Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Understanding Fill Effects.

Understanding Fill Effects

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 7, 2018)

4

Word is not a specialized graphics program, but you can apply a few fancy effects to your drawing objects when you fill them with a color. To see the available effects, follow these steps:

  1. Select the drawing object you want to modify.
  2. Make sure the Format tab is selected on the ribbon. (This tab is only visible if you select the drawing object in step 1.)
  3. Click the down-arrow at the right side of the Shape Fill tool in the Shape Styles group. You'll see a drop-down list of choices that includes the fill options available; select one.

These are the four fill options you have at your disposal in Word 2007 and three in Word 2010 or a later version:

  • Picture. This option allows you to pick a picture that is used to fill your drawing object. Depending on the picture you use, this can create some very interesting special effects.
  • Gradient. This option is used to modify the density of the color used in various parts of the drawing object. You should experiment with these to get the desired effect.
  • Texture. This option displays many different surface textures you can use to fill your drawing object. There are some great marble, fabric, and wood textures provided with Word.
  • Pattern. This option, available only in Word 2007, presents many different patterns you can use in conjunction with whatever fill color you have used. Many of the patterns are reminiscent of the patterns you can use in designing your Windows desktop.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11390) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding Fill Effects.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 7 + 2?

2018-04-21 06:00:10

AlanP

The Pattern option is not only available in Word 2007.
In Word 2016, I found that if you right click then select Format Shape (or click on the arrow in the bottom right of the Shape Styles group) to open the Format Shape dialog box, the Pattern option is there under the Fill group of options!
Also, using this method, you can change both foreground and background colours of the Pattern fill!


2018-04-08 16:48:22

Allan Poe

You are right Allen, I was trying to fill an image not a shape.
Sorry.
I look forward to your daily nuggets.
Thanks.


2018-04-07 14:49:10

Allen

Allan,

Looks like you are trying to do a fill on a picture, not on a shape. This tip is about filling shapes created with the Shapes tool on the Insert tab of the ribbon.

Once created, you can select the shape, as described in step 1 of this tip. Then, you'll see the Format tab of the ribbon appear, but right above it you'll see the words "Drawing Tools." In your screen snippet the words above are "Picture Tools," which is why I said that it appears you are trying to fill a picture, not a shape.

-Allen


2018-04-07 14:42:35

Allan Poe

There is no Shape Fill tool or Shape Styles group in my Word 2007.
See the attached image of what is in my Word 2007.
None of these tools have "...the fill options you have at your disposal in Word 2007 ".
(see Figure 1 below)


Figure 1. My Word 2007 Format Tools.




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