PowerPoint’s 3D effects can turn a square into a box and can extrude other AutoShapes, but circles just turn into disks. You can’t get a sphere. The way to make a circle look like a sphere is to add a radial gradient, but alas, PowerPoint doesn’t have good radial gradients. You need to go elsewhere.
The good news is that most graphics programs have radial gradients. Examples are Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Freehand, CorelDraw, and Macromedia Fireworks and Flash. You can even use the free OpenOffice.org’s Draw program. (OpenOffice.org also has a presentation program, Impress.)
If you create a radial gradient in another program, you can use it as a fill for a circle to give the impression of a ball, as shown here:
By adding a shadow (a rotated ellipse), you can make the ball look even more realistic. There are several methods of getting your radial gradient into PowerPoint, but here’s one:
- Create the radial gradient, making it a perfect circle. You want two colors, one of them white. The white gives the look of a highlight created by a light source. The important point is to place the white part off center, as shown in the image here. Make sure there’s no line around the edge. You just want the fill. (I did this in Photoshop.)
- Select the gradient and copy it to the Clipboard.
- Go to your slide in PowerPoint and paste. With the gradient selected, right click and choose Save as Picture. (PowerPoint 2002/2003) Name and save the image.
- Draw a circle.
- Right-click the circle and choose Format AutoShape. Click the Colors and Lines tab.
- From the Line Color drop-down list, choose No Line.
- From the Fill Color drop-down list, choose Fill Effects. Click the Picture tab, and click the Select Picture button.
- Find and choose the image you saved. Click Insert.
- Click OK twice to return to your slide. Your circle now looks like a ball.
yeah!!! it helps me more. Before reading this i could not think that i can give a 3D effect. Thanks…
thanks,,,because i’ve been searching for one hour in ppt struggling to draw a sphere but no chance with 2003 office
I don’t think you can. In 2007 and above, use this method: http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/review-powerpoint-2010-bible/. It’s quite cool.
I just recently graduated from a technical college which taught the basics of autocad. My problem is the new company I work for requires me to use left hand commands. This is a really tough transition to overcome b/c my instructor didn’t believe in left commands. Is there any advice you could give me on this matter.
James, do you mean using keyboard shortcuts with your left hand to not take your right hand off the mouse? If so, I find it strange that anyone would require or not believe in left-hand commands. Who cares as long as you get the work done in time? I must be missing something…
YES! WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL I GUESS IT WAS NEVER PUSHED TO BE DONE. I GUESS MY INSTRUCTOR HAD THE SAME MENTALITY ON THIS SUBJECT AS YOU, MEANING AS LONG AS YOUR GETTING THE WORK DONE WHO CARES. I WAS JUST WONDERING, B/C MY NEW JOB HATES THE RIGHT HAND BEING ON THE KEYBOARD.