Add color and design to my slides with themes

You’re not a professional designer, but you want your presentation to look like you are. "Themes" do all that for you—you just pick one and go!

When you open PowerPoint, you’ll see the built-in, colorful slide designs (known as ‘themes’) that you can apply to your presentations.

Choose a theme when you open PowerPoint

  1. Pick a theme.

    Shows Themes in PowerPoint under File > New

    Tip    These built-in themes are great for widescreen (16:9) and standard screen (4:3) presentations. To change the slide size, see Change the size of your slides.

  2. Choose a color variation, and then click Create.

    Shows Theme color variation options in PowerPoint

Change the theme or variant of your presentation

If you change your mind, you can always change the theme or variant later on the Design tab.

  1. On the Design tab, pick a theme with the colors, fonts, and effects that you like.

    Tip    To preview how the current slide looks with a theme applied, rest your pointer over the thumbnail of each theme.

  2. To apply a different color variation of a particular theme, in the Variants group, pick a variant.

    The Variants group appears to the right of the Themes group, and the choices vary depending on the theme you've selected.

    Shows PowerPoint theme variants

Note   If you don't see any variants, it could be because you're using a custom theme, an older theme designed for earlier versions of PowerPoint, or because you imported some slides from another presentation with an older or custom theme.

Create and save a custom theme

You can create a custom theme by modifying an existing theme or by starting from scratch with a blank presentation.

  1. Click your first slide, and then on the Design tab, click the down arrow in the Variants group.

  2. Click Colors, Fonts, Effects, or Background Styles and choose from built-in options or customize your own.

  3. When you're done customizing styles, click the down arrow in the Themes group, and then click Save Current Theme.

  4. Give your theme a name, and click Save. By default, it is save with your other PowerPoint themes and will be available in the Themes group under a Custom header.

For more about creating custom themes, see Create your own theme in PowerPoint

Read more

Applies To: PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2016

Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Change language