Fun with Gradients in Microsoft Word

how to lesson

Students love to ‘put their own stamp’ on their work. And creativity is something that we, as educators, encourage. Here’s a quick activity that has students design their own custom gradients to fill shapes made in a Word document. It is from TechnoEditor, TechnoKids’ latest release. In this project, students master essential word processing skills as they revise a storybook for younger children. In the Comic Strip lesson, they add images and shapes of their own design. Here’s how to make those shapes truly unique!

Draw a Shape

fun with gradients
  1. Open a blank document in Microsoft Word.
  2. From the Insert menu, click Shapes and pick a shape that can be filled, such as a rectangle or oval.
  3. Click and drag on the page to draw the shape.

Fill the Shape with Color

  1. Click on the shape. The Shape Format tab appears on the toolbar.
fun with gradients
The Shape Format tab has tools to design the style of objects.
shape fill
  1. From the Shape Styles group, click Shape Fill.

There are lots of possibilities. You can fill the shape with any of these choices:

fill color palette
  • solid color from the palette
  • solid color that you can pick from More Fill Colors…
  • a picture
  • a gradient or gradual change of one color to another
  • a texture from a set of choices
  1. Pick Gradient.

Fun with Gradients: Design Your Own

Now here is where the magic begins! Next, you can pick an existing gradient from the choices. OR you can make your own. Try it.

  1. Click More Gradients…
gradient palette
Click More Gradients at the bottom to create your own design.
  1. From the Format Shape panel that opens, click Gradient fill.
gradient choices
  1. Explore the choices to make a gradient of your own. The possibilities are endless.
fun with gradients
Experiment with the options!
  • Click the Type arrow to change to a circular or square gradient.
  • Pick the Direction arrow to pick which way the shading goes.
  • Click the Angle to adjust the way the gradient slants.
  • Add or take away gradient stops to adjust the number of color changes.
  • Click a gradient stop to add or change a color from the Color palette.
  • Investigate how Position, Transparency, and Brightness change the gradient.

Have Fun with Gradients

editor word processing

Engage your students with this fun, creative exercise as they create their documents. TechnoEditor, the newest TechnoKids project, does just that! As student master word processing skills, they also individualize their projects with their own ideas. This project has students revise a publication as they learn about text, graphic, and layout formatting. Build skills and ignite an interest in technology. Watch this short video to learn more about this project for elementary and middle school students.

Are you using Google Docs? You won’t be left out! You can create gradients using a Drawing Canvas – check out my next blog: Fun with Gradients in Google Docs.


Hella Comat, Curriculum Writer - Hella Comat is a dedicated professional, who has taught in the education system for more than 30 years. As a pioneer of technology integration in Ontario public schools she was one of the first teachers to introduce the internet, video conferencing, web design, and multimedia learning activities to teachers and students in the Halton Board. To inspire teachers to use technology, she has led sessions for the Touch Technology program, ran workshops at education conferences, and sat on numerous advisory committees related to technology-issues. In recent years she taught the Computer in the Classroom course, at York University. Her lifelong commitment to teaching and learning was acknowledged when she was honored as the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology, and Mathematics. Hella's contribution to the blog includes entries about the importance of technology integration. Drawing from her in-depth knowledge of technology in the classroom Hella writes about teaching strategies and useful resources that can benefit your practice. In addition, she provides innovative lesson ideas that you can implement into your own curriculum.

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