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Word 2010 New Features
Illustration by Neil Webb

Applying text effects


From:

Word 2010 New Features

with Gini Courter

Video: Applying text effects

PowerPoint 2007 was the first Office application to use text effects. In 2007 PowerPoint templates included text that looked like WordArt, only better, but was entered and edited and formatted as you would format text. Three years later these new text effects have finally arrived in Word 2010. When you insert WordArt, you are being allowed to create logo types, graphics created from characters and symbols. Text effects aren't WordArt; they are totally different.

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Word 2010 New Features
1h 55m Appropriate for all May 12, 2010

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Word 2010 New Features shows how to use the features in Microsoft Word 2010 to proficiently create professionally formatted and richly illustrated documents. Author Gini Courter shows how to use its collaboration and saving tools and takes a complete tour of the Backstage file management system. The course also covers text effects and SmartArt layouts, improved image editing tools, and workspace customization options. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Ensuring document compatibility
  • Managing documents with Backstage view
  • Recovering unsaved documents
  • Co-authoring in SharePoint
  • Adjusting pictures and adding effects
  • Inserting screenshots into documents
  • Reviewing and annotating directly in a document with a tablet computer
Subject:
Business
Software:
Word
Author:
Gini Courter

Applying text effects

PowerPoint 2007 was the first Office application to use text effects. In 2007 PowerPoint templates included text that looked like WordArt, only better, but was entered and edited and formatted as you would format text. Three years later these new text effects have finally arrived in Word 2010. When you insert WordArt, you are being allowed to create logo types, graphics created from characters and symbols. Text effects aren't WordArt; they are totally different.

Your text is still text. You can spellcheck the text. You can save the text as a format. So when you want to create a text effect, begin by selecting text. You'll find the text effects in the Font group of the Home tab. There are four types of text effects: outline, shadow, reflection and glow. And then there are preset combinations of those effects that appear at the top of this dropdown menu. Let's take a look at each of the effects separately.

For example, we can outline the text that we've selected. The default here is no outline, but we can say we'd like to outline this text in red. Notice that we have a red outline surrounding the text color that already exists. We will make this a little larger so that we can clearly see the effects that we are applying. To remove the outline, simply choose No Outline. And once you've applied an outline then you can point to any color and see it reflected. There is purple and orange, for example.

You can also change the weight of the outline. You can have a much broader, wider outline. Remember that the center point of the line is going to be the edge of the character. So if you apply, for example, a 6 point, it will not only cover the text inside, but you'll end up having nothing but blobs. So the thinner the better. 1 point is a good outline for text of this size, which is a 22. You can also say that you'd like to change the way the outline is represented. Rather than having a solid outline, you could choose to have diamonds or dots, dashes of one kind or another.

We will remove the outline now and take a look at shadow effects. Shadows are 3-dimensional type of effects. It looks like there is a lighting source coming from one direction and then a shadow, either an outer shadow, notice the shadow here to the right and offset off the bottom. Here is a shadow Diagonal Top Right, which would mean that the light source was coming from the diagonal bottom left. Then there are inner shadows. We don't see much with inner shadows here they are more subtle because it's shadowing inside of the character that we are already seeing.

And then there are perspective shadows. Here is a shadow that as if the light is from behind these characters, and the shadow falls in front, or light from the front, and the shadow falls in back to the left, and again in the front. You can choose a shadow. You can also set further options for shadows. With shadows, you can say how transparent you'd like them to be, which is a measure of how dark or light they are. You can say I'd like a shadow that's actually much larger, which would mean that the light, in terms of a perspective, was higher or lower than the object.

You can blur the shadow, or you can set a particular angle, or a distance away that you'd like the shadow to begin from your characters. You have a lot of control over how this shadow works. You could also choose a different color for a shadow. It's a little strange, but you could have a orange shadow, for example, or a salmon shadow that came off a blue type. Typically you'll have a shadow that's black, and then is made more transparent, so it ends up being grey. Let's remove that shadow and take a look at reflections.

With the reflection, it's not quite the same as a shadow because reflections are all in front of your characters. They will appear directly below them, and rather than being offset at an angle like a shadow is, reflections are as if someone is standing on top of a mirror, or standing at the edge of a pond, a very popular effect for folks to use. So let's take a look at some of the reflections. This is a tight reflection, and it's touching the letters. Notice that we see the description as we point to the reflection. This is a half reflection so halfway through the reflection, it starts to taper off.

A full reflection we get to see the entire letter touching. And here we have some other offset by 4 points, offset by 8 points. So you have a number of different reflections that you can use: some that are tight, some that are offset, some that taper away as it reaches the top of the reflection and some where the entire reflection appears. Let's just set that reflection and look at it for a moment. You also have the options for reflections, as you might imagine. You can set the transparency for the reflection. You can set the distance.

You can set the amount of blur very precisely, if you wish. Let's remove that reflection and finally take a look at glow, our last effect. Glow is nice and a little over the top all at the same time. What glow does is it provides a shimmer around your characters. And the colors that you see here in our Glow variations are colors that derive directly from the theme that's applied. So it's not quite the same as an outline, with an outline could intrude on the character itself, but here we are just sort of having a little neon light effect.

These are all 5 point glows. We can then move to 8 point glows, 11 point glows, finally a very large, broad glow that colors the entire background. And notice though in each of these cases again the difference between a glow and an outline is that we haven't lost the characters. They're still there. There are other glow colors that you have access to, the entire palette of colors. And then finally, of course, there are Glow options that you can set very precisely, setting your transparency, setting the size of the glow.

Let's remove the glow now and take a look at the Preset options. The Preset options include both an outline and a shadow, or an outline and reflection, a glow and reflection all in one place. So with our text selected as we point, you'll notice that we get some gradient fills as well, inner shadow, outline. And you can read the description and see all of the settings that combine in order to make this particular text effect package work for you.

Part of what makes text effects so useful in Word 2010 is they give us access to the same effects that we've had for pictures since 2007. So I have an image here, and even in 2007, I could take this image and I could say I'd like to apply an effect to this image. And you'll notice its part of the same list Shadow, Reflection and Glow. So if, for example, I wanted to apply a reflection to this image - there is my tight reflection touching, the half reflection touching.

I like to apply that. This I have been able to do since Word 2007. Now in 2010, I can take my text near that image and match it up, whether it's a caption or a nearby heading. I can select my text. I can go Reflection and choose that same Half Reflection touching here, which ties this text very nicely to this image in my document. Using Word 2010's text effects along with the existing image effects helps focus your reader on important concepts in your document, or can simply be used to create a more attractive, well-themed, consistent document that captures your audience's attention.

I hope you enjoy the new text effects in Word 2010.

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