Feather Effect Edges on PowerPoint

By Matt Skaggs

Getting the final touches right in your presentation can greatly improve its effectiveness.
i BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

When you're putting together a PowerPoint presentation to use in a business meeting, you'll eventually reach the point that you're ready to begin fine-tuning the elements of your slide show. This includes minor changes to animations and various effects you prefer on images. One effect you may want is feathering an image or shape, which is one of many features available in PowerPoint's image options. You can apply a preset feather effect or specify your own preference.


An image that is "feathered" has faded edges, so that its edges fade into the background instead of maintaining a clear border. This gives images a softer look and can make them look more distinct from other images that do maintain their border. The term "feather" isn't present in PowerPoint's features, but the same effect is available in the "soft edges" feature, which is available for images you insert as well as shapes you may insert, such as arrows.

PowerPoint Feathering

If you want to feather an image or shape in PowerPoint, you need to click it and then click the "Format" tab below "Drawing Tools." There you can click the drop-down menu for either "Picture Effects" or "Shape Effects," depending on whether you're feathering an image or a shape. This option is within the "Picture Styles" or "Shape Styles" group, respectively. If you hover your mouse over "Soft Edges," options will appear for various strengths of feathering, and all you need to do is click the one you want. If you hover your mouse over each option, you'll see a preview in your slide of the feathering effect.

Feathering Options

You can also choose a more specific feathering option if the standard options don't meet your needs. This feature is available by clicking either "Picture Effects" or "Shape Effects," then highlighting "Soft Edges" just as you would normally. Then, instead of clicking a preset option, you can click "Soft Edges Options," which brings up a window where you can choose the strength of the feathering by adjusting the "Size" slider.

Feathering Slides

You also have the option to make an entire slide have a feathered appearance if you want. One method for this is to simply select a theme, available in the "Design" tab, that has a feathered appearance for its background. You can also look for more themes by clicking the drop-down arrow beside the available themes and then clicking "More Themes on Microsoft Office.com." You can also insert your own image that is already feathered as a slide background. This is available by clicking the "Design" tab and then the "Background Styles" option in the Background group. There you can click "Fill" and then "Picture," where you can navigate to and select the image you want from your computer.