Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Understanding Fill Effects.

Understanding Fill Effects

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 27, 2016)

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. Click on the down-arrow next to the Fill Color tool on the Drawing toolbar. Word displays a color menu.
  3. From the color menu, click your mouse on Fill Effects. Word displays the Fill Effects dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Fill Effects dialog box.

You can use the tools in the dialog box to change how the filling in the drawing object is rendered. The tabs in the dialog box allow the following:

  • Gradient. This tab 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 tab 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 tab 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.
  • Picture. This tab 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.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1860) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Editing AutoText Entries Directly

Editing AutoText entries, and particularly deleting them, can be cumbersome if you have a lot of changes to make. There are a ...

Discover More

Professional Looking Fractions

Professional typesetting has, in many ways, spoiled us. One way this is evident is in the preference we show for making ...

Discover More

Changing Macro Cell References Based on Edits

Place a cell reference in a macro, modify the structure of your worksheet, and you may soon find that the cell reference in ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Choosing an Insert Method for Pictures

The way that you choose to add pictures to your document can have an effect on the file size of those documents. It is best ...

Discover More

Scaling Graphics in a Macro

If you need to make sure that the graphics in a document are all scaled similarly, you'll love the macros presented in this ...

Discover More

Default Picture Location

When you insert pictures into a document, the first folder that Word opens up is normally the My Pictures folder. You can ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.