A simple shadow element can add depth and eliminate some of the flat look and feel of a slide. In the last post I added a simple shadow box to a list box and a chart, here is how to create the shadow box – using PowerPoint autoshapes.

First create a rectangle. Set the fill to black and no outline/stroke.
PowerPoint rectangle autoshape

With the rectangle selected go to the Fill Effects.
Fill Effects

(1) In the Fill Effects window
(2) Go to the Gradient tab
(3) Move the slider all the way to the right/lighter
(4) Adjust the From opacity to 40%
(5) The To opacity should be at 100% (set when we moved the slider in #3)
(6) In the Shading Styles select From Center
Fill Effects Settings

Your rectangle will now look like this:
Smooth Gradient Filled Rectangle

The best thing about this rectangle is that it is a native PowerPoint autoshape. It can be adjusted as large or small as needed without any distortion or loss of quality. In addition you can go back into the Fill Effects and change the color and the inner opacity to best suite your slide!

Troy @ TLC