Text Effects in PowerPoint for Resource Creation

Do you enjoy creating, formatting, and designing resources? Are you looking for ways to make your resources stand out? I’ve got you! Designing resources and making them look “pretty” can quickly become overwhelming. In this post I am going to show you how to use my favorite text effects in PowerPoint when creating resources.


These effects are great to use for headings or the top of your resource. If you are a seller on Teachers Pay Teachers, then these effects are PERFECT to use on cover photos, thumbnails, and previews. You want your resources to stand out when potential buyers are searching for resources on TPT.


Disclaimer: In this video I am working on MAC PowerPoint 2019. Therefore, some options and location of formatting may be slightly different depending on what year and type of Microsoft PowerPoint you use.

Text Formatting

Open a new PowerPoint presentation. Insert a text box and type in that text box.  Most of you probably know the basic formatting for text in PowerPoint that include font, font size, font color, alignment, etc. 



There are some additional formatting tools that you can use with text in PowerPoint. First, right click on the text box and select “Format shape”. A side window will show up to format the textbox and the text within it.



“Shape Options” will automatically be selected. In this window you can choose how to fill in the actual text box and what effects the outline of the text box can be.



There are A LOT of options for how to format and fill in the actual text. To do this, click “Text Options” in the “Format Shape” side tool bar. Automatically you will in the first tab, which is a solid filled “A”.  *Pro-Tip: When changing the fill of your text, use a font that is thicker and block like.

Gradient Fill

Your text will automatically be on solid fill. One fill option is called “Gradient fill”. Gradient fill gives it a watercolor effect. 



You are able to change the colors (ie: brand colors if you sell your resources) by clicking on the flags in the bar that is located  under the “Gradient Stops”. If you need more colors, you can add them in. The flags move left and right on the bar. This will change when the gradient colors fill to.



Under “Text Outline” you can outline your text by selecting “Solid line”. Then you are able to format the outline to fit your needs (ie: thickness, color).

Picture or Texture Fill

Another fill option is “Picture or texture fill”. For a picture, you would upload the picture you need, such as flowers. The inside of your text will then be filled with the image you chose. 



PowerPoint already has the images to use for the texture option. Some options could include wood grain, paper, etc. To change the texture, select the dropdown menu that is across from “Texture”.

Pattern Fill

The next fill option is “Pattern fill”. There are various patterns that PowerPoint provides. You are also able to select what colors you want to use as the pattern and the background to the pattern.

Text Format Options

In the second tab under “Text Options” (Letter A that is outlined) you can change the text using shadows, reflection, glow, soft edges, 3-D format, and 3-D rotation.


  • Shadow- adds a shadow to the back of your text

  • Reflection- adds a shadow like reflection below your text

  • Glow- ability to choose a glow to go around your text (including the color the of the glow)

  • 3D format- play around with settings to make text really pop out


All of these tools can be used to make your text really stand out and pop on your resources. The best way to get your text to stand out is to play around with all of the settings until you find what works best for you!

Smart Art or Word Art

Smart Art or Word Art will allow for you to transform your text in ways that you can’t do with just formatting plain text.



To add word art or smart art, go to the “Insert” tab on the top menu. Select “Word Art” or “Smart Art” (depends on the version of PPT that you have). Type in the text you want. Then, format to your desire (ie: font, font size, alignment, etc.)



The advanced formatting settings for word art or smart art will include the same formatting options as plain text. The added bonus of using word art or smart art is that you can transform the text into different shapes. 



Click on the text in the word art or smart art and then under “Shape Format” you will see “Text Effects”. The icon is a blue outlined “A”. Click the “Text Effects” and select “Transform” to bring up the dropdown menu to show the different types of transformations.



Circle Smart Art or Word Art

Some of my favorite transformations are the semi circle and the circle. Select one of those from the dropdown menu to make your text wrap around into a circle. 



Once you select either of those options, you may have to format the text (ie: font size). Also, your semi circle or circle might seem very off. That is because the text box is not a square. You need to format the text box to be a perfect square in order for the text to wrap into a perfect circle.



To do this, first select your text box. Then, right click and open the “Shape Format” side menu. Click the rightmost icon that is a little box. Lastly, edit the height and width of your text box to be a square (ie: 4 in x 4 in).



Next, you can play with the formatting to get it to your liking. If you move the yellow circle that shows up by the text it will change how much or little the text spreads out. 



You also have the ability to rotate it as well. Lastly, you can format the text as you would regularly (ie: font, font size, color, etc.).

Types of Smart Art or Word Art

Overall, there are a lot of different transformations other than the circle or semi circle. You can change the transformation by highlighting your text, going to the text effects and opening up the “Transform” drop down menu. Select any type of transformation you desire.


I hope these tips were helpful! There are so many cool things that you can do within PowerPoint when it comes to formatting and designing text for your resources! Playing with text effects in PowerPoint has allowed for me to design resources that really stand out.  Do you love using keyboard shortcuts too?! Comment below or tag me on Instagram and let me know!


Creating engaging resources doesn’t have to stop here! Head to LindsayBowden.com/Training to sign up for my FREE training on creating engaging math resources!


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If you want more info about creating math resources, check out Math Resource Academy (Lindsaybowden.com/join).


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