Video: Backgrounds in PowerPoint: First Steps

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Let’s start from scratch and add a colorful or subtle background to a PowerPoint slide. Also, how to match a color from an image, and a few design tips about backgrounds.

Backgrounds: First steps

  • If you want to start from scratch, just right-click on a blank part of the slide. Click Format Background and a menu appears on the right-hand side. You can use colors, pictures, or textures.

  • Remember, this is the background of your presentation, so don’t be afraid to use white or black. Don’t let the background overwhelm your presentation.

Want more?

Webinar: Working with Photos in Office

In this course, we are going to work with backgrounds in PowerPoint.

You could start with a theme that controls backgrounds, and colors and fonts.

But if you want to start from scratch, that's what we are going to dig into.

So here I have almost a blank slide and to get to the background menu, I just right-click on my mouse and I can see Format Background. Now, one thing, you want to make sure is click on a blank part of the slide.

If I click on this image, or I click over here on this text box, I get a different menu when I right-click.

So, some place no element, right-click, Format Background, and it opens up this menu. Let's jump into Solid fill.

Let me just click on this Fill color box and it gives me colors.

Now, even though this is a blank presentation, it has a theme-the Office theme, and each theme has its own palette of colors. That's why, these are chosen.

But you also can use standard colors, or you can click here for More Colors.

First, there is a color wheel, you can choose a color, or you can go up to Custom. Custom is great because you can plug in values.

There is a thing called RGB colors and they have a number value.

If you get those from your design, you can plug those in and get the exact color.

Let's say for your company colors, you can put that in your PowerPoint.

But, there is also a shortcut for that, and this is new in PowerPoint 2013.

Let me go over here to Color and go down to this Eyedropper tool and click that.

And I move. Now, the very tip of this eyedropper, if you put it on a color – one, if you rest it there, it shows you the RGB colors.

But if you click it, there you go, it turns the background to that color, right from that image.

Couple of things about color. One – don't be afraid to use white or black.

I mean this is your background. The star is your foreground of your presentation.

Also, if you use a strong color, it is going to limit the color palette.

I mean. Think about the PowerPoints we have seen, where you had those blue, dark blue backgrounds.

If we put black text on them, it is really hard to read.

Also, if you are going to be in an auditorium, some place dark where the audience is dark, make sure you use a dark or black background.

Okay, let's go on. Let's show Gradient fill. Click that and you can see it, kind of blends, light in color.

In fact, the top part here is white and the color comes in at the bottom corner.

Now, if you look over the menu, there are tons of different ways you could fiddle with this, as much as you want.

I'll just show you a preset or two. If I click this one, now the light is at the bottom, and the corners are dark.

Finally, we are going to show a Texture fill.

And, go down here to this box, this little box here, this is Texture. It shows you some pre-made ones.

There is some marble, there is cloth, there are some other things that you can use. This is a Paper bag that I like.

You click on that. Now one thing with a strong background is that it is hard to read text on that. So, you can lighten that up with this Transparency tool.

It is a bar you just click on it and move it to get the lightness that you want.

You can see what you want, and click, and there, you have it.

If you like this background, just go down here to Apply to All.

And you can click that and it applies that background to all of the slides.

Now, to do more with pictures and watermarks, we need to learn a little bit about the Slide Master, and we'll do that in the next video.

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