still highlighted, click on the radio box for Gradient fill.

Click on the down arrow, next to the Preset colors option and select one of the presets (I chose the Gold option).

Click Close and admire your work.

Next, right-click the hexagon shape and select the Format Shape.

The Fill option should still highlighted, click on the radio box for Picture or texture fill.

Look down and find the Insert from: section and click in the File … box.

This should take you to your default Pictures folder.

Select a photo you like and click Insert.

Click Close.

Your selected photograph should now be positioned inside the shape.

Finally, right-click the heart shape and select the Format Shape option.

Click on the radio box for Pattern fill.

Select a Foreground Color and a Background Color and in the box above, select one of the preset patterns.

Click Close.

Line Options

Weight and style

Go back to the circle shape and right-click inside it.

Click the Format Shape option.

This time, select the Line Style option.

Change the Width to 4 pt.

Change the Compound type to Triple (the 5th option down).

Change the Dash type to Dash dot (the 5th option down again).

Change the Cap type to Round.

Click Close.

Line colour

Right-click inside the circle shape.

Click the Format Shape option.

Select the Line Color option.

Click on the radio box for Gradient line.

Click on the down arrow, next to the Preset colors option and select one of the presets (I chose the Rainbow option).

Click Close.

Now, right-click on the heart shape and change the weight, style and colour to test your latest knowledge.

Shadow and Reflection Options

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Shadows

Right-click inside the star shape.

Click the Format Shape option.

Select the Shadow option.

Click the down arrow next to the Color option and make sure you select a dark colour.

Then set the following values as indicated in the diagram on the right.

Click Close.

Reflections

Right-click inside the hexagon shape.

Click the Format Shape option.

Select the Reflection option.

Click the down arrow next to the Presets option.

Select one of the Reflection Variations (I chose the first of them).

Click Close.

Below you can see how my examples turned out.

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Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options

Excel 2010 Masterclass – Conditional Formatting

Blackboard Excel Graphic
Conditional formatting is used when you want to apply a certain style to cells where particular criteria are met.

There are many excellent, pre-determined ways that Excel 2010 provides in order to format cells quickly, some of which are self-explanatory. This blog will concentrate on some of the less well-known techniques that still provide impressive results.

You can download a sample staff details spreadsheet >>here<<, in Excel 2010 format, to accompany these instructions.

If you are ready to continue, let’s get started.

For all the upcoming exercises in this blog we will be using the Conditional Formatting icon that you will find in the Styles section of the Home ribbon bar.

Familiarise yourself with it now. Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of icon and see what options are available. (The icon options are shown below). We will deal with them in the order they appear.

Excel 2010 Graphic

Highlight Cells Rules

Let’s say we want to use conditional formatting to identify the salary bands of our company employees based on the amounts they earn.

The following steps will achieve this.

Highlight the cells containing the salaries (cells G6:G33).

Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the Conditional Formatting icon. Click on the Highlight Cells Rules option and select Greater Than.

In the dialogue box that appears, type 30000 in the first box and select ‘Green Fill with Dark Green Text’ in the other. (Shown below).

Excel 2010 Graphic

Click OK.

Make sure the salary cells are still highlighted.

Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the Conditional Formatting icon again. Click on the Highlight Cells Rules option and select Less Than.

In the dialogue box that appears, this time, type 20000 in the first box and select ‘Light Red Fill with Dark Red Text’ in the other.

Click OK.

Make sure the salary cells are still highlighted.

Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the Conditional Formatting icon again. Click on the Highlight Cells Rules option and select Between.

In the dialogue box that appears there are now three input boxes. Type 20000 in the first box, 30000 in the second box and select ‘Yellow Fill with Dark Yellow Text’ in the third.

Click OK.

Click anywhere in the spreadsheet to view your handywork.

Top/Bottom Rules

Either undo the rules from the exercise above or download a fresh version of the spreadsheet. You are now ready to continue.

You can use these rules to determine the Top 10 items, the bottom 10 items, the top items as a percentage and the bottom items as a percentage etc.

In this example, we will use it to determine the staff members that are paid a higher wage than the mathematical average of the total wage bill.

Highlight the cells containing the salaries (cells G6:G33).

Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the Conditional Formatting icon. Click on the Top/Bottom Rules option and select Above Average.

Excel 2010 Graphic

The dialogue box (shown left) appears.

This time I want to make it a bit more interesting so, select the ‘Custom Format …’ option for the selected range.

This will open up the Format Cells dialogue box.

Select a font colour, border colour and fill colour of your choice and click OK.

Click OK again.

Click anywhere in the spreadsheet to view your handywork.

Data Bars, Color Scales and Icon Sets

Once again, undo the rules from the exercise above or download a fresh version of the spreadsheet. You are now ready to continue with the final exercise.

This next set of rules are very similar so we will examine one technique in greater detail and leave you to play about with the rest to see what you can come up with.

In this example, we will revert back to the salary scales but with a further complicaton of hiding the exact salaries from unauthorised eyes.

Excel 2010 Graphic

Highlight the cells containing the salaries (cells G6:G33).

Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the Conditional Formatting icon. Click on the New Rule … option.

The ‘New Formatting Rule’ dialogue box appears (shown right).

In the Format Style option box, click on the down arrow and select ‘Icon Sets’.

In the Icon Style option box, click on the down arrow and select ’3 Traffic Lights (Rimmed)’.

Tick the box that says ‘Show Icon Only’.

Change both the Type boxes to read ‘Number’.

Change the Value options to 30000 in the top box and 20000 in the bottom box (shown below).

Excel 2010 Graphic

Click OK.

Your completed spreadsheet should look like the one below.

Excel 2010 Graphic

That is the end of our Conditional Formatting masterclass.

Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options