How to Apply a Text Shadow in PowerPoint

Plus how to remove shadows

What to Know

  • Select the text and click Shadow in the floating toolbar.
  • Select the text, go to the Shape Format tab, and pick a Shadow style in the Text Effects drop-down list.
  • Right-click the text and pick Format Text Effects. Use the Shadow section in the sidebar to apply and customize the shadow.

This article explains three ways to apply a shadow to text in Microsoft PowerPoint. If you change your mind later, we’ll also show you how to remove the shadow.

Apply a Text Shadow Using the Floating Toolbar

The quickest and easiest way to apply a shadow effect to your text in PowerPoint is by using the floating toolbar. This toolbar displays when you use PowerPoint on Windows; it’s not available on Mac.

  1. Select the text you want to add the shadow to by dragging your cursor through it.

    Select the text by dragging your cursor through it
  2. You should see the floating toolbar display immediately above your selected text.

    The floating toolbar appears in PowerPoint on Windows
  3. Click the Shadow button in the toolbar.

    Shadow button in the toolbar in PowerPoint

By adding shadow to text using the toolbar, you’ll see the default application of the effect. It's a basic shadow to match the text color. It has a three-point distance and a 45-degree angle.

Apply a Text Shadow Using the Ribbon in PowerPoint

Another option for adding a shadow to your text is with the ribbon on the Shape Format tab. With this option, you can pick the angle for your shadow and use the feature on both Windows and Mac.

  1. Select the text you want to add the shadow to and then go to the Shape Format tab that appears.

    Shape Format tab in PowerPoint
  2. Click the drop-down arrow for Text Effects in the WordArt Styles section of the ribbon. Move your cursor to Shadow.

    Text Effects and Shadow highlighted in PowerPoint
  3. Choose the type of shadow you want to apply in the pop-out menu. You can pick from Outer, Inner, or Perspective for the angle. Each angle offers several options for the top, bottom, left, or right of the letters in the text.

    Shadow text effect in PowerPoint

By using the ribbon to add your shadow, you have various options to pick from for the type of shadow you like best.

Apply a Text Shadow Using the Format Shape Sidebar

Maybe you’re specific on how you want your shadow angled. Or perhaps, you’d like to use a different color than the default. You can customize exactly how the shadow appears using the Format Shape sidebar in these cases.

  1. Select the text you want to add the shadow to, right-click, and pick Format Text Effects.

    Format Text Effects in text options
  2. The Format Shape sidebar will open on the right. Confirm Text Options is selected at the top, you are on the Text Effects tab, and the Shadow section is expanded.

    Text Options is and Shadow in PowerPoint Text Effects
  3. You can use a Preset shadow which provides the same effects as those in the ribbon described earlier. But for complete customization, use the settings for Color, Transparency, Size, Angle, and so on.

    You’ll see your text change as you adjust these settings. It allows you to make additional tweaks to the settings to create the perfect shadow effect for your text. 

    Settings for text Shadow in PowerPoint

Using the Format Shape sidebar, you can fine-tune the shadow for your text in PowerPoint on Windows and Mac.

Remove a Shadow From Text in PowerPoint

Removing it is simple if you have a change of heart about using a shadow effect for your text. Select the text and then use one of these two methods to eliminate the shadow. 

  • Click the Shadow button in the floating toolbar to deselect it.
  • Go to the Shape Format tab and click the Text Effects drop-down arrow. Move your cursor to Shadow and choose No Shadow in the pop-out menu.
No Shadow in the PowerPoint Text Effects

Along with applying a shadow, consider making your slide text stand out by animating it one word at a time in PowerPoint.

  • How do I curve text in PowerPoint?

    To use curved text in PowerPoint, add WordArt and go to Text Effects > Transform and select a curve style. You can then manipulate your text with the Drawing, Path, and Warp tools.

  • How do I wrap text in PowerPoint?

    To wrap text around an image, select the image and go to Home > Arrange > Send to Back, then create a text box over the image and enter your text. Or, go to Insert > Object > Microsoft Word Document, insert your image and text, then right-click and choose Wrap Text > Tight.

  • How do I hide text in PowerPoint?

    For lists of bulleted points, use the Dim Text effect to hide the text of your previous point. You can also use PowerPoint text animations to make words appear and disappear.

Was this page helpful?