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Shading works hand-in-hand with borders. Wherever borders can be placed, shading can fill in the enclosed space. But you don't need borders to use shading. You can shade selected text, paragraphs, or cell tables without placing the single border. Now I want to use shading on the first body paragraph of this document just as an example. I'll start by selecting the paragraph. Then I'll go into the Tables ribbon-- and yes I know isn't a table. I'll choose a color from the Shading menu.
That's this menu over here. Just pull the menu dow, and choose a color. In most cases, you're going to want to pick a light color. I'll pick this light purple color. Now deselect the paragraphs so you can really see it. You'll see that the shading is applied to the background. To remove that shading, I can select the paragraph again, pull down that menu, and choose No Fill. Now the shading is gone. That's simple shading. But I can also get more complex. I'm going to select that again, and I'll pull down the Format menu, and choose Borders and Shading.
Then in the dialog that appears, make sure that the Shading button is selected. There are a lot more options here to choose from. Fill, when used by itself, is the same as shading. You can click one of the colors here, or you could use the More Colors button to use a color wheel and use that color wheel to select a color you want. You can use several different color pickers. These are pretty standard to Mac OS X. When you pick the color that you want, maybe I'll pick this orangey color here. That becomes the background color for it.
The Shading pane also lets you set up a pattern. That's what this area here is about. The first bunch of patterns uses dots to set up a percentage of foreground color over the background fill. But if you scroll down, you'll see some other patterns here. Some different stripes, and checks, and lines. Choose one of these from the menu. Maybe you'll choose the Lt or Light Grid. The foreground color is black by default, but you can choose another color. Now this Color menu is active.
I can display it, and I can choose a different color. Maybe I'll choose this blue color here. The Preview area warns you how awful this is going to look. But I'm going to click OK anyway just to see what it looks like in my document. When I deselect that paragraph, I can see what I've just done. It does look pretty bad. But you get an idea of the background color, which is that peach, and the foreground color with the grid pattern. The foreground color is that blue color. I want to get rid of that. So I'll select it all again.
Pull down the Format menu, pick Borders and Shading. To get rid of that, I need to do two things. First, I need to remove the fill by clicking No Fill. Then under a Style for Patterns, I need to select Clear and now it's gone. When I click OK, it's disappeared. The same techniques work for tables. I'm happy to have a table open right here. Maybe I want to make the top row a certain shade. So I select that row. Then in the Tables Ribbon, I can choose a color from the Shading menu.
So I'll pull down this menu, and I'll pick a color, maybe one of these green colors. Again, you want to pick a light color so the text will show up in front of it. I could also use the Borders and Shading dialog again to create a pattern fill like I did before. I do want to mention one other slightly related thing, and that's background color. Background color isn't shading. Instead it's a color that can be applied to an entire page. Click the Layout button to display layout options. Now click the Color button under Page Background, and a menu appears.
Choose the color that you want to appear on the background of the page. The entire page turns that color. I want to caution you about using this in documents that will be printed. The problem is most printers cannot print all the way to the edge of the page. So if you print a page with a background color, chances are that page will have a white border around it. I'm not saying it won't work for you. I'm just telling you to experiment with it before relying on it. It really depends in your printer. So as we've seen here, shading, including pattern, shading can be applied to text, paragraphs, and table cells.
Select first and then apply. When used properly, this feature can really improve the appearance of your documents. But use it with care. It could just as easily turn your document into a tacky ugly mess.
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