By J. Stephen Spence
Hereâ€™s a tool that few people very use but they should. They donâ€™t use it because it is hiding in plain sight. It is called the Drop Shadow Tool.
It is located in the tool box on the left hand side of the drawing area in Corel. It is hiding under the â€œBlend Toolâ€, the fifteenth tool down on the left hand side (at least in newer versions). To get to it, you must click on the tiny black triangle located at the bottom right corner of the Blend Tool.
When you click on that triangle, a flyout menu will appear. About half way down the list is â€œDrop Shadowâ€. Click on it.
This opens a new tool bar at the top of the drawing area. You can identify it by the little box with the word, â€œPresetsâ€ in it. Click on the arrow to the right of the word. A flyout menu will appear with a long list of options. Most of the time, what you will want to do, is select one of these presets. The rest will be done automatically.
If the options arenâ€™t what you want, you can create your own shadow manually by clicking on the text you want to add the shadow to. When you do, the tool bar at the top of the page will expand to offer you a number of options. Here you can control the amount of transparency of the shadow, its angle, how sharp the edges are and more.
Can you use this tool with objects other than text? Yes. Absolutely. It works with any OBJECT, including text, clipart, etc. I doubt if you will ever find a way to use it with bitmaps but, who am I to say. Try it on anything that needs a boost.
I use this tool mostly when designing a lot of text on a product. If I want one line to really jump out, I can make it bold, change the font style or size, or I can give it a shadow. Shadows give the illusion of depth so it takes the appearance of a design from flat and two-dimensional to a 3D look.
For a better look at this tool, check out my video on CondeTV called â€œWorking With Drop Shadowsâ€.