Apply and change a theme

Change the theme background

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One way to personalize a theme is to change its background. Watch this video to learn how to find variant choices for a theme background, choose one that goes with the theme colors, and tweak it in the Formatting pane.

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Change the colors, fonts, and effects

Apply multiple slide designs (themes) to one presentation

Save a slide design (theme) as a template

One way to personalize a theme is to change its background.

Working from the basic Office theme, which has a white background, let’s get more familiar with choosing a different background for a theme.

Just so you know, the Office Theme is this thumbnail in the Themes gallery.

It also shows here, on the left, because it is the theme that is currently applied.

What I’d like for this theme is a background with more color.

To consider a different background, I should first look over in the Variants group.

These three thumbnails on the right are variants to the current theme.

I am going to select this chart slide to help illustrate the differences in these theme variants.

I’ll click the first variant.

It keeps the white background and only changes the color scheme; you see that is illustrated in the chart colors.

The other two variants give a black background, with two different color schemes.

Notice that with these backgrounds, the body text is white.

I have more choices just for the background.

To get the best view of these, let’s display the Title Slide because it shows more background.

Then, I’ll click the More arrow and point to Background Styles.

These additional 12 backgrounds — six light and six dark — are other options for a background that goes with the Office theme.

They are designed to complement and offer good contrast to the text and other theme colors.

These top two rows are solid-color backgrounds.

You can see the background’s preview on the slide, when I point to it.

These bottom four are gradient backgrounds, which means they fade from lighter at the top to darker at the bottom.

Let’s try this one, a blue gradient.

It is really more of a blue-gray, but we’ll call it blue.

I’ll click through the slides to see how it looks.

One big change is that because it is a dark background, the slide text is now white or light gray.

In this background, the shading, which starts lighter at the top and gets darker toward the bottom, is pretty subtle.

Let’s make it a little more dramatic and emphasize the light-to-dark contrast.

To work with the background, you click Format Background.

For a gradient type of fill, which this background has, you have these settings to work with.

What I want to do is change the look of the gradient, so that the lightest part is lighter and the darkest part is darker.

So, I’ll focus on these Gradient stops. I’ll explain what they are.

The first stop shows the color of the blue at its lightest, in the top area of the slide. The last stop shows the color of the blue at its darkest, in the bottom area of the slide.

To make the lightest blue lighter, I’ll select the first stop.

Then, in the box next to Brightness, I’ll use this arrow and increase the brightness of the blue, up to 25%.

See how that lightens the blue in the top area of the background? Next, I’ll select the last gradient stop, and decrease the brightness of the color, down to -25%.

Now the bottom area of the background is darker blue.

I like the way this shading looks, so now I’ll click Apply to All, to make these changes on all the slides.

One of the other things you can do with gradients is change the direction of the shading.

When I click the direction arrow, I see these options.

This one, Linear Right, changes the light-to-dark shading from left to right.

Linear Up changes the shading, so it gets darker moving up, towards the top.

So, these are some examples of the alternatives with gradient shading.

To get my original shading back, I’ll choose Linear Down, which shades darker, starting with light at the top.

But note that if I wasn’t sure what my earlier shading was, and I wanted to revert back to the settings I had when I last clicked Apply to All, I could click Reset Background to restore those settings.

I like this background, so I’ll close the Format Background pane.

You now know how to find variant choices for a theme background. Choose one that goes with the theme colors and tweak it in the formatting pane.

Up next: We’ll customize the theme colors and save the theme.

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