Microsoft to Democratize Drop Shadows?

Possible Drop Shadows of Microsoft Word 2007
The “democratization” of cultural technologies has been a side effect of the biggest software company’s quest for power ever since.

This becomes visible with the fonts Arial and Segoe UI, for example. Being screen adaptations of the Swiss typographic legends Helvetica and Frutiger Next, the transfer to the screen by Microsoft and Monotype has never been smooth and has divided the typographic community. On the one hand, there are the ones cherishing Arial as a work of art (or screen readability); on the other hand, there are the ones in favor of the Swiss original, seeing in Arial nothing more than a shameless rip-off. The same applies to Segoe UI.

Something similar is about to happen with blurred drop shadows. With an elegant ribbon selector, Microsoft Office 2007 does not only offer a practical and emotional way to apply shadows to images, it is also a nice tool to preview, compare and eventually apply digital shadow drops with a few clicks. Above you can see a screenshot from the image frame panel with a black frame applied to it. This frame also includes two drop shadows, a smaller inner one and a wider outer one. The German tooltip says “Moderater Rahmen, Schwarz”.

I predict those shadows a brilliant future. Let the drop shadows prosper and take them away from the Creative Suite owners!

P.S. Exporting those to HTML renders the WordArt-like graphics into perfectly transparent PNG (and GIF) graphics (see above, no Photoshop was required).

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