Using gradients in PowerPoint 2010 to make your titles stand out

Sometimes, complex background images interfere with title legibility.

PSales presentationowerPoint 2003 introduced a way of managing transparency effects so that text areas fit better with backgrounds than before. Now, with PowerPoint 2010, graphic features are even more refined, and gradient transparency can be managed to make titles pop out while preserving the integrity of the background image.





Sales presentations - titleTake this photo for example. The background makes it difficult to read the text, no matter what font color you use. White is worse, but black is still difficult to read.







Sales Presentation - PowerPoint 2003Putting a colored background over the entire text area has always been an option… but it cuts into the image.








Sales Presentation - PowerPoint 2003Starting with PowerPoint 2003, we could manage the transparency, and thus preserve a bit more of the image. (Shape Fill/More Colors).  But the text did not really look like part of the image.







PowerPoint 2010 - GradientWith PowerPoint 2010, we can now manage color gradient and transparency.
1. Click on Shape Fill
2. Click on Gradient in the sub-menu
3. Click on More Gradients in the sub-sub-menu
4. To duplicate the example, you will have to create 4 gradient points. You can create or remove as many as you want (note that the shape is larger than the text, and that the text is aligned with the top to leave room for the gradient under the text.)
5. The first point, which corresponds to the top of the text area: Position 0%, color black, transparency 40%
6. and 7. These are identical, and correspond to the area behind the text. Color black, transparency 50%, one positioned at 30%, and the other at 50% of the text area.
8. Finally, the last point is positioned at 100%, with transparency at 100% to blend perfectly with the image.




Sales Presentation - PowerPoint 2010The result is perfectly legible text that blends nicely into the image.









Sales Presentation - PowerPoint 2010PowerPoint 2010 allows many variants of this. Here, the edge of the background image was tinted with the color of the track to reduce noise (see the “Matching Font Color to a Picture” article to learn how to use a color from the image).The slide at the front was created by tightening the gradient points.






PowerPoint 2010 - Glow effectOverall, PowerPoint 2010 offers many graphic innovations that justify upgrading to this version. These options allow you to tackle the problem from other angles: here the text was highlighted by using the glow effect (Format/Text Effect – Glow).









See this page in french: Comment faire ressortir les titres sous PowerPoint 2010 avec les dégradés.

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  1. […] It is even more important when you write text over pictures. If the image doesn’t have plenty of empty space so that your text can fit comfortably in the slide with good contrast, you will have to use gradients to make your titles stand out. To learn more about this click on Using gradients in PowerPoint 2010 to make your titles stand out […]

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