Maybe Web 2.0 is already an old look, but you still see a lot of it. Of course, Web 2.0 really refers to how a website functions–especially interactivity and sharing.
But, along with Web 2.0 has come a type of design and one of its main hallmarks is a clean, shiny look. Why shiny? I have no idea, but you see a lot of reflections and highlights. For example, look at the Download button on one of my sites, TellnShow.com, and you’ll see a reflection. (This is my “Campaign Against Death by PowerPoint” site.) The reflection indicates a shiny surface, of course.
Other aspects of Web 2.0 design that you see are subtle gradients, rounded corners, and soft shadows. In fact, if you look again at TellnShow.com, you’ll see that the images have soft shadows.
Reflections are easy in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010. Just select an object and click the Format tab. Click Shape Effects> Reflection and choose one of the options. I have a tip, “Create text reflections,” that you might also find helpful.
Here’s an example of a slide using reflections. In addition, I used the 3D Rotation feature to angle the left and right rectangles.
Here are the steps to create this effect:
- Go to Home tab> Drawing group and choose the Rounded Rectangle. Place it on the left side of the slide.
- Press Ctrl + D to duplicate the rectangle and drag it to the right of the first one. Press Ctrl + D again to get a third. Move them until you get the placement that you want.
- Double-click the first rectangle to display the Format tab. In the Shape Styles group, choose Shape Fill> Picture. In the dialog box that opens, double-click the picture that you want.
- Select the first rectangle again. On the Drawing Tools Format tab, choose Shape Effects> Reflections and choose one of the options. I chose Full Reflection, Touching. Do the same for the other rectangles. (Tip: Just select a rectangle and press F4 to repeat the formatting.)
- To add the 3D angle, select the first (left) rectangle. On the Drawing Tools Format tab, choose Shape Effects> 3D Rotation and choose an option. For the left rectangle, I chose Perspective Heroic Extreme Right (strange name!) in the Perspective section. Try out a few of the options to see which one you like.
- Repeat with the right rectangle. I chose Perspective Heroic Extreme Left.
If you want, add a gradient background. My tip, “Create multi-color gradients in PowerPoint,” explains how to create gradients. I used black and two shades of gray.
Reflections in 2003 are a bit harder, but I’ll give you the steps for images that aren’t angled in 3D. This technique requires a solid background. Basically, you create an upside-down duplicate and cover that with a shape that gradates from 0 to 50% transparency. These steps will create one image reflection.
- From the Drawing toolbar, choose AutoShapes> Rounded Rectangle.
- Double-click the image, click the Fill Color drop-down arrow and choose Fill Effects.
- On the Picture tab, click Select Picture, navigate to the picture and double-click it. Click OK.
- In the Line Color drop-down list, choose No Line if you don’t want a border. Click OK.
- Select the AutoShape with the picture fill and press Ctrl+D to duplicate it.
- Move the duplicate so that it exactly covers the original and choose Draw (from the Drawing toolbar)> Rotate or Flip> Flip Vertical.
- Move the upside-down duplicate so that it is under the original.
- Draw another rounded rectangle exactly covering the reflection.
- Double-click the new rectangle and choose Fill Effects from the Fill Color drop-down list.
- On the Gradient tab, choose Two Colors.
- Set both colors to the color of the background.
- With the Shading Style set to the default Horizontal, in the Transparency section, set From to 50% and To to 0%. Click OK.
- As you did before, set the line to No Line and click OK.
Here’s an example.