WordArt is essentially a text box on steroids. It lets you create text that behaves like a graphic, tucked inside its own text box, which is also a graphic. Word offers 30 preformatted WordArt Quick Styles, but you can further accent WordArt text with angles, colors, textures, 3-D effects, shading, and shapes. Figure 1 shows a few random examples of WordArt.
Figure 1. Just a few things you can do with WordArt.
WordArt is great for adding effects to greeting cards, certificates, invitations, and the like. But try as you might, it can take a lot of work to make WordArt text look truly professional. So, I don’t advise you to use WordArt to create a logo for your business or to dress up a resume. For casual documents, however, WordArt can add fun and visual interest.
WordArt is also easy to use. The following sections show you how to add some WordArt text to a document, edit the text, and reformat a WordArt object.
Inserting WordArt Text
Here’s how to jazz up a few words of text with WordArt:
Type a short greeting or shout-out (such as “Happy Birthday,” or some such).
Select the text; then click the Insert tab.
Click a style. Word applies the style and places the text in a text box, as shown in Figure 3. When the text box is selected, it is surrounded by a thin blue border and sizing handles, and the Drawing Tools Format tab appears on the Ribbon.
Figure 3. The text formatted as WordArt, in a new text box.
Click outside the WordArt text box to deselect it.
Editing WordArt Text
You edit WordArt text just like text in a normal text box. Just click the text and make your changes. You can select, insert, add, delete, backspace, type over, and otherwise repair or replace WordArt text in all the usual ways. ‘Nuff said.
Changing the Format of a WordArt Object
If you aren’t happy with the way your WordArt looks, you can format it in a bazillion different ways. But this is where things can get slow and laborious, and where you start pulling your hair out while you tinker with dozens of options and their collectively infinite combination of settings.
Before going further, however, remember this: Any piece of WordArt is part of a text box, which is basically an AutoShape.
As for WordArt text, there are enough choices to drive a formatting fanatic insane, which is why we can’t possibly cover all of them here. Instead, I’ll hit the high points; you check out the options that you find most interesting and experiment with them to your heart’s content.
To format WordArt text, click the WordArt to select it and to open the Format tab. You can do any or all of the following:
- Change the quick style: To apply a different quick style, click the Quick Styles button to open the WordArt Quick Styles gallery; then pick a different style.
- Give the text a different fill: WordArt text is made of an outline and a fill. The fill can be a solid color or a gradient. Do one of the following:
- Change the text’s outline: You can change the outline’s color, weight (thickness), and line style. Do any or all of the following:
- To change the color, click the Text Outline button to open the color palette; then pick a color.
- To change the line’s weight, click Text Outline, click Weight, and then pick a line weight from the submenu, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5. Choosing a different outline weight for WordArt text.
- To change the outline from a solid line to a dashed line, click Text Outline, click Dashes, and then pick a line style.
- Apply a nifty special effect: You can choose from dozens of special effects, such as glows, shadows, beveled edges, and others. Click Text Effects to open a menu of effects categories. Click a category; then pick a specific effect from the category’s submenu. Figure 6 shows a transformation effect being chosen.
Figure 6. Applying a special effect to WordArt text.
In earlier versions of Word, most WordArt styles were warped or arched in some way by default. Luckily for us, that isn’t the case in Word 2010. By choosing a transformation option, you can bend your text in lots of ways, make it follow a path, or even turn it into a circle. Transformations are cool effects but are easily overused, as is true of all special text effects. Use effects minimally, or your WordArt will be hard to read.
If you prefer to do all your formatting in one place, click the dialog box launcher in the WordArt Styles group. The Format Text Effects dialog box opens, as shown in Figure 7. This dialog box offers all the same tools found in the WordArt Styles group but throws in some nifty extras. For example, the dialog box enables you to customize colors and gradients by setting transparency levels.
Figure 7. The Format Text Effects dialog box includes all the WordArt Styles tools from the Ribbon, and more.
But the nicest thing about the Format Text Effects dialog box is that some of its pages have a Reset button. If you go too far with your WordArt formatting, just find and click a Reset button to remove formats you applied from that page of the dialog box.