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7 Best Text Effects in Microsoft Word GLASS

Václav Krejčí


7 Best Text Effects GLASS in Microsoft Word Václav Krejčí


GLASS


Copyright © 2013 by Vaclav Krejci All rights reserved. Václav Krejčí e-mail: upir@upir.org web: www.upir.org Twitter: @upiir Facebook: www.fb.com/BestTextEffectsInWord/

First edition, September 2013 All trademarks and copyrighted items mentioned and shown in this book are the property of their respective owners. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this book are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other organization, specifically Microsoft Corporation. I have no connection with this company – yet.


Ahoy Ahoy is a commonly used greeting in the Czech Republic, comparable to “Hello”.


Ahoy, my name is Václav Krejčí, and I have this crazy idea:

“Explain graphic design to everyday users using software they are already familiar with” This book is just the first in a series – but I need your help. If you like it, please share it, talk about it, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or send me an e-mail. It will take you 5 minutes, but it means a lot to me. It gives me the energy to continue. Thank you. Introduction

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Table Of Content Introduction

9

What you need to know (and have)

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Why Microsoft Word?

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Tutorials

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Start with a blank document...

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Glass text effect

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Twirls & Curls text effect

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Color tails text effect

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Dance! text effect

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Freeze text effect

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Vegas text effect

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Stickers text effect

Tutorials!

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When everything goes wrong

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Inspirational websites

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Tutorials inspiration

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This is (not) the end

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Table of content

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Introduction During my high school studies back in 2003, I had a great side job. I was teaching senior citizens computer science at a local university. Despite their age, they were all novice users. The plan was to teach them everything about computers. The first lesson was a nightmare. Everyone was bored and confused – does anyone really think one needs to know the binary system in order to work with a computer? I had to completely revise the approach. Since I was studying graphic design by myself, I came up with a simple but nice looking series of documents to be recreated – each one with a slightly different graphical style and taking less than one hour to complete. Each one was created using nothing more than Microsoft Word. I was shocked. They all knew very little about computers but, with proper guidance, my “students” were able to create stunning documents while having fun.

Introduction

They were creating birthday party invitations for their grandchildren, calendars for their families, labels for Christmas presents... and a great deal more. Ten years later, everything fitted together. My English is better, I have a strong graphic design background, the current version of Microsoft Word contains all the necessary functions for advanced graphical effects, and iBooks Author allows me to publish this book for the iPad on my own and without the need for a real publisher. When working on the tutorials, bear in mind that miracles do not happen overnight. While all the tutorials can be finished in a short time, you will need much more time to master them. Remember that it is much easier to learn when you have fun – as my students found. However, despite the “class party” sample document from my class (sample at the bottom), I have no evidence that they were actually having any parties. At least not with me!

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Ribbon

Quick Access Toolbar - adjust it to your needs

What you need to know (and have) All the tutorials in this book are created for Microsoft Word 2013 (sometimes referred to as version 15) and Office 365. Most tutorials can also be completed using the previous versions (2010, 2007 or 2003), but it will take more time and effort. An internet connection can be handy if you want to look for inspiration, and of course, if you want to share your creations with your friends, but it is not required. You also do not need anything other than what you already have installed on your computer. Only fonts which come with Windows and Office are used, and there is no need for any other plugin or third-party software.

Text Box

Those styles are for average, boring people - not for you

This all means that you can try the tutorials on the work computer (when nobody is looking), or in school (and pretend that you are learning – which you are). Also, you can create the best looking document during a job interview and amaze the employer – of course, only if you have not already done so with your great looking résumé. You need to have at least a basic computer and Microsoft Word skills to successfully finish all the tutorials. That means that you should know how to create a new document, how to write, and how to set different formats like font color, size or paragraph justification. You should know how to insert special symbols, draw basic shapes and how to change the outline and fill. Finally, you should know how to save your document, open it and print it or send it via e-mail. You really do not need much more than that – still, the book is not intended for someone who encounters Word for the first time. If this is your situation, then do not worry – there are plenty of books and online tutorials covering the basics, and you can learn them in few days, if not hours. What you need to know (and have)

Text box with no outline and no fill = preferred way for working with text

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Do not hide the ribbon, you will need it!

Why Microsoft Word? Microsoft Word is definitely not the best application in the world. Like anything else, it has its pros and cons. There are three reasons why I’ve chosen Word for the tutorials. Firstly – it is widely recognized. Millions of users already have this software installed, so I can reach a wide user base. Secondly – most of the users already have some basic knowledge of this application. This is great because I can skip the boring parts and focus on the cool stuff instead. And the third reason – it evolves and improves. Most of the tutorials would not have been possible to finish using previous versions, and I can imagine that the next version will again bring newer and more useful functions.

Selection Pane = quick and easy way to select objects; to display it, select: Home » Select » Selection Pane.

Format Shape Pane - the best way to control the visual appearance Why Microsoft Word?

Zoom-in on a view for better precision

It is by no means a professional application for print design, but the techniques and workflow are pretty similar, and the knowledge described in this book can be reused in other applications as well. This is a very important and relevant detail: This book is an attempt to teach you how to work with Microsoft Word. Instead, it teaches you how to create text effects using Microsoft Word. You can reuse the gained experience in Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape, or any other application. When you know the principles, the tool is not that important. Since my intention is to explain graphic design to everyday users using software they are already familiar with, it also means that in the next version of this book, I may switch to a different application. If it would make more sense, I may be using Pages (application for iPads and Mac computers), Google Docs or maybe even some free online tools. I’m not tied to Microsoft Word, but from all the research I’ve done, it looks like the best option for now. 11


GLASS

T u t o r i a l s


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5 min.

GLASS

Start with a blank document...

Tutorials

5 min.

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10 min.

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10 min.

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15 min.

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25 min.

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30 min.

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35 min.

Tutorials

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Start with a blank document... Every tutorial in this book starts with the same first step: Start with a blank document, create Text Box with no fill and no outline, and type word X, with font Y, sized Z pt. Usually center aligned.

If you are not sure how to perform this task, keep reading. Otherwise, feel free to jump right to the tutorials section. It is just two pages ahead!

I’m pretty sure you know how to create a new document. It is as easy as clicking the File › New › Blank Document (1), or simply pressing the (Ctrl) + (N) shortcut. The more important question is – why use a new document for every tutorial? It is because everything can go wrong, and if it does, you do not want to lose more than you need to. If you want to use a new header for your 50-page document, create the header in a separate document, and if you are satisfied with the result, copy and paste it into the big document. Play it safe.

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There are two ways to insert a new text box, both on the ribbon Insert. The first option is under Shapes › Basic Shapes › Text Box (2), and right after selecting the tool, you can use your mouse to draw a shape of the text box the same way you draw a rectangle. This will create an empty text box without any text, and it is the preferred way to create a text box. The second way to create a text box is in the Text Box (3) dropdown menu. It contains many pre-defined styles. They are great if you need a nice looking quote and you have little time. Obviously, this will not be our case – we want to start from scratch, and spend some time creating great things. We will certainly not be satisfied with anything average. Start with a blank document...

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Once you have a text box in your document, click into it and type the desired text (in our example, the “MESSAGE”). To change the font in the text box, either select the text itself, or just have the whole text box selected (this will change the font for the entire content of the text box).

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On the Home ribbon, choose the correct font (4) and the correct size (5). Most text effects are more visible in the bigger sizes, and that is why we are using a text size of at least 72 pt in all the tutorials. To use a bigger size than 72 pt, click in the size edit box and type the value on your keyboard (for example 150 pt). It is good to know that resizing the text box (6) does not change the text size.

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Start with a blank document...

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Sometimes, you also want to change the font color (7), and maybe have the text center aligned (8). The last step before jumping to the real tutorials is to get rid of the default black outline and white fill. To do so, keep the text box selected and on the Format ribbon (9), click the Shape Fill (10) dropdown and select No Fill, and click the Shape Outline and select No Outline (11). With those settings, the text box is now invisible, and all we can see is the text inside. Without it, locating the empty invisible text box would be quite hard (not impossible, but hard). A final note to bear in mind – there is a difference between working with the text box itself or with the content. When the selection box is showed as a dotted line (12), you are working with the text – pressing the arrow keys on the keyboard will move the text cursor. When you click on the text box outline and it becomes a solid line (13), you are working with the text box itself. Pressing the arrows keys on the keyboard will move the text box around the document. 15


Estimated Completion Time: 5 Minutes Difficulty:  Learn how to: • Adjust font properties • Fake breaking text into pieces • Create custom shapes

GLASS


When you break objects, they fall into pieces. Not a big surprise, right? It is the same for glass as for any other material. But glass is a little bit special – it creates a specific pattern and it is also very easy to break. The chances are that you have already broken some glass, or maybe a window, and you have also seen the pattern. That is important because our brain can then create a connection between this text effect and something what we’ve seen in the past. The more we know how this shattered glass looks in the real-world, the less we need to care about the preciseness and details.

In Word, it is not possible to break objects into pieces. Of course, two triangles can form a rectangle, but letters are complex shapes and those cannot be broken apart. The good news is that our brain can be easily fooled and we can fake this effect. Otherwise, this tutorial would not make any sense. The most important thing before we start is to study the “breakage pattern”. When you hit the window with the rock (1) (please, do not try it just because you want to see the pattern), the object often goes through and creates a hole in the surface (2). I’ve cheated a little bit and placed this spot inside the letter “A”, where the hole already is – a small detail, but it can save some time and effort.

In any case, you should know enough to start creating this text effect without the need for a riot. On the other hand, maybe the most apt usage of this effect could be on a rebellious poster?

GLASS triangles

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From this point, the forces spread evenly in every direction (3), causing the object to break into triangles (4) and small pieces of text to separate and fly away from the center (5). The window in the real-world was probably not the best example since the glass is framed, and that causes the edges to stay within this frame. It is better to imagine a glass plate lying on the floor and being hit with a brick.

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Glass text effect

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Start with a blank document, create a Text Box with no fill and no outline and write the headline with a big black-colored font. In our case, it is the word GLASS and the font is Franklin Gothic Medium sized 110 pt (1).

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If you paid attention to the previous page, you should already know that after hitting our glass text with the imaginary rock, everything will break and move. That is an important detail – nothing will stay in place. For that reason, we will set different positions for each letter. That will help to break the evenness and add some chaos and randomness. To do so, select any letter, open the font dialog ((Ctrl) + (D), or click button 2), select Advanced Tab and set Position to either Lowered or Raised (3). Values between 3–5 pt seem to be working just fine, but it may vary for different sizes. Repeat the process for every character in the string. The helper line on the right (4) shows that you do not have to position every single character. Some can stay in the original position as well (like the “G” and the first “S”). The next step is to break the text into triangle parts. Instead of breaking anything, we will add white triangles over the text to fake the broken parts. For that, we will use an Isosceles Triangle shape (5) from Insert › Shapes. There is a small downside to this method – once you resize the triangle to a very narrow shape, the rotation point (6) disappears, and there is no easy way to rotate it again. For this reason, it is better to rotate the triangle first, and resize it afterwards. You can still rotate the shape at any time by right clicking and selecting the More Layout Options dialog, but I’ve found it easier to temporarily resize the triangle until the rotation point appears and make it narrow later on. In the end, there are less than 10 triangles anyway. By the way – in the preview image on the right, all of the triangles have a blue color so you can see them clearly. Glass text effect

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If you have not done so already, change the fill color for all triangles to white (7) and change the outline to No Outline. To select multiple triangles, click with the (Ctrl) key pressed. With all those triangles, we have hidden a lot of text beneath. But those pieces should not just disappear, so we will re-create them. It looks nice when the floating fragments appear exactly the same – as if they were ripped off from the text – but bear in mind that they do not always have to be perfect. We just have to follow the forces going from the center of the text (letter “A”) and place the tiny fractions accordingly.

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This time we will use the Freeform shape (8) from Insert › Shapes. There are two ways of drawing the shape with this tool – pressing and holding the mouse to draw freehand, or single clicking to create straight lines. The second option is definitely easier to handle – after all, most of the fragments are distorted triangles and rectangles. To create a shape, click with the mouse to create individual points (9), (10), (11), which will be connected with lines. To close the shape (so it can have fill), move the mouse close to the first point until the ghost shape is filled (12). Clicking this first point again will close the shape. If you do not need a closed shape, you can stop creating the shape by pressing the (Esc) or (Enter) key.

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You can see that even for the curved “S” letter (13), the fragment is still a triangle and it looks nice. While all the fragments are again shown in a blue color, you can start with black fill from the beginning.

13 Glass text effect

Do not try to overdo the effect. Remember that we want to create a broken/shattered glass effect in the shortest amount of time with very little effort. That should be our biggest advantage. Our sample has about 10 fragments. If we add another 10, it will take longer to create, but the effect will not be twice as good. If we add another 20 fragments, the result may even be worse. You know it already – less is more. 19


Estimated Completion Time: 10 Minutes Difficulty:  Learn how to: • Insert special characters • Quickly copy an object • Create a faded ink effect


Creating calligraphic lettering in the realworld requires a pen, some ink, a steady hand and about 10,000 hours of training (Google the 10,000 hours rule). It is much easier with the help of a computer, but it would still take an entire book to describe, and endless hours to practice. But we only have a few minutes, and since we are assuming that we have no art skills, the only way to proceed is to reuse something already created by someone else. With every new version of Windows and Office, there are more and more (nice-looking) fonts that are pre-installed. One of them is called Gabriola (since Office 2010 / Windows 7), which is exactly what we are looking for.

While entering the characters from the keyboard is the fastest way to type, there is a limitation to the maximum number of possible characters. You only have about 100 keys, while fonts often contain hundreds or thousands of characters. The way to enter those is to use keyboard shortcuts, or Symbol dialog (1). You can see that the designer of the Gabriola font has already included some swirly and curly symbols at the end of the font (2). Hooray!

With this information in mind, you can cancel your calligraphic lessons and create stunning typography effects in just a few minutes. But do not tell anybody how easy it was! And do not forget to send the postcard to the author of the font, who is (according to the website) John Hudson. Wikipedia also says that Gabriola is the name of an Island.

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Before we move on, let’s briefly talk about fonts. I will try not to go into details here. The font file contains a graphical representation for each defined character. When you press the (A) key on the keyboard, the system looks into the currently selected font, and if the “A” character exists, it is drawn. On the other hand, if the character is not in the font file, you will get the “missing character” symbol instead (which is often a rectangle , or crossed rectangle ).

Twirls & Curls text effect

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Start with a blank document, create a Text Box with no fill and no outline, and type the first word (Twirls) with the font Gabriola, sized 90 pt, black color and center justification ((Ctrl) + (E)). In our sample document, we have three lines of text (Twirls & Curls). We can surely use paragraph justification and line spacing to position every word precisely, but I’ve found it easier (and much faster) to have a separate text box for each word. This also allows for better control of the layout. The best way to create three text boxes is to start with the first already created and drag its border with the mouse with the (Ctrl) key pressed. You can see that the mouse cursor changes to show that a copy will be created (1). This little trick is much faster than using the copy/paste shortcuts ((Ctrl) + (C) and (Ctrl) + (V)). Also, if you press the (Shift) key while dragging with (Ctrl) key, the new object will be horizontally or vertically aligned with the original shape. The next step is to add the special symbols using the Insert › Symbol › More Symbols... dialog. However, in this dialog, the previews are very small and often cropped. For this reason, it is better to create another helper text box, where we add all symbols (2) in a bigger size (36 pt). This will help us decide which symbols we want to use. It also shows that every second symbol is just a flipped version of the previous symbol. Still, we have enough to choose from.

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The next few steps are very similar. Copy one of the already created text boxes (since we do not want to set outline and fill colors again and again), and paste one of the symbols. Set the size of the symbol to be big enough (about 90 pt), and rotate and move the text box (3). It is up to you if you want the symbols to overlap the text or not. To stay consistent, keep the font size for all symbols the same. Twirls & Curls text effect

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With the instructions from the previous page, it may seem that you should continue with duplicating and adjusting the symbols forever. That is not true – you have to know when to stop. The best way to do so is to imagine an area which we want to “fill” with the shapes. In our example, the area is a simple rectangle (4), but it can be a circle, ellipse, or maybe even a heart symbol – it is up to you. Just bear in mind that the curly symbols are pretty complicated, which means that you do not need to use a lot of them. In our example, there are only five being used. To spice up this effect a little bit, we will use a simple technique to add a “faded ink” effect. Select the Scribble (5) shape from the Insert › Shapes menu and start doodling over the text like crazy (6). I’m not joking, create a big crazy mess, and repeat it three times so you will have three shapes. For illustration purposes, those three shapes are shown on the preview image, on the left, in different colors – green, blue and purple. It is just to see them better.

Right click on any shape and select Format Shape to show the right format pane. Here, we have to set three things. We want the doodles to be only over the text, therefore, the color will be the color of the background, that is white (7). We also want the overlays to be thicker, so we set the Width to 20 pt (8). Finally, we want this effect to be more subtle. This means that we set the Transparency somewhere between 70–90% (9). To make it more random, we can set a different transparency (and maybe even width) for every shape.

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Twirls & Curls text effect

The enlarged preview on the left (10) shows the effect nicely (as well as the preview on the first page). The text, together with the curly symbols, no longer only has a solid black color – it also has some random shades of gray as if the ink was faded. Well, not really like in the real-world, but remember that it took us less than 10 minutes to create. With real tools, the ink would not even be dry! 23


Estimated Completion Time: 10 Minutes Difficulty:  Learn how to: • Create a 3D extruded text • Adjust lighting for the flat coloring • Easily select the right colors


We have three possible ways to display a 3D object in Microsoft Word. The first option – Perspective view (1) – mimics the realworld view. As the object moves away from the observer (you), it gets smaller. That is why on the first cube, the back side (2) is smaller than the front side (3). How much smaller it gets is defined by the amount of Perspective. It can be a pretty big difference (like on the picture, where the perspective is set to 120°), or it can be quite subtle.

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If you keep decreasing the amount of Perspective all the way down to 0°, you will notice that the back side is now the same size as the front side (4). This view is called Parallel view (5).

The last view is Oblique view (6). This one is taught in schools and I can remember how I hated to draw it. It does not look very 3D – it looks ugly. The front side has no distortion and we just add the “fake 3D sides”.

It is often used for technical drawings (see any product manual) because once the object is drawn, it can be moved around the space freely. For the same advantage, this view was also used in some early computer games – it looks 3D, but you do not have to deal with perspective.

But, with the proper settings, it can create an interesting effect. This tutorial should prove it to you. Pity I did not know this during my school years!

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Color Tails text effect

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Start with a blank document, create Text Box with no fill and no outline, and type the word COLOR with the font Arial Black, sized 72 pt (1). Change the font color to white and page color to light purple – using ribbon Design › Page Color › More Colors (1), Custom color RGB 247, 238, 248.

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Right now the text is almost invisible and blended with the background, but that is fine, we will optically separate it from the background with darker “tails” later. Right click the text box and select Format Shape to display the right format pane (3). Select Text Options (4) › Text Effects (5), 3-D rotation (6), and from the Presets dropdown menu (7) select Oblique › Oblique Bottom Left (8). Do not be afraid that there is no visual change in the text itself, it is because it has no depth. To add it, select 3-D format (9) and increase the Depth size value to about 200 pt (10). Our text will be extruded right after (11), even if it does not look quite right yet. We want to have this extruded part in solid color, without any shading or highlights, and in random bright colors. Color Tails text effect

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To get rid of the shading, change the Lighting to Special › Flat (12) (under 3-D Format settings). Now, not only the text is white, but also the extruded part (13). To make it nice and readable, we need to change the extrusion color and keep the text white.

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To do so, select the first character (the extrusion will temporarily disappear), and under 3-D Format, change the Depth color (14). Once you select the color, the text is unselected, and you can see the 3D depth effect again.

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Repeat the process for every character in the string with different colors, but try to maintain similar hues (15). You do not need to manually define colors, the ones used in this example are Standard colors. When you are finished with the word COLOR, you can continue with the next line. Drag the text box with the (Ctrl) key pressed to create a copy and again set a different depth color for each letter. And that is it (16)! The next step is up to you. Maybe you will use a different font, darker colors, or a smaller depth? While there are just a few settings, they can create a lot of combinations.

Color Tails text effect

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Estimated Completion Time: 15 Minutes Difficulty:  Learn how to: • Create a 3D text • Keep the light source unified • Quickly create cast shadow


For 3D objects, Word contains 11 different materials and 15 different lighting options. That, together with the lighting Angle setting, allows for unlimited combinations. How do I choose the right one? It is not very intuitive, as Word, in order to make it look simple, hides a lot of information. You cannot see what is happening behind the scenes. But you can try it. Let’s start with the Material options and focus only on the standard ones for now.

We have four options to choose from: Matte (1), Warm Matte (2), Plastic (3) and Metal (4). The names sound splendid, but what thew really change are basically just the size and brightness of the highlight. For the lighting settings, we will only look at the Neutral section. There are six options available: Three Point (5), Balance (6), Soft (7), Harsh (8), Flood (9) and Contrasting (10).

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As you can see on the preview image, some lighting options do not have any, or only very little, shadow, while some have very strong contrast. As mentioned previously, the size of the highlight is set by the Material. And to set the direction from which the light shines, you need to change the lightning Angle value. While you cannot set the lighting intensity, color or even number of lights, you still have some degree of freedom for your creations.

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Start with a blank document, create a Text Box with no fill and no outline, and type the first character from the word DANCE, which is just “D” with the font Arial Bold, sized 72 pt (1). Change the font color to standard Orange (2) and set the paragraph justification to Center – (Ctrl) + (E) or by clicking the (3) icon.

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Before moving to the other characters, we will add 3D depth for this one, and then use it as a base for all the other letters. Right click the text box and display the Format pane by clicking Format Shape. Select Text Options (4), Text Effects (5), 3-D Rotation (6) and from the Presets dropdown menu, select Perspective Heroic Extreme Left (7). The text is distorted (8), but without any depth it is boring. To add depth, select 3-D Format (9) and increase Depth size to 30 pt (10). It is better but still not satisfying. The contrast between the front face and the extruded part is too high. In other words, the extruded part is too dark. We will try to fix it with different material and lighting settings.

Dance! text effect

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As explained in the tutorial introduction, change the Material to Metal (11) for bigger highlights, and Lighting to Balance (12) for smaller contrast.

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While the contrast is smaller, the object is overexposed and too bright. We cannot adjust the lighting intensity, but we can try to change the lighting Angle (13) to see if the light in a different position will produce better results. Instead of directly typing the value, keep clicking on the up arrow (14) and see how the object changes. Bear in mind that our imaginary light should shine from the top (15), so the highlight should be also on the top of the object (16). A value of around 210° seems to be just fine. We can move to the other letters. Select the text box and drag it with the (Ctrl) key pressed to create a copy. Repeat this 5 times, and place the text boxes randomly. Edit the letters inside those text boxes to form the word DANCE! and change the text colors. Most letters use standard colors – Light green “A” (17), Light Blue “N” (18), Purple “C” (19) and Yellow “!” (20). The color of the letter “E” is from the More Colors dialog (21).

Dance! text effect

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The next step is to open Text Options › 3-D Rotation on the Format pane and randomly rotate each letter using the buttons next to the X, Y and Z rotation (22).

This not only changes the view, but also the lighting conditions – you can see that our rotated “A” letter now has light coming from the left, not from the top (23). We need to go to Text Options › 3-D Format and adjust the Lighting Angle to keep the light position consistent across all the letters. In the case of letter A, it means adjusting it to the value of 340° (24).

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Repeat this process with every remaining letter. If you want to use the same values as this tutorial, the pictures on the right show the X, Y and Z rotation values for each letter. Here is a list of the Lighting Angle values: • N: 340° • C: 260° • E: 50° • !: 260° Remember, the light position does not need to be perfectly accurate, but the areas facing the ground (25) should be darker than the ones pointing to the top (26). Dance! text effect

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After we rotate each letter in the 3D space, we need to adjust the positions of the text boxes to have the letters distributed evenly. In other words, the spaces between the letters should be just about the same. To move the text box precisely, use the arrow keys on the keyboard, rather than the mouse.

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We can keep the white background, or change it to some other color to make it even more playful. On the Design ribbon, select Page Color › More Colors, and select dark green (26). The very last touch is the shadow under the label to support the effect of floating letters above the surface. Draw a big Oval from Insert › Shapes › Basic Shapes in a dark blue color (27) and move it below the text (right click › Send To Back). Show the Format pane by right clicking the object and selecting Format Shape, select Soft Edges (28) under Effects (29) and set the size to 27 pt (30). This will blur the ellipse quite a lot and create a nice big shadow. And that is it! It was pretty quick, also because there were just six letters. Bear that in mind if you plan to apply this effect on your 25 letter word. It can easily become a tedious task. 33


Estimated Completion Time: 25 Minutes Difficulty:  Learn how to create: • Icicles made from custom shapes • Subtle abstract blurred background • Vignetting effect


The best effects are the ones based on realworld principles – your brain gets it much faster when it looks like something you already know. For example, from photographs and movies. When you take a photograph, you often want the subject to stand out. This can be done in several different ways, for example by blurring the background by changing the aperture. The better camera and lens you have, the bigger this blurring can be. This effect is also bigger when you move closer to the subject (that’s why this is more visible in macro shooting on cheap cameras).

But the “background blurring” can be misleading – blurred is everything that is not in focus. As you move to any direction from this focus distance, the objects become blurred more and more. If you place something right in front of the camera, it will be blurred quite a lot. This is just like our imaginary snowflakes, which become semi-transparent circles. This circle shape is defined by an aperture shape and can often look more like a polygon (pentagon, hexagon, et cetera). There is a term to define how nice the background blurring is – bokeh.

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The second part of our image consists of the faded corners. They are also derived from photography, where this effect is called vignetting and is often unintended (caused by a cheap lens or small aperture). On the other hand, photographers with professional equipment which does not produce vignetting often add this effect in post production (like we will do in Word). This is because it draws interest to the center of the image, just where our message is.

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Start with a blank document, create a Text Box with no fill and no outline, and type the word FREEZE, with the font Franklin Gothic Medium, sized 120 pt (1). Set the text color to White (2) which makes the text invisible over the white background, but not for long.

To change the page color, select ribbon Design › Page Color (3) and select a light blue color (4) from the Theme colors. In case you have a different theme and do not see this color, you can also use the More Colors option and enter this color manually – RGB 156, 194, 229.

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Let’s start by creating the stylized icicles. Although we will use the mouse cursor do draw our own shapes, there is no need for any kind of drawing skills. We will not be drawing, but shall be clicking instead.

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Select ribbon Insert › Shapes › Lines › Freeform (5). The basic workflow is described in the tutorial GLASS, check it out if you want to know more details. In short – you can either press and drag the mouse cursor to create freeform shapes, or you can just click around to create the object made from straight lines. The second option will be our case – not because icicles are angular, but because the selected font is, and it will fit together well. One thing to bear in mind – to close the shape (so it can have fill), click the first point again. Start with a fairly simple icicle – like (6), which is almost a triangle. Create it by clicking points highlighted in the preview (+), and close it by clicking the first point again. In order to have better precision, you can zoom in your view, or draw the icicle in a bigger size and resize it thereafter. The upper rectangular part of the icicle is there to simplify the positioning over the text. You will see it in a minute. To match the style of the text, set the fill color of the icicle to white and the line to No line. Freeze text effect

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Once you are done with a few simple icicles, you can try more complicated ones – like multiple icicles in one shape. It is possible that it will not be perfect on the first try. If it is really bad, deleting the shape with the (Delete) key and drawing it again from scratch is often the fastest way to fix it.

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A different situation is when you have a shape which is almost right, but needs some small tweaking – like icicle shape (7), where the middle icicle is too tilted to the right. While the shape is still selected, we can use the function Edit Shape › Edit points (8) in the Format ribbon to adjust each point individually. All we need to do is click and drag the point (9) to the desired place (more to the left).

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Edit Points is a very powerful feature which allows many more actions, including adding and deleting points, but we will keep it simple for now and talk about it in detail in another tutorial. What we need to do right now is to create at least 5 different icicle shapes (10). The more the better, even if the variation of the shape is just small. We want to keep the duplicated icicles to a minimum. Even in nature, there are never two icicles the same.

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Move all the icicles closer to the text and resize them to match the size of the text – with the (Shift) key pressed to keep the proportions. Then move each of them over the text and optically align them with the individual letters. It looks better when the icicles are placed at the end of the letters (11), not just somewhere in the middle. For better precision, use the arrow keys to move in small increments. If you are out of icicles, you can create a copy by dragging the icicle with the (Ctrl) key pressed. To break the uniformity, you can flip a copied icicle using ribbon Format › Rotate › Flip Horizontal and maybe resize it a little. It will be less obvious that the icicles are based on the same shape – like (12).

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After a few minutes of playing, you should have something like on the right. You can choose if you want to also add icicles below the letters (13). I choose not to. Aligning the icicles can sometime be tricky, as Word is not perfectly accurate when drawing the text. For this reason, perfectly aligned icicles in the zoomed-in view can look a little bit off when viewed at different zoom levels or at 100%. But that is fine. Nobody will examine those tiny details except you. Adding the blurred snowflakes will be easier than you might think. Draw an Oval from the menu Insert › Shapes › Basic Shapes with the (Shift) key pressed to make it a perfect circle (14). Right click the object and select Format Shape to show the format pane on the right, and in here change the Line to No Line (15) and Fill color to white (16). To make the “snowflake” more subtle, lower the fill Transparency to 50% (17). While keeping the object selected and Format pane open, switch to Effects (18) › Soft Edges (19) and increase Size to 5 pt (20). This will blur the circle and create the “bokeh” effect. The next 25 steps are very similar. Drag this blurred circle with the (Ctrl) key pressed (21) to create a copy, maybe resize it, adjust the fill Transparency and even play with the amount of the blur effect. This time every snowflake does not need to be different. If you look closely, there are only about four types of snowflakes used on the right image and distributed around the space evenly.

While it looks nice when you overlap two snowflakes (22), try not to overuse this effect. When duplicating, try to avoid big empty spaces without any snowflakes, as well as too many snowflakes in one spot. The Fill Transparency is for all snowflakes between 50 and 80%. We still want the text to be in focus. Freeze text effect

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To create the vignette effect, draw a new Rectangle (23) from Insert › Shapes › Rectangles in a big size to cover everything (both text and snowflakes). If not already opened, open the Format pane (right click › Format Shape), change Line to No Line and Fill to Gradient Fill (24). Change Type to Radial (25) and from the direction dropdown, select From Center (26).

Add a new gradient stop (27) to have a total of three (by clicking anywhere in the gradient preview). Change the color for the first two gradient stops to white, and Dark Blue for the third one (under Standard Colors). We cannot see anything but the rectangle, but that is fine. All we need to do is to make the white gradient stops transparent – select the first and then the second gradient stop, and set Transparency to 100% (28). For the dark blue gradient stop, set transparency to about 40%. This depends on how much you want the dark edges to be visible. And that is it!

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Estimated Completion Time: 30 Minutes Difficulty:  Learn how to: • Work with the gradient fills • Create strong reflection with gradients • Create realistic glow


I need to tell you something. I do not like this effect very much. While strong highlights, glows and sparkles symbolize Vegas nights for sure, all those fancy effects have been overused in the past so much that it hurts my eyes. However, there are still a few valid reasons to include this tutorial in this book. Whenever I show all the text effects to my friends, they are curious how this Vegas effect is done. There are also a few interesting techniques which can be learned. And truly – in some cases the usage of this effect can be well founded. Just please, do not use it everywhere.

Before we jump into Word, let’s briefly talk about the highlight inside the text. This strong highlight is often made by placing a gradient from white to semi-transparent white (1) over the text, and setting the text as a clipping path, so the highlight is visible only over the text (2). In Word, it is not possible to show objects only over the text. It would be fine on the white background, but for a darker background, we have to find some other way.

We can take advantage of the gradient fill. With the gradient stops (3), Word calculates the values in between those (4), so the transition is always smooth. If we move two gradient stops very close to each other (5), there would be few in between steps to calculate, which would result in the sharp transition between those two colors (6). It is as simple as that. Word allows us to place the gradient stops only at integer values, so the transition will not be razor sharp, but it should be enough for our purpose. After all, we do not have any other choice anyway.

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Start with a blank document, create a Text Box with no fill and no outline, and type the word VEGAS with the font Trebuchet MS, sized 72 pt. Do not care about the color too much as we will change it in a minute anyway. As described on the previous page, we want to fill the text with a gradient which would mimic a strong white highlight.

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Right click on the text box and select Format Shape to show the formation pane on the right. Choose TEXT OPTIONS (1), TEXT FILL (2), and change Solid Fill to Gradient Fill (3). If it is not set already, change Type to Linear (4) and Angle to 90째 (5). This means that the gradient will be drawn from the bottom to the top (or the other way). Select the first gradient stop (6) and change the color from the color dropdown menu (7) to Purple (under standard colors). Select the second gradient stop (8), click the color dropdown menu, select More Colors and set the light purple / lavender color (9).

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Why is the bottom of the text also lighter, when the light source comes from the top? Our text will be placed on a dark background, and we want it to stand out. Imagine that our text is sitting on a reflective surface, which does not cast a shadow on the bottom, but rather a highlight. Vegas text effect

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Now for the strong highlight from the top. Before defining the stops, resize the right format pane (11) to be wide enough. I’m limited with the space on this page, but you are not, make it wide (but in a way that you can still see the text).

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Add two new gradient stops by either clicking anywhere in the gradient area (12), or by clicking the Add gradient stop button (13). The color of the lighter stop (14) is standard lavender – (10) on the previous page. The color of the darker one (15) is based on the standard Purple color but darkened. RGB value is 97, 42, 138. Here comes the tricky part. Select the darker gradient stop (15) (third from the left) and drag it to the left as close as you can to the other stop (16). Why is this tricky? If you drag it too much, the stop will jump over the previous one, and you will get highlight from the bottom (17), not from the top. Image (18) shows the result which we want to achieve. Also note that I’ve moved the stop on the very right side (19) more to the left. The highlight on the bottom was not very visible, and this is an easy way to fix it. Since the text fill updates in real time, getting the desired result is very easy. Before we start adding glows, we have to change the page color to something darker. We would not be able see any glow on the white page – the same as you cannot see light rays on white paper. It simply cannot get any brighter. Select ribbon Design › Page Color › More colors (20) and in the Custom tab, search for the right one. We want to avoid pure black to have some color in the shadows, and we do not want purple to break the monochromatic feel. Some darker blue color could be just fine. The screenshot on the left shows the final RGB values: 21, 28, 79. Try to experiment with the right saturation – i.e. moving the slider (21) more to the top or bottom. 43


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The next step is to add the light-colored outline. This will help to separate the light text from the dark background even more. It will also serve as a visual base for the future glows.

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With the Format Shape pane still visible and the text box still selected, open the TEXT OUTLINE settings and set the line to Gradient Line (22). Most options are the same as for the fill – Type: Linear, Angle: 90° (23), Width: 1 pt (but this depends on the font size). What is different is the actual gradient. We have our imaginary main light shining from the top (24) (causing the big highlight over the text fill), and we also have an imaginary reflective surface below the text (25) (causing the subtle highlight from the bottom). For this reason, the outline will be white on the top and the bottom (26), and darker in the middle (27). This color is light purple, RGB valuse: 227, 168, 254. Again, you can see that the positions of the gradient stops often need some tweaking – in this case the first gradient stop was moved more to the right, so the highlight from the top is bigger than the highlight from the bottom. Now for the glows. There is an effect called Glow under the Text Effects, but that alone is not enough. The result is not satisfying, and there is very little that can be set. For this reason, we will use everything possible to create the glow effect. That not only includes the Glow effect, but also Shadow and Reflection. Those three effects together will form a nice big glow. Start with the Shadow effect under the Text Options › Text Effects (28) and select any preset for Outer shadow (29). To have a glow and not a shadow, we need to set Color (30) to light lavender (RGB 227, 168, 254). Since we want an even glow around the whole text, set Distance: 0 pt, some bigger value for Blur and no Transparency (0%). The glow is subtle, but that will change in a moment. Vegas text effect

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All we have to do is add another glow, this time using the Glow effect (31). There is not much that we can set here, so just set the Color to the same light lavender, Size to 5 pt and adjust Transparency until you are satisfied. A value around 60% seems to be just fine. This glow effect does not have any additional controls, especially for setting blurriness, which results in quite a “fat” and not very blurred glow. While it is fine here, in most cases it is better to use the Shadow effect for the glow (just like we did in the previous step).

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With the help of the Reflection effect (32), we can add our imaginary reflective surface under the text. Set Transparency to 0%, Size to 20% and Distance to around 2 pt. The image on the left (33) shows a reflection with Blur set to 0 pt while image (34) shows the Blur set to 20%, which is the final settings. The effect alone is quite subtle, but remember that we already have two other glows.

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The very last glow will not become directly from the text since we are out of effects. We need to create a new object – a “glowing circle” – behind the text, which will enhance all the glows created previously. There are multiple ways of creating this glowing circle object – we can use radial gradient fill, or we can try to blur the circle. In any event, we need to start with the object first. Create a new Oval (35) from the Insert › Shapes menu, and make it bigger than the text in the standard Purple color (36). In case you need a different size, but you have already centered the oval with the text, there is a cool little trick to resize any object and keep it center aligned. All you have to do is press the (Ctrl) key when resizing. If you also press the (Shift) key, the object will keep the same proportions.

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To blur this oval, select Effect › Soft Edges and set Size to at least 50 pt (37). We want this glow to be very subtle and possibly quite big, which is the reason why the oval was drawn much bigger than the text. The glow over the text now looks more natural, and we can call it done. Which leads us to the final part of this effect – stars. Take a look at the final result again (on the first page). There are bigger glowing stars placed over the outline, and a few smaller ones over the text fill. Both types are based on the same star – they are just resized.

Before drawing any star, zoom-in to about 400%, as the stars will be quite small and we want to see them clearly. Then draw 4-Points Star (38) from Insert › Shapes › Stars and Banners with the (Shift) key pressed to keep the right proportions. Change the outline to No Outline and fill to any color for now. We need to tweak the shape first as the star is quite bold. Therefore, grab the yellow handle (39) and move it towards the center to make the star lighter (40).

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We want the star to shine from the center and slowly fade out to the edges, and to accomplish this, we will use gradient fill with transparency. Set the fill of the star to the Gradient Fill, change the Type to Radial (41) and add an extra gradient stop so we will have a total of three. Change the color of the first gradient stop (42) to white, the second (43) to light lavender (RGB 227, 168, 254), and the third (44) to light purple (RGB 153, 102, 225). If the gradient is not displaying from the center of the star, click the Direction dropdown menu (45) and select From Center.

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Tweak the positions of the gradient stops by dragging them left or right to keep the white part in the middle of the star small – that is by dragging the second gradient stop (43) more to the left. Vegas text effect

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The tips of the star are dark, but we want them even more faded. We can set the color of this gradient stop to some darker one, but it would not look good over the light-colored text fill. A better practice is to make this color more transparent. To do so, select the third gradient stop (46) and raise the Transparency all the way to 100% (47). The gradient preview incorrectly shows the color as white (48), but you can ignore it. Our star is done. Which means that all we have to do is select it and paste it all over the text outline. The quickest way is to select the star and move it with the (Ctrl) key pressed. That will create a copy which you can position right away. However, to place the stars precisely, it is better to use the keyboard arrow keys. If you still do not have enough stars, you can resize one of them to the smaller size (49) and duplicate it over the text fill. It is so easy that it almost makes me want to say – do not overdo this effect (if it is not overdone already).

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And that is it – glowing text with shiny sparkles done in less than half an hour. The best part is that the text, together with the background glow, is fully dynamic. This means that at any time, you can change your mind and type different text, and the effect will still stay the same. You can even change the font. Placing the stars over the outline and the fill cannot unfortunately be done automatically, but with the help of the (Ctrl) + dragging trick, it is still pretty quick. I will repeat myself for the final words. The times of big reflections, highlights and glows are over. Some people are bored with those effects. Some may even hate them. But history repeats itself, so you better be prepared, those effects will be popular again – sooner or later!

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Estimated Completion Time: 35 Minutes Difficulty:  Learn how to create: • Very bold sticker-like outline • Folded corner effect • Shadows for the realistic result


When examining 3D objects in perspective view, you can instantly tell that object (1) is a cube, because you can see the sides, shading and perspective. But in the front view, all you can see is a rectangle (2). Without seeing the previous picture, you cannot tell if this is just a rectangle, or if it is a cube viewed from the top. The only way to indicate and suggest some depth in this view is to add shadows (3) from the imaginary light source (4). Our brain knows that a flat rectangle placed on the surface cannot cast a shadow this big and that there has to be some 3D depth which is just not visible.

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Imagine a light source coming from the top left (5) (which is usual, as the sun is always shining from the top). As the light rays travel, the folded corner is in the way (6), which means that area (7) should receive less light and therefore be in shadow. The second smaller shadow is below the folded corner (8) as this gap is small and less light rays will reach it. It also differentiates the folded corner from the white sticker underneath. The last shadow is almost invisible. It is on the folded corner itself. If you compare the color of points (9) and (10), you can see that the second, which is closer to the background and further from the light, is a little bit darker.

Now for our sticker effect. Most of the object is flat, just like a real sticker is – it is a piece of paper or plastic. The 3D part is the folded right bottom corner. While still keeping the front view, we want to show that this part is standing above the surface. And, as outlined, we will use mainly shadows to achieve this effect.

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The obvious question is – if we want the 3D shape to be seen, why not always show it in a perspective view? While this may work for the cube, we want to show the text in a front view most of the time to keep it visually simple and readable.

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Start with a blank document, create a Text Box with no fill and no outline, and type the word stickers with the font Arial Rounded, sized 72 pt. Change the font color to some darker green color (1) and set the paragraph justification to Center – (Ctrl) + (E). In order to see the big white outline which we will create in a minute, we need a paper color different than white. Switch to the Design ribbon, select Page Color › More Colors and select a light green color – for example this one (2). It does not matter that the text is now blended with the background and almost invisible. Now we want to add a bold and thick outline. Right click the text box, select Format Shape to show the format pane on the right and select Text Options › Text Outline (3). The outline is most probably set to No line. Change this to Solid line (4) and increase Width to some bigger number, for example 5 pt (5). Oops! This is not the effect which we want to have. What happened? The outline is being drawn to both sides – not only the outside, but also the inside, overlapping the text fill. The bigger the outline we set, the less we can see from the actual text fill.

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While we cannot set the outline to be only drawn outside (like in other applications), we can still use a workaround – keep one label on top without any outline, and a second label with a thick outline below. So step back a little, and before playing with the outline settings, select the text box and copy and paste it – (Ctrl) + (C), (Ctrl) + (V). Then move it to the same position as the original text box (i.e. a little bit to the left and top). For the copied text box, set the text outline again to No Line (6). This looks much better.

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Now we have two identical text boxes with the same text. One has the outline, while the other does not, but the sizes of both text boxes are the same, and it may be hard to distinguish between them and even harder to select the right one.

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Select the text box which contains the text with an outline by clicking the “Text Box 1” item in the Selection pane (8). If not already opened, open the Format pane by right clicking the object and selecting Format Shape. To make the big outline a little bit more realistic, we will use a very subtle gradient instead of a solid color. This gradient should still correspond with the light source from the top (9), bouncing from the floor back to the bottom of the text (10). As a result, the top part, together with the bottom part, will be lighter than the rest of the outline.

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The solution is one click away – select ribbon Home › Select › Selection Pane. This pane shows all objects on the active page, allowing us to select any object, select multiple objects (clicking with the (Ctrl) key pressed), hide or show any object (7), rename objects by double clicking its name (8) and move objects in the Z-axis (i.e. to send objects more to the back or to the front). For now, the only thing we need to remember is that clicking the item in the list selects the corresponding object.

Start with setting the line to Gradient line (11), set Type to Linear (12), and Angle to 90° (13) to have the gradient from top to bottom. Set the first (14) and last (15) gradient stop colors to white, and add two new gradient stops by clicking anywhere in the gradient preview (16). For those two gradient stops, set the color to a very light gray (17), and drag them more to the right side as shown. This will make the darker part in the outline closer to the bottom. Also, increase the Width to a much bigger value – like the 25 pt shown on the screenshot (18). 51


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The base for the sticker is done, and we can move to the creation of a folded corner. There is a reason why the text says “stickers” and not just “sticker” – I needed a big round letter so the folded corner can be a little bit bigger. “Stickero” would probably be even better, but it does not sound very English. Before drawing the corner, we need to hide the part of the text which will be folded. The only way is to draw a Rectangle from the Insert › Shapes › Rectangles menu, with the fill the same as the background color. Then rotate the shape by 45° – drag the rotation handle (19) while pressing the (Shift) key and move the rotated rectangle over the text like it is shown on the right (20). Now we need to add three things – the folded corner which we’ve just hidden, the drop shadow below the corner and the shadow between the sticker and the corner. For all three, we will use the Chord shape. Let’s start with the folded corner, as it requires the most accuracy. Draw a new Chord shape from Insert › Shapes › Basic Shapes with the (Shift) key pressed to maintain the circle proportions. Change both the fill and outline color to a distinctive one – like the dark green, and move it over the cropped “s” letter (21). Zoom in as much as you can to see all the details, and start moving the yellow handles (22) and (23) to match the shape of the previously cut corner. If the sizes do not match, resize the shape a little (24) with the (Shift) key pressed, and move it precisely with the arrow keys. After all the tweaking is done, you should end up with something like (25). Remember that if it looks almost right when magnified to 500%, it will be perfect when shown at 100% size. It does not need to look perfect when magnified. Still bear in mind that using the arrow keys on the keyboard is the best way to precisely move an object. Stickers text effect

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We want to have the folded corner in a light green color to be darker in the right bottom area. Open the Format pane (right click › Format Shape), change the Fill to Gradient Fill (26), Type: Linear and set the first gradient stop color to RGB values: 221, 255, 238 (27), and the second gradient stop color to RGB values: 197, 255, 226 (28).

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Those two colors are so similar that it is very hard to guess in which direction this gradient is being drawn. The easiest solution is to use a little trick – we temporarily set one gradient stop color to some distinctive one, for example, black. This not only immediately shows us that the gradient is drawn from left to right, but we can also open the Direction dropdown (29), and choose the right direction. In this case, it would be the first one – “Top Left to Bottom Right”. Since we have the right setting for the gradient direction, we can change the second gradient stop color back to darker green. You do not need to type the color values manually again. This color should be under Recent colors in the color dropdown. The next part is the outline of the folded corner. The reason we kept the outline is because we want to show a very small highlight over the edge of the folded corner, which would, together with the shadow underneath, create an even bigger contrast (30).

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With the folded corner still selected, change the line to Gradient line with almost the same settings as the fill – Type: Linear, Angle: 45°. The first gradient stop color is white (31). The second gradient stop color is light green – RGB: 210, 255, 228 (32). Now drag the first stop more to the right and the second stop more to the left until you see a nice white-to-green gradient on the outline (33). Be sure to zoom in a little to see it better. Sometimes it also helps to deselect the object as the selection handles can be in the way. Also, remember that the highlight will be more visible once we add a shadow. 53


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To save a few clicks, we will also use this folded corner as a base for the shadow on the bottom right side. Copy and paste this object by dragging it with the (Ctrl) key pressed and rotate it by 180° by dragging the rotation handle (34) with the (Shift) key pressed. Change the line to No line, keep the fill as Gradient fill, but add a new gradient stop and change the gradient stop colors to: light green – RGB: 153, 255, 204 (document background color), green – RGB: 108, 222, 179, dark green – RGB: 0, 128, 128. Change the gradient direction from top left to bottom right (Angle: 45°), and move the gradient stops to visually fade the gradient into the background (35). Resize the shape to make it a little bit bigger, but this will be tweaked in the next step anyway. What is more important is to temporarily select the folded corner and bring it to front (right click › Bring to Front). We want this shadow to be below the folded corner. If not selected, select the shadow chord object and in the Format shape pane, click Effects (35) › Soft Edges (36) and enter Size value 5 pt (37). This will blur our shadow and make it more realistic. At the same time, this effect is dynamic, which means that we can still adjust all the properties – which we will.

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We need to move the shadow closer to the text, maybe resize it to match the folded corner size, and we may even want to move the yellow handles to change the shape a little. We are able not only to control the intensity of the shadow by changing the blur amount (i.e. Soft Edges size), but also by tweaking the gradient settings – moving the gradient stops. In the end, we should have something like that shown on the right (38).

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The next part is the shadow in between the folded corner and the sticker. Again, the chord shape will be used, but this time it is easier to draw it from scratch, that is from the menu Insert › Shapes › Basic Shapes. There is no need to press the (Shift) key while drawing this time – we want to have this object egg-shaped. Adjust the yellow handles accordingly and change the fill color to RGB 0, 128, 128, and outline to No Outline. Then rotate it by –45° and move it over the folded corner.

38

42

When the shadow is in the right place, we can use the Soft Edges effect (39) to blur it, this time with Size set to 10 pt (40). Once blurred, play with the size of the object and the shape using the yellow handles to show the blurred shadow below the folded corner (41), but not on the sides (42).

39

41 40 42 Stickers text effect

We want to have this shadow below the folded corner, and over the sticker itself. We can use the right click menu and the Bring To Front / Send To Back commands, but with all the objects we have, using the selection pane will be much easier. If not already displayed, open it by clicking ribbon Home › Select › Selection Pane. As shown on the left, you can double click any item name to rename the object, which is a good practice when working with multiple objects. What is more important to us right now – is that you can grab any item and move it below or under other objects. Which is exactly what we need to do with the shadow object (39).

And this is it. The final result on the first page has a few additional circles around the text, which are nothing more than white Oval objects drawn with the (Shift) key pressed and moved below all the other objects. I’m pretty sure that if you were able to reach this stage of the tutorial, you will know how to draw a few more circles. If not, check the other tutorials and come back here later. And get some rest, you definitely deserve it! 55


When everything goes wrong All the tutorials in this book are very short. There is a clear reason for this – if you get stuck, like completely stuck, you will be mad that you have just wasted 20 minutes of your time. However, it will still be better than losing two hours, don’t you think? When I was browsing the internet trying to find common problems with Word, one comment caught my attention – “I hate Word. I do not feel like I’m in control, and I’m still fighting with it”. And really, Word is trying to make a lot of things easier and “guess” them for you. Everything is fine as long as it is working. But if you want something non-standard, you can easily get hot under the collar.

When something like this happens, pause for a moment. Instead of getting angry, take a break and a deep breath. And keep reading. I’ve covered most of the usual problems which you may encounter. If none of those pieces of advice help, you can still try to finish some easier tutorials first and then come back to the difficult one later. The difficult tutorials are designed with the assumption that you have already learned something during the creation of those simple ones.

1. Different view than Print Layout Word offers three different views of your document – Read Mode, Print Layout and Web Layout. They are accessible from the View ribbon (1) or in the bottom right corner of the main window (2). You can easily recognize when you are in the Read Mode – you cannot make any changes. But the Web Layout is trickier. Button (3) is very close to the zoom slider, and you can easily click it by accident. It is not a big deal, but not seeing the actual page borders may be confusing. In other words – make sure that you are always working in the Print layout view.

1

2 3

When everything goes wrong

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2. Problems in the zoomed-in view 5

4

6

7

The usual Word workflow is to create a new document and start typing. For our purpose, let’s call this text a Body text. In this book, this is not a usual process, and therefore this body text is most often empty – you can only see the text cursor (4). What is important to know is that Word always makes sure that you can see the text you are typing. Even if you may not realize it, as you type, the current view changes and moves so you can always see the text cursor. In the 100% view, this is not very obvious and the view often changes only when you jump between the pages. But try to zoom in to 500% and start typing – the current view will move with almost every word. How can this cause a problem? Say you have only one rectangle in your document (5) (and, of course, an empty body text), if you click on the rectangle, it becomes selected. If you click anywhere else, Word assumes that you want to work with the body text and shows the text cursor (4). This is perfectly fine if you have your document displayed at 100% size. But with the very same document, imagine that you zoom in to only see the rectangle, so you can make some tweaks (6). When you accidentally click outside this rectangle (7), the rectangle is not only unselected, but the view completely changes and moves to show the text cursor for the empty body text (8).

8

When everything goes wrong

This may be very frustrating as accidental clicks outside the selected objects are quite frequent. The best approach to keep your hair on is to use the Selection Pane for selecting objects in complex documents. The usage of this pane is described in many tutorials, for example, in the Stickers tutorial. 57


3. Invisible rotation handles Dragging the rotation handle (9) with the mouse is the fastest way to rotate an object. But if you resize the object to a very narrow shape, there is no way this handle can fit in there, and therefore it is hidden (10).

9

10

You can right click the object, select More Layout Options, and on the Size tab, set rotation manually. But typing the actual number is not as intuitive as dragging the handle with the mouse. Fortunately, there is an easier way. When your rotation handle is not being drawn due to the small object size, zoom in until the rotation handle appears again. You would need an extremely narrow shape not to display the rotation handle in the 500% view.

4. Text box content vs. text box shape When you create a text box, it is made of two parts – the text itself, and the shape (in which the text is placed). While they are different objects, they both can have fill and outline. And if you do not pay attention, you can easily start tweaking the outline for the shape even if you want to add it for the text instead.

11

With the Format shape pane opened, there is a toggle to switch between the text and shape settings – Shape options and Text Options (11). In most tutorials, the shape fill and outline are set to none (i.e. transparent), and we are working with outline and fill only for the text.

When everything goes wrong

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5. Selecting text box with no outline and no fill 12

Since we are using text boxes with no outline and no fill in almost all tutorials, it is good to know how to select these objects. The easiest (and preferred) way is to use the Selection pane (12), where clicking any item in the list will select the corresponding object. To show the selection pane, use the Home › Select › Selection Pane command. The very same command is also on the ribbon Page Layout. There are cases where you do not need, or want, to have the selection pane displayed – maybe the document is very simple with just a few objects, or maybe you want to see as much from your document as possible. Although the selection pane is useful, it takes up some screen space.

13

15

A much easier way is to click into the text itself (14), which will reveal the borders of the text box – shown as the dashed line (15). To select the text box itself, all you need to do is to click on this dashed line (16). It will turn to a solid line.

14

16

When everything goes wrong

Selecting a text box without the selection pane is still quite easy – when you know how to do it properly. The worst approach is trying to guess where the borders of the text box are. It is possible – the borders are not visible, but when you move the mouse over them, the cursor changes from typing to arrow (13), but it can take forever.

Now you can use the arrow keys to move the object, or the (Delete) key to delete it. You can also use the arrow keys together with the (Shift) key to change the object size while not affecting the font size. This is quite a useful keyboard shortcut as it resizes the object while keeping it center aligned. 59


6. Hidden or invisible functions It is possible that your application window will look slightly different than all the screenshots in this book. It is because Word changes its layout depending on the window size, and also because you, as a user, can customize it a lot.

17

18

Invisible ribbon There are very few good reasons to have the ribbon hidden, which means that the usual case of a hidden ribbon is the unwanted random click on the arrow on the right side (17). You can still view the ribbon by clicking on any ribbon tab on the top, but to show it permanently, you have to click on the pin icon, which will be on the same spot as the arrow was (18). Different looking button(s) in the ribbon When you resize the main Word window to the smaller size, some buttons will hide their labels in order to fit (19). As you keep resizing the window to an even smaller size, some buttons may group together and form dropdown buttons for the categories. It is not only confusing, but it also slows down the work. For these reasons, it is better to keep the windows bigger (if not full screen). Different ribbon tabs You can customize which tabs you want to have displayed by right clicking any tab name and selecting Customize the Ribbon (20). By default, some ribbons are hidden – like the Developer ribbon (since it is targeted at advanced users). You can even rearrange the order of the ribbons, but the default settings seems to be just fine. Just do not panic when you see a different set of ribbon tabs. Focus on labels, not on the exact positions. When everything goes wrong

19

20

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7. Renamed, removed or missing functions I have done my best to keep all information up to date, but it is possible that some function(s) will be renamed, moved or removed in the future. If this happens, please try to use your common sense and find something that seems to be the desired function.

21

22

23

24

You can even see some inconsistency in the application itself. One example – on the Format ribbon, the outline of the object is called Shape Outline (21), and you can set it to No Outline (22). In the Format Shape pane, the very same thing is called just Line (23), which can be set to No Line (24). Absolutely the same function, just different wording.

8. Copying and pasting objects press Ctrl key!

Although this is described in every tutorial in this book, I want to specifically repeat this one again. There is nothing wrong with copying and pasting objects using the well-known shortcuts (Ctrl) + (C) (for copying) and (Ctrl) + (V) (for pasting). But on some rare conditions, the pasted object can be on a different page or simply in a wrong spot. You can save a lot of time if you remember that dragging the object with the (Ctrl) key pressed creates a copy, and positions it at the same time. For me, this is one of the best time-savers. By the way, this also works for text. And one last note – most other applications have this functionality built in, but often use a different shortcut key, such as the (Alt) key.

When everything goes wrong

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Inspirational websites Whenever you feel stuck, bored or just do not know how to continue, the best thing to do is to study others’ work to get some inspiration (and new ideas). I’m not saying you should copy or steal others’ work, but you cannot live in a bubble and ignore the outer world. And if you take and reuse 1% of every masterpiece you see and like, it is not stealing, it is inspiration. If you have not seen them already, check the videos titled “Everything is a remix” (www.everythingisaremix.info). You will realize how rare it is to have an idea that is totally original and is not based on anything else. The key is to be better, create unusual connections and see what others cannot see.

I have collected a few great pages, most of which even contain tutorials. Obviously, no tutorial is made for Microsoft Word, but that should not discourage you. As already mentioned, the workflow and naming in Word is pretty similar to the professional applications. Of course, you cannot recreate most of the effects, but the tutorials in this book should show you that you still have a lot of possibilities. Your tools are limited, but your imagination should not be.

Tuts+

Abduzeedo

hub.tutsplus.com

Possibly the best site with tutorials about almost anything, including a lot of typography tutorials for Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as for Inkscape (free vector application).

Inspirational websites

www.abduzeedo.com

Great blog about design, including tutorials for Photoshop, Illustrator and a few others, as well as countless collections of visual inspiration.

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Bēhance

www.behance.net

Dribbble

www.dribbble.com

Online portfolios to keep you busy for days. Unlike the other portfolio webpages, works published here often show how they were made, so you can see the process.

Dribbble is a place to explore design. While the “shots” (screenshots) are often small or cropped, membership based only on invitations guarantees only the best quality designs.

Smashing Magazine

deviantART

www.smashingmagazine.com

Great source for graphics inspiration including text effects. Hint: do not ignore the web stuff. CSS (styles for web pages) have limited functions for text effects, and can easily be reproduced in Word.

Inspirational websites

www.deviantart.com

This page used to be the ultimate source for graphic inspiration in the past, yet it has aged over time. Still, you can find some great stuff in there. Not only inspiration, but also user-created tutorials.

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Tutorials inspiration “The Secret Of Creativity Is Knowing How To Hide Your Sources.” As said by Albert Einstein – who has probably hidden the source for this quote. It is very similar to a saying by Pablo Picasso: “Good artists borrow; great artists steal.” Both quotes say that you should not work without any sources, and if you have already watched the “Everything is a remix” video from the previous page, you know that it is impossible not to be influenced by others – even if unconsciously. The key is to take what’s already there and combine it in an unexpected manner to create something new, better and useful. Not to hide your sources, but to overshadow them.

I will reveal my sources for the tutorials in this book so you can see how much I was influenced by the work of others. Most of the tutorials were based on the already existing tutorials, even if I had to create a new process because of the Microsoft Word specific functions (or lack of functions). You will see that some effects have been done a thousand times, so you cannot really tell who did them first. In the end, it does not matter. The “first” means nothing (not only in the internet discussion), being the best is a more important attribute.

Broken glass tutorial Breaking things is fun, not only in the real world, but also on a computer. The number of tutorials for this topic clearly shows that. The broken glass effect, or shattered glass text effect is as old as Photoshop. It has been done in almost every application, and often uses photographs or 3D renders of glass to emphasize the effect.

This is also visible on the first image with the glass overlay in the middle. The second image is worth mentioning because the output is very similar to ours – even if it uses a different method and application (Illustrator). The text is broken into pieces, but unlike our Word effect, it does not stay editable.

GLASS Tutorials inspiration

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Twirls & Curls tutorial There are plenty of tutorials describing how to make this effect. You can find them under different names – swirls, curls, floral patterns, ornamental design elements or flourish ornaments. They vary in difficulty quite a lot – some even describe creating those shapes from scratch (like the green sample picture “spring”).

What’s more interesting for everyday users are all the pre-made shapes which we can use (like we did in the tutorial). If we stay in Word, the shapes ready to download are most likely in an unsupported format. But there are plenty of free (and paid) fonts which can be installed and used, and they look great.

Color tails tutorial I remember seeing the tutorial about this effect in Photoshop many years ago – describing that you have to copy the text, move it to the right and bottom, copy again, move again... it was definitely not fun. But times have changed, and now it takes a few minutes, even in Word (see the tutorial).

Tutorials inspiration

If you focus on the third picture, it is from the tutorial about making this effect using CSS styles (styles for web design). Those CSS styles have only limited functions, just like Word, and therefore can be a great source for inspiration, even if you do not plan to do any web work at all.

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Dance! tutorial You can see a clear inspiration from the third picture here, which is from vector tuts+ (using Illustrator). Illustrator also has quite limited capabilities for rendering 3D objects, but once you create them, you can tweak them with all the other tools. You cannot do anything like that in Word.

By the way – most Photoshop tutorials about this effect are outdated (like the second picture). Photoshop did not have this function for quite a long time, so all the tutorials used plugins, third-party software or even some crazy techniques. Still, to get the best looking 3D text, it is best to use a dedicated 3D application.

Freeze tutorial This tutorial is made from three different effects – the bokeh effect (as shown in the second picture), vignetting (which is very easy to create) and the icicles (as inspired from the third picture). While it may look quite complicated (and not even very nice), it was created using only Photoshop’s default wind filter.

Tutorials inspiration

This filter started an avalanche of tutorials about icy text, frozen text, snowy text, etc. The web was crowded with those winter tutorials, but this was many years ago. If you want to find a decent up-to-date tutorial about one of those topics, you are out of luck. Global warming has also struck the tutorials.

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Vegas tutorial Text effects like this spread widely when Photoshop introduced layer styles. They allow us to add all kinds of effects (drop shadow, glow, gradient overlay, stroke, etc.) while keeping the text still editable. It is also possible to save those effects and use them on any other text, or even export them for future use.

There are websites where you can download or buy many pre-defined layer styles for Photoshop – the second image is from one of them (graphicriver). And there are countless tutorials on this topic. With the recent introduction of “layer styles” in Word, some of them could possibly be recreated in this application as well.

Stickers tutorial The roots for these tutorials are very old – starting with the Corel Draw application and the effect for the folded corner. As usual, this was quite a nice effect, but heavily overused over time. You can find countless tutorials about this effect for almost every application (with the exception of Word, of course).

Tutorials inspiration

The “sticker” effect – i.e. a very bold outline, is indeed inspired by real stickers, where you need a solid shape without much detail. Since it requires only adding the bold outline, it can be created in almost every application which has this function. It is strange that the Word tutorial was still missing (until now).

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This is (not) the end

I really hope that you like the book and had a great time creating some amazing stuff by following the tutorials. I hope you have learned something new and had fun at the same time. This book is over, but there is more to come. But I need your help. This book is free, it costs nothing, but I would like to ask for 5 minutes of your time. Please share it, talk about it, follow me on Twitter, Facebook or just send me an e-mail. Spread the word, and if you like this book a lot and want to see another one soon, please do everything you can. This is (not) the end

Last but not least, be sure to check my website www.upir.org, where you can download all the tutorials as Microsoft Word .docx files, so you can tweak them on your own. And this is it. Thank you for your time spent with this book, I hope it was worth it. Talk to you soon.

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7 Best Text Effects in Microsoft Word