Text Effects

Learning Objectives

  • Change text using text effects.
Text Effects, with glow, outline, shadow, and reflection effects applied

In addition to formatting changes we previously discussed in Fonts, you can also apply effects to text with the Text Effects option. This was known as WordArt in previous versions of Word. You can add shadows, bevels, reflections, and much more.

The Text Effects button is in the Font group of the ribbon.Zoom in on the ribbon bar of a Microsoft Word document. A green arrow is pointing at a smaller green box which is highlighting where the text effects button is.

The top options in the Text Effects menu have some pre-created styles to choose from.

On the left hand side of this split screen image is the text effects menu with a blue text selected. This text has a faint shadow to it. On the right half of this image is the same visual except a different text has been selected. This text is a faint orange that is bolded on the outside and lighter on the inside.

The Text Effects menu also has the options Outline, Shadow, Reflection, and Glow.

Outline

Outline applies a border around the letters of the text.

At the bottom of the text effect menu a separate menu opens up which allows you to adjust the different styles of text. There are 7 options available including: Outline, Shadow, Reflection, and Glow. Outline has been shaded gray indicating that it has been selected. To the right of the outline option a new window has popped up displaying theme colors and standard colors.

Hover over each color to preview what the outline will look like. Click on the color to apply it. If you want to change the outline to a color not in the menu, pick More Outline Colors… for more options.

Green text effect words are being displayed. The words read "Buy 1 Get 1 Free".

Text with a black outline

Use the weight option to change the thickness of the outline.

Green text effect words are being displayed with a black outline. The words read "Buy 1 Get 1 Free".

Text with a 3-pt outline

The Dashes option lets you make a dashed or dotted outline. There are many different kinds of dashes and dots to choose from.

Green text effect words are being displayed with a black outline that is divided randomly into three different parts of the word. The words read "Buy 1 Get 1 Free".

Text with a dashed 3-pt outline

 

Shadow

Shadow applies a shadow to the letters of the text. Hover over one of the A icons to preview the effects. Click on the A to apply that shadow style.

At the bottom of the text effect menu a separate menu opens up which allows you to adjust the different styles of text. There are 7 options available including: Outline, Shadow, Reflection, and Glow. Shadow has been selected displaying three new options. The first being "No Shadow" the second being "Outer" and the third being "Inner".

There are a lot of different shadow options.

text with outside shadow

Text with outside shadow

Green text effect words are being displayed. The words read "Buy 1 Get 1 Free". Is is showing that there is inside shadow being applied.

Text with inside shadow

Green text effect words are being displayed. The words read "Buy 1 Get 1 Free". It shows that perspective shadow is being used.

Text with perspective shadow

The Shadow Options…option at the bottom of the menu allows you to customize the shadows even further by changing the color, transparency, blur, angle, and distance of the shadows.

  • Color: The default shadow is black, but you can change the color to anything you want.
  • Transparency: The higher the the transparency, the lighter the shadow.
  • Blur: An increased blur makes the borders of the shadow more fuzzy, while a decreased blur makes the borders of the shadow more concrete.
  • Angle: In real life, the direction of a shadow is determined by the angle of the light. The Angle option in the Shadow Options lets you change the direction of that imaginary light to alter the path of the shadow.
  • Distance: The shadow can be very close, almost behind the letters, or it can be far away.

Reflection

Reflection reflects the letters of the text as if held up to a mirror. Hover over each option to preview, and click the option to apply it.

At the bottom of the text effect menu a separate menu opens up which allows you to adjust the different styles of text. There are 7 options available including: Outline, Shadow, Reflection, and Glow. Reflection has been selected displaying two new options. The first being "No Reflection" and the second being "Reflection Variations".

There are a couple variations of reflections to choose from. You can also select Reflection Options… to customize the transparency, size, blur, and distance of the reflection.

Green text effect words are being displayed. The words read "Buy 1 Get 1 Free". Is is showing that there is a reflection being applied.

Glow

Glow applies a fuzzy colored shape around the letters of the text that makes the letters appear to be glowing. Hover over each option to preview, and click the option to apply it.

At the bottom of the text effect menu a separate menu opens up which allows you to adjust the different styles of text. There are 7 options available including: Outline, Shadow, Reflection, and Glow. Glow has been selected displaying two new options. The first being "No Glow" and the second being "Glow Variations".

A glow can be any color. Go to More Glow Colors to choose a color not already visible in the menu. You can also select Glow Options… to customize the size and transparency.

Green text effect words are being displayed. The words read "Buy 1 Get 1 Free". It is showing that there is a glow being applied.

Practice Question

Check Your Understanding

Answer the question(s) below to see how well you understand the topics covered in the previous section. This short quiz does not count toward your grade in the class, and you can retake it an unlimited number of times.

Use this quiz to check your understanding and decide whether to (1) study the previous section further or (2) move on to the next section.