More Word Clouds in PowerPoint – 3d

An earlier post demonstrated the construction of “word clouds” in PowerPoint; here I’ll apply PowerPoint “3d” effects to the word cloud. This is a slippery slope; it’s pretty easy to go overboard with this stuff. In this case, I’m trying to use the effects to add to the message rather than just showing off.

In the first word cloud post, I used an image of an IT manager concerned with wireless trends as an example. Here’s what an original version looks like:

wireless concerns

Here’s a version with a 3d effect applied to the word cloud object:

wireless concerns 3

I applied a Format Shape/3D Rotation effect to the cloud; specifically, I used the Perspective Below preset and set the Perspective to 120 degrees. This effect (and changing the relative size of the figure) makes the wireless concerns appear more intimidating.

By the way, you can apply 3d effects to the overall Shape or to the Text objects within the word cloud. The panes for these are very similar so it’s easy to be confused about which option you have selected.

Here’s another version (a “tombstone?”):

wireless concerns 4

Here’s how:

  • Create a Rectangle (blue in the example) and group it with the original word cloud object.  Change the Text Fill color if necessary.
  • Add a 3d Depth (85 pts) to the object and set the Depth Color.
  • Apply the 3d Perspective Below preset rotation as before; this time the Perspective parameter is set to 55 degrees.
  • PowerPoint object shadows don’t work well with 3d (like a lot of other things) so I made my own with a Trapezoid, gradient filled.

This version was created by applying 3d effects to the text:

wireless concerns 5

Starting with the original, a 5 pt 3d Depth was added to the text objects. Then a Perspective Left rotation was applied. The shadow is another copy of the word cloud with zero depth, a transparent gray fill and rotated (severely) to match up with the original. This is a basically a result of a lot of fiddling.

Here’s another version with 200 pt text depth and rotations:

wireless concerns 6

Now we’re beginning to rival Cecil B. DeMille in spectacle. Restraint may be called for.

For what it’s worth, you can apply the 3d techniques from two earlier posts to word clouds; here’s a couple of examples:

wireless concerns 7

The  cube uses techniques outlined in the toy blocks posts. As I noted in the spheres post, the sphere is tricky and ultimately a little disappointing.

If you are enthralled by all this, you can request a free copy of the PowerPoint “source” file using the form below:

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