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Monday
Oct312011

Visio– Adding Shadows to Text

Sometimes you want to add some extra emphasis to your text in a Visio diagram by adding a shadow.

For example, you want to turn this …

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Into this …

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Notice that the shadow has a little transparency so that it darkens what us underneath it.

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There are two techniques to getting these shadows.

 

THE SCREENCAST

You can watch me perform these steps or read about them below the video.

 

THE NORMAL WAY

This is the most convential way: by duplicating a shape and setting the the text properties as needed.

The original text.

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Duplicate the shape

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Then select the shape that will serve as a shadow and right-click and select Format > Text

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Then in the Text properties, in the Font tab, set the Color to black and the Transparency to 50%.

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This leaves you with the primary text and the shadow.

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Now we simply put them closer together …

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So this all works, but it has one big disadvantage: the shadow doesn’t respond dynamically to the text.

If you need to change the text, you’ll have to change the shadow separately …

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If you modify the text in other ways: changing the size, or font, or style, you will have to again match those changes in the shadow.

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And of course, you will have to deal with handling two objects instead of one.

If only there was a better way.

 

THE BETTER WAY

This technique is not any more complex, and had the distinct improvement that the shadow will always dynamically respond to the text.

Again we start with the original text.

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Select the shape and then under the Format menu, click Shadow

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The Shadow dialog will appear.

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Set the Style to “02: Offset, lower right”

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Then select a Color. You can pick anything, but of course, in this example use black.

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Set the Transparency to 50%

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You can control the position of the shadow via Size & Position.

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Then press OK. Now you have a shadow.

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And now when you edit or modify the text in any way, the shadow dynamically responds…

 

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Reader Comments (1)

Good tip -- and if you're using Visio 2010, it's even easier to create text shadows. Plus, like many Visio 2010 features, you get live preview of your potential changes before you make them.

In Visio 2010, simply select the text block to which you want to add shadows, then on the Home tab, in the Shape group, click the Shadow button. The drop-down color palette lets you choose a color for whatever is the active shadow style. If you want to change the shadow style, slide down and click Shadow Options to open the same dialog Saveen shows above.

November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScott Helmers

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