With Word 2010, Microsoft introduces a new icon on the main ribbon, it’s the Text Effects menu option, and with it Microsoft has added functionality that was previously only available through third party software.
The Text Effects option works in conjunction with the Text Highlight Color and Font Color ribbon choices that Word has had before and all three are now grouped conveniently together to allow for more powerful text formatting capabilities than ever before.
Now in addition to being able to change a font type, to highlight it and to change its color, users can choose from 20 main text affects as well as customizing text using the Outline, Shadow, Reflection, and Glow features.
The main 20 effects allow users to pick a feature that changes how the font itself is displayed by offering various shadings and accents. To use one of the main 20, the user highlights the text in their document that they want to change, clicks the Text Effects icon, then clicks on the preformatted feature that interests them. A nice feature of the effects menu is that changes are shown before selections are made.
To use one of the other options, users highlight the text they want to change, click the Text Effects icon, then choose which option they want to use by clicking on that menu choice.
The Outline option allows a user to outline each individual letter with a particular color and to be chose how thick they want the outline to be and what sort of line type to use, such as dotted, dashed, etc.
The Shadow option allows a user to add a shadow option to the selected text by choosing from a menu displaying 9 outer, 9 inner and 5 perspective views. This option is just what it sounds like; the effect is as if a light were being shined from a various positions creating a shadow behind the text. This menu choice also offers the option of creating customized shadow effects by adjusting transparency, size, blur, angle and distance.
The Reflection option allows a user to create a reflection effect, which is what you’d have if you stood the text on top of a mirror. The original text remains, but a reflection is drawn at its feet. Users can choose from 9 premade reflection effects or opt to use the reflection options which allow for adjusting the amount of transparency, size, distance and blur.
The Glow option allows users to create text that appears to glow on the page, which in practice looks similar to the Outline feature. What this feature does is create a halo effect around each of the text characters.
Users can select from 24 premade glow effects or choose to change the color of one of the premade options; or if they’d like they can customize the glow options by size, transparency or the softness of the edges.
By adding these new features, Microsoft has taken a big step in the direction of allowing users of its flagship product, Word, to customize the text in their documents without having to resort to using other products from other vendors.