Tutorial for Design Elements 003 and 004 – Rectangle/Square Drop Shadows
Using the Rectangle/Square Shadows
The frameworks in this series are either dark or light shadows and a transparent center that can be used with presentations that have a light or dark background (see examples to the right).
These frameworks provide an added little flourish to elevate the look of your presentations. You can use them as a frame around a photograph (to soften the blunt edges) or to highlight text and graphic elements.
Choose the size that is most appropriate for your intended use and adjust the sizing as little as possible. If you import a a large oval and size it down too far, you lose much of the shadow effect. You want to preserve the size of the shadow as much as possible.
Customizing the Rectangle/Square Shadows
It is important to choose the framework within the series that is sized closest to its intended use. Sizing the framework also sizes the shadow, which you want to be as close to original size as possible for the sake of consistency. Once you have the closest sized framework on the page, either adjust the size of the photograph/graphic (which is the better choice) or grab a handle of the framework and adjust the rectangle until it is sized just right.
You cannot apply color to these frameworks by selecting fill or line colors. If you are using PowerPoint 2007, however, you can change the color by recoloring the design element as a photograph: make the design element active, click on "format," click on "Recolor," and choose your color.
For more on how to color PNG images read the FAQ - How can I recolor the PNGs in the Design Elements Category?
These frameworks cannot accept 3D effects.
Applying a shadow color will add color to the design element in pre-PowerPoint 2007 versions. The example above left is without shadow color and the example above right has dark blue added to it as a shadow effect.
Gradients, patterns, and pictures
Gradients cannot be added to these frameworks.
Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. Simple reveals and fades work well. Do not animate the design element separately from the photograph/graphic/text with which it is associated.