Chalkboard effect in Word

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How to get a ‘chalkboard’ or ‘Whiteboard’ effect in Microsoft Word.

Recently we talked about Text Boxes in Word and how to get various looks for sidebars and columns.

How about copying the ‘chalkboard’ or ‘Whiteboard’ effect for a different style of text box not offered by Microsoft in their text box gallery.

1607 Word   Text Box   Chalkboard - Chalkboard effect in Word

Here’s some basic ideas that you can tinker with to your heart’s content …

Make a text box in the usual way.

On the Drawing Tools | Format tab go to the Shape Fill icon – this controls the text box background color.

1607 Word   Text Box fill - Chalkboard effect in Word

Change the color to black.

Then change the font color. These days Word should automatically change the font color when it’s the same as the background to prevent ‘black on black’ or ‘white on white’ scenarios – that’s what the ‘Automatic’ font color should do. However we had some troubles during testing for this article so you may need to explicitly force the text color to white.

We’ll look at the font choices below.

Finally make a frame to ‘sell’ the idea that it’s a chalkboard not just a black box. There are many options for doing this, here’s just one.

Go to Drawing Tools | Format | Shape Outline.

1607 Word   Text Box frame setting - Chalkboard effect in Word

Then change Outline color and thickness to 6pt.

In practice we speeded this up a bit by using a text box style: Light 1 Outline – this gives rounded corners to the frame.

1607 Word   Text Box   apply Light 1 Outline style - Chalkboard effect in Word

Then changed the frame colors to suit.

Whiteboard

A whiteboard look is easier with a white background and black text.

1607 Word   Text Box   Whiteboard - Chalkboard effect in Word

We’ve chosen an outline shadow effect instead of a frame.

1607 Word   Text Box   shadow effect - Chalkboard effect in Word

Plus a faint outline around the text box Shape Outline | Weight

1607 Word   Text Box   faint outline - Chalkboard effect in Word

Handwriting fonts

There are a few handwriting fonts supplied with either Windows or Office that you can use on your ‘boards’. Generally speaking you’ll want a simple handwriting look not one of the fancy ones with many serifs and embellishments.

Segoe Script is the one we used in the above examples with Bold set on.

Segoe Print is another possibility when set to Bold text.

Lucida Handwriting has slightly more flowing text, it’s relative Lucida Calligraphy is probably too fancy for this purpose.

Beyond the installed fonts there are plenty of fonts available online.

FontSpace has many ‘chalk’ fonts including ‘Eraser’ and ‘Squeaky Chalk Sound’

Fonts101 has ChalkDust in standard, condensed and expanded versions.

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