How to Remove a Shadow on Shapes in a PowerPoint

By David Nield

PowerPoint is sold as part of the Microsoft Office suite.
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When creating business slides and presentations in PowerPoint, there are numerous ways to add impact to elements and objects, including the use of shadows. However, too many embellishments and visual flourishes can distract from the main message of the slide show and make the presentation appear cluttered. The latest version of PowerPoint makes it easier than ever to edit the properties and formatting of shapes using the context-sensitive ribbon menu, which Microsoft is rolling out across all its software products.

Launch PowerPoint and load the slide show containing the shapes with which you wish to work. New shapes are added via the Shapes icon on the Insert menu.

Left-click once on the shape from which you wish to remove the shadow to select it. Open the "Format" tab under the "Drawing Tools" heading on the ribbon menu to locate the formatting options.

Select "Shape Effects" and then "Shadow" to bring up a list of preset shadow types. Select the top thumbnail, marked "No Shadow," to remove the shadow effect from the shape.

Select the other shapes from which you wish to remove the shadow and repeat the process. To remove the shadow from multiple shapes at once, hold down the "Ctrl" key while selecting the relevant shapes using the mouse.


If shapes have been grouped together, you will need to ungroup them before you can remove the shadow. Click the Group icon on the "Format" tab (under "Drawing Tools"), then select "Ungroup" to do this. Shapes can then be selected individually again, and you can remove shadows.

If individual shapes include a block of text from which you'd like to remove the shadow, this option can be found on the "Shadow" submenu of the "Text Effects" drop-down menu (also on the "Format" tab under "Drawing Tools"). As with the shapes, choose the "No Shadow" thumbnail to remove the shadow effect.

The "Format" tab under the "Drawing Tools" heading on the ribbon menu includes some preset shape styles which apply border, fill and shadow formatting to the selected shapes. Clicking on any of the gallery items which don't utilize shadow effects is another way of removing shadow from a shape. Further changes to the border and fill style of the shapes in question can be made from the "Shape Fill" and "Shape Outline" drop-down menus.