How to Make a 3D Cylinder in PowerPoint

By Filonia LeChat

Whether you’re creating a flow chart, logo design or simply something to liven up the text on your slides, take advantage of Microsoft PowerPoint’s included shapes collection to quicken up your sketching. When you draw with PowerPoint, you can give your shapes life through several formatting features. Treat slide show audiences to designs such as cylinders that jump off the page, or at least appear to be floating upon it. With a 3D look, slide objects can ensure audiences get your point.

Start PowerPoint and click the “Insert” tab.

Click the “Shapes” button on the ribbon. Click the “Flowchart: Magnetic Disk” shape in the “Flowchart” section.

Press and hold the left mouse button while dragging the cursor on the slide to form the cylinder. Most cylinders are longer than they are wide, so drag vertically for the most realistic cylinder. Release the left mouse button and the cylinder appears on the slide.

Click the “Drawing Tools” tab at the top of the screen and click the “Shape Effects” button.

Hover the cursor over either the “Shadow” or “Bevel” options. Drag the cursor through the options in each and watch as the cylinder takes on a 3D appearance. Beveling and shadowing do slightly different things to your cylinder, as do the different degrees of each format option. Click one of the options, such as shadow’s “Offset Diagonal Top Left.”

Select your cylinder, click the “Format” tab and scroll through the “Shape Styles” section of the ribbon. Click a new style for the cylinder if the current colors don’t suit your purposes.


You can also layer 3D looks for a more customized appearance. For example, you can first apply a shadow to the cylinder through the “Shadow” section on the “Shape Effects” menu. Once you click the shadow choice, click “Shape Effects” again and choose another, such as the bevel’s “Relaxed Insert.”