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You can add shading to text, tables, or pages by using the Shading tab in the Borders and Shading dialog box.
As with borders, you can experiment with colors and styles, and preview the effects. Here, that preview is particularly helpful because the color and gradient you choose for the shading can make the words on the page hard to read. You always want to make sure that the effect you choose doesn't overpower the text itself.
Note As with borders, the shading for AutoShapes works differently than it does for text and tables. Select the shape, and then use the Fill Color button on the Drawing toolbar.