How I Created 3D Tabs in PowerPoint

The Challenge

Create 3D tabs in PowerPoint

The Backstory

Rectangular tab created in PowerPoint. Colour is coral blue. Displays the text Tab 1. The top side of the rectangle has a wavy contourTab Created in PowerPoint

Challenge 199 was about creating tab-based interaction. While describing the challenge, David Anderson (Articulate Storyline’s community manager), asked the community to share ‘fresh examples’.

My mind latched on the word ‘fresh’. I asked myself about the things that freshen me up. ‘Beaches’, my mind replied. I decided to make a beach-themed template. I also wanted the template core – the tabs – to reflect a beach-like feeling. So, using the ‘Edit Points’ feature of PowerPoint, I created tabs having a wavy contour.

Was I happy with the result? Nah! The tabs looked drab; the vibrancy and freshness associated of a beach was missing. I decided the tabs are going to be 3D.

The Solution

3D Tab created in PowerPoint. Is coral blue in color.3D Tab (Without a Bottom Border) Created in PowerPoint

To make the tabs sport a 3D look, I needed to add depth. I achieved this by:
  • Creating a rectangle
  • Filling the rectangle with grey shade
  • Setting the transparency to 50%
  • Making the edges soft by 10 points
  • Setting the transparency of the tab to 30%
  • Placing the rectangle a few milllimetres above the bottom edge of the tab to create an illusion of depth

Picture3D Tab (With a Bottom Border) Created in PowerPoint

The tab still did not sport an elevated look, a factor that ups the 3D quotient. I addressed this issue by:
  • Creating a small rectangle and placing it below the tab.
  • Filling the rectangle with the same colour as that of the tab.
  • Setting the transparency of the tab to 30% to create a visual distinction between the tab and the rectangle.

Thus, the creation of additional shapes and manipulation of the transparency settings was what I did to create 3D tabs in PowerPoint.

In case you wish to download the tabs and the template, you can visit the ‘Templates’ section of my website.

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