Add Borders, Shading, and Styles

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Activity Files


Exercise 1: Add a Page Border

Open a new document. Insert the text file (Insert > Object> Text from File), Decorate Documents with Backgrounds, Borders, and Text Effects, into the new document.

The content of your sales plan is ready. It already has a theme applied to it, which includes font styles and a set of colors. (These theme colors will be more evident as you add some elements to the document. Also, you'll work with themes directly at the end of this practice session.)

You can make the most of the theme colors by adding elements that show them, such as a page border and a table with a style. You'll do that and more in the steps that follow.

Click anywhere in the document. Click the Page Layout tab, and click Page Borders in the Page Background group. This opens the Borders and Shading dialog box.

If the Page Border tab isn't displayed, click it. This is where you choose the page border style, how many sides you want it on, its width and color, where you want it in the document, and its position in relation to the edge of the page.

Under Setting, click Box.

Under Art, scroll down to the one that has musical notes and click it. It looks like this:

Musical Notes Page Border

Note Among the border options, there are certain settings you can't combine. For example, if you've chosen Shadow or 3-D under Setting and then choose an Art border, Word automatically reverts to Box under Setting. The best way to see how your settings work together is to experiment and view the results in the Preview area.

Make the notes smaller so the border isn't too showy. In the Width box, use the arrows to change the width to 8 pt.

You can apply a color that will complement the theme colors already visible in the document, most evident in the headings, which are orange. Under Color, click one of the lighter oranges, such as Orange, Accent 1, Lighter 40%. (The color swatches represent this theme's colors.)

    Orange Accent Color

Still working in the Borders and Shading dialog box, look at the Preview area on the right. It will show a miniature of your border. You can click within here to remove the border from one or more sides of the document. Leave it on all four sides for now.

Under Apply to, you can choose whether the border should go on every page, or just the first page, or in certain sections if you have created document sections. Leave it on Whole document.

Click OK.

Page Border Settings

The border is applied. Scroll down the document so that you get the full effect. If you want to alter the border's look, click Page Borders again and experiment.

Tip To adjust how far away the border sits from the text or the edge of the page, click Options on the bottom right of the border options in the Borders and Shadings dialog box, and adjust the settings under Margin.

Exercise 2: Apply a Border to a Picture

Under the first paragraph, there's a picture of a keyboard. You will apply a border to it.

In the document, click the picture to select it.

On the Ribbon, to the right, Picture Tools appears. Click the Format tab just beneath it. In the Picture Styles section click the More arrow in the lower-right corner to see the whole gallery of styles.

More Picture Styles

Point to a style to see its effect on the picture. This is just a preview.

Click a style that enhances the picture, such as Center Shadow Rectangle (this is in the middle of the gallery).

Picture Style

While this is a shadow rather than a line, it still provides a border, in a sense. You saw in the gallery that plenty of other styles have square borders.

Tip To remove a style from a picture, select the picture, and in the Adjust group on the Format tab, click Reset Picture.

Next to the picture style gallery, you'll also see Picture Border options. These give you line styles and colors to choose from, if you want to apply a border that way (you can click Weight or Dashes, and choose a style, to do so).

Picture Border

Exercise 3: Shade a Heading

At the top of page 2, there's a table with the heading text "Market Share Objectives" above it. You'll shade that heading so that it's better set off from the table and nearby text.

To go to the top of page 2, with the Home tab selected click Find then Go To and type 2 in for page.

Find Go To

Select the text "Market Share Objectives." Display the Borders and Shading dialog box (Page Layout tab, click Page Borders).

Click the Shading tab.

Under Fill, click the color you want to use as shading. Note that the heading has fairly dark text, so choose something light. A light gray might work well.

Tip If you want more color control, click More Colors, and then experiment with the color values.

White BG Dark

Under Apply to (under the Preview area), Paragraph is selected; with this selection, Word will apply the shading not just to the selected text but also to the remaining space on that line, providing a colored bar across the entire line that acts as a nice visual break.

You could also select Text under Apply to; but that would shade only the exact text that you selected.

Keep the Paragraph setting, and click OK.

Text Shading

Exercise 4: Apply a Table Style

Now you're going to apply a table style to the table directly under the heading you just shaded. The styles all incorporate the colors for Oriel, the currently applied theme.

To select the table, move the cursor over it and you'll see a handle appear to the upper left of the table.

Select Table

Click this handle to select the table.

On the Ribbon, look for Table Tools on the upper right, and click the Design tab underneath it.

In Table Styles, point to any of the style thumbnails that appear there.

Table Styles

The style is previewed on the table in the document. To see more gallery styles, use the up and down arrows.

You can see the whole gallery of styles by clicking the More arrow, on the bottom right.

Look for the style called Light Shading - Accent 1; it's orange and in the top row. (You'll see the ScreenTip when you point.) Click that one to apply it.

Tip You can alter some details of how the style is applied. Look at the Table Style Options group, on the left. Selecting or clearing the various options, such as highlighting the Total row, will turn them on or off.

Exercise 5: Add Borders to the Table

You've applied a table style. To finish off the table's look, apply a border to it.

Select the table, the same way that you did above.

Go to the Page Layout tab to display the Borders and Shading dialog box, and click the Borders tab.

On the right, near the bottom under Apply to, you should see Table. (As you'd guess, there are other selections for areas within the document that you could apply a border to: A paragraph or a table cell.)

On the left, under Setting, click All. This will put borders around the outside of the table as well as around each cell within it.

A plain line is selected under Style, as is a strong orange, under Color. The default for width is 1 pt.

Leave all these settings, and click OK.


Tip To put a border around a list or paragraph, you'd work again from the Borders and Shading dialog box. You'd first select the list or paragraph, then click the Page Layout tab, and click Page Borders. Then click the Borders tab in the dialog box. This was the route you followed to add page borders, too.

Exercise 6: Add a Gradient Fill and a Style to a Shape

Your final step is to add a splash of gradient color to the arrow graphic at the end of the sample document and work with a shape style.

On page 2, under the section titled "Sales Plan Changes," click the arrow graphic. With the arrow selected, you'll see little handles around it.

    Arrow Graphic

On the Ribbon, look for Drawing Tools, to the upper right, and click the Format tab just beneath it.

In the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to the Shape Fill button.

    Shape Fill

On the fill menu, point to Gradient. A gallery of gradient examples appears. Point to any of the thumbnails to see a preview on the arrow shape. Click one to apply it.

Gradient Fill

You get a gradient fill that uses colors from your theme.

More fill choices: Display the fill color menu again (click the Shape Fill button in the Shape Styles group, as you did before), and point to Gradients. Below the gradient fill gallery, there's a link called More Gradients. Click it.

This opens the Fill Effects dialog box, which may look familiar from earlier versions of Word. Here you can experiment more with the two colors in the gradient pattern and select a degree of transparency. You also have the Texture, Pattern, and Picture tabs for applying those types of fills. (These were also available from the main color menu that opens from the Shape Fill button.)

If you've made a change to the fill that you want to keep, click OK. Otherwise, click Cancel.

Now add a shape style to the arrow. With the new range of styles, you can make the shape look very polished.

Select the shape, and click the Format tab under Drawing Tools. Click the More arrow in Shape Styles, and find a style that you like, such as this one, called Diagonal Gradient, Accent 1:

Diagonal Gradient

Click the style thumbnail to apply it. The result will look something like this:

Arrow Complete

Exercise 7: Change the Document's Look

You've seen that the current theme, Oriel, dictates which colors are available when you add borders and shading; the goal is to give your document a consistent and attractive look. Now see where themes are and preview some other ones.

Zoom out on the document so you can see it better. Click the minus sign next to the zoom slider in the lower right of the window, until the zoom amount is 50%.

Zoom Out

Click the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon.

In the Themes group, click Themes, and point to any theme thumbnail.


You'll see it previewed on the document. It will affect the colors of your page border, headings and body text, shading, and table and shape styles.

If you want, click one of the themes to apply it. If you want to return the theme to Oriel, which is what the document had at the start, click that thumbnail.

Nicholson's Lesson Plan Blues