In which I show how to abuse features to great effect. So that you don't lose interest on the way, here is the payoff:

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And I have attached the slide deck: msdn-saveenr-powerpoint-hotness-part-4-2007-07-01.pptx

How to do this

Among the Shape Effects, you'll find Inner Shadows:

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We could do some nice boring things like this:

 

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Which one presumes is supposed to mimic the effect of something "cut-out of the page" so that is visible underneath. This can be used to bore your audience with a "torn-page effect" as demonstrated below:

 

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Just because it is called "Inner Shadow" doesn't mean we must use it to create shadows.

 

Instead, let's exploit it to create some added depth to normal shapes. In this example I'll show how to create a nice button.

First start with a rounded rectangle and give it a gradient.

 

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This still requires some real trial and error to get a good gradient that will simulate a decent "jelly button look". The attached PPT contains the gradient, so you don't have to manually rebuild it.

For those curious the gradient is defined as:

  • Gradient type = Linear, Angle = 90 (goes top to bottom)
  • Gradient Stops:
    • Stop #1: Color=255,255,55 ; Stop-Position=0%
    • Stop #2: Color=253,186,86 ; Stop-Position=12%
    • Stop #3: Color=255,157,9 ; Stop-Position=13%
    • Stop #4: Color=252,238,218 ; Stop-Position=100%

 

A good start. How much more dimension an we add? We'll try a Bevel.

The default bevel settings give it this look:

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FYI Here are the settings for default bevel:

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The effect was OK but a bit harsh. I wanted something smoother. Let's try bumping the bevel width and height:

 

 

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This yields: 

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Definitely more dimension. But also more harsh. Also I hate the corners. I wanted something smoother.

Now we bring in "Inner Shadow"

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With the gradient providing some glass-effect highlights adding an inner shadow provided some smooth depth to give some more dimension. It doesn't look so much like an inner shadow at all.

FYI: Here are the settings.

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Let's try increasing the blur.

 

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Look how smooth the effect is.

As we play with the shadow color and the blur, some rich effects can be achieved.

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A disadvantage of using Inner Shadow is that once you use it, you lose the ability to also have an outer shadow at the same time. You can work around this by duplicating the shape, adding an outer shadow, and then moving the shape with the outer shadow, behind the shape with the inner shadow.

 

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