Format slide backgrounds with a watermark, picture, color, or "draft" text in PowerPoint for Windows

Format slide backgrounds with a watermark, picture, color, or "draft" text in PowerPoint for Windows

PowerPoint doesn't have a gallery of ready-made watermarks like Word has, but you can still manually put a transparent picture or light-colored text background in your slides to get that watermark effect.

You can format a slide's background with color, a fill pattern or texture, a picture, or a text stamp (such as "draft" or "confidential"). Using the Transparency control, you can make a background image appear faintly enough to be visible but not interfere with the primary content on top of it.

Add a text watermark to slides

You can add the watermark to all slides at once (by editing the slide master), or to individual slides. The procedure is the same, except for the starting point, as explained in step 1.

Add the text watermark to all slides

  1. To add a watermark to an individual slide,    open that slide in Normal view.

    To add a watermark to all the slides,    on the ribbon, click View > Slide Master. Then, in Slide Master view, scroll to the top of the thumbnail pane on the left, and select the first item, the slide master.

  2. Select Insert > Text Box, and then click and drag to draw the text box on the slide or slide master.

    Image of the ribbon in slide master view
  3. Type the watermark text (such as "DRAFT") in the text box.

  4. To change the alignment of your watermark text, click and hold the rotation handle Rotation handle at the top of the text box while you move your mouse left or right.

  5. Select the text in the text box. On the Format tab, choose a light font fill color, and then make any other changes that you want to the font and style. (If you do not see the Format tab, be sure you’ve selected the text box.)

  6. To reposition the watermark, click the text box, and then when the pointer becomes a Four-headed arrow , drag the text box where you want it.

  7. When you are happy with the text watermark, click the text box, click the Format tab > Send Backward, and then click Send to Back.

Add a watermark to your slides using Word Art or a text box

You can use text or WordArt as a watermark to indicate that your presentation is a draft or confidential document.

  1. Click the slide that you want to add a text box or WordArt watermark to.

    To add a watermark to all the slides in a blank presentation, first go to View > Slide Master.

    Slide Master View

    Note: If your completed presentation contains one or more master slides, you might not want to apply the background to the master slides and risk unwanted changes to your presentation. The safe alternative is to add the background to one slide at a time.

  2. Select the Insert tab and do one of the following:

    • To use a text box, select Text Box, and then drag to draw the text box the size that you want.

    • To use WordArt, select WordArt.

      In the Text group

  3. Enter text in the text box or WordArt that you want to appear in the watermark.

  4. If you want to reposition the watermark, click the text box or WordArt, and then when the pointer becomes a Four-headed arrow , drag the text box or WordArt to a new location.

  5. To send the watermark to the back of the slide, go to Format > Picture Tools, click the arrow next to Send Backward, and then click Send to Back.

    Tip: If you don't see the Picture Tools or Format tabs, make sure you've selected a text box or WordArt.

You can use text or WordArt as a watermark to indicate that your presentation is a draft or confidential.

Use a text box or WordArt as a watermark

  1. Click the slide that you want to add a text box or WordArt watermark to.

    To add a watermark to all the slides in a blank presentation, on the View tab, in the Presentations Views group, click Slide Master.

    PowerPoint Ribbon Image

    Note: If your completed presentation contains one or more master slides, you might not want to apply the background to the master slides and risk unwanted changes to your presentation. The safe alternative is to add the background to one slide at a time.

  2. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, in the Text group, do one of the following:

    • To use a text box, click Text Box, and then drag to draw the text box the size that you want.

    • To use WordArt, click WordArt.

      PowerPoint Ribbon Image
  3. Enter text in the text box or WordArt that you want to appear in the watermark.

  4. If you want to reposition the watermark, click the text box or WordArt, and then when the pointer becomes a Four-headed arrow , drag the text box or WordArt to a new location.

  5. When you finish editing and positioning the watermark and are satisfied with its appearance, to send the text box or WordArt to the back of the slide, under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Send to Back.

    Drawing Tools Format tab image

    If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you've selected a text box or WordArt.

Add a background picture (or "watermark") to slides

Using a faint graphic as a watermark in the background of your slides is a great way to display your company logo or other meaningful image.

You can add the background picture to multiple slides at once (by using Slide Master view), or to individual slides. The procedure is basically the same, except for the starting point, as explained in step 1.

  1. Do you want to watermark individual slides, or do you want to systematically watermark multiple slides? Follow the appropriate sub-step:

    • To add a background picture to an individual slide or slides    In Normal view, in the thumbnail pane on the left, select a slide. (To select more than one, click one slide, and then press and hold Ctrl while you click the other slides.)

    • To systematically add a background picture to multiple slides or all slides    On the ribbon, click View > Slide Master. In the thumbnail pane on the left, select the slide layouts that you want to add a picture watermark to. (To select multiple layouts, click one, and then press and hold Ctrl while you click the others.)

  2. Right-click your selection in the thumbnail pane, and then select Format Background.

    format background pane in PowerPoint
  3. In the Format Background pane on the right, select Picture or Texture Fill, and then, under Insert picture from, do one of the following:

    • Select File, choose the picture that you want, and then select Insert to insert a picture from your device.

    • Select Clipboard to insert a picture you've copied to the clipboard.

    • Select Online and type a description in the search box of the type of image you want to choose a picture from an online resource.

    The selected image is sized to fill the entire slide background; it can't be resized like a foreground picture can. However, you can use the Tile the picture as texture option to repeat the image horizontally and vertically throughout the background.

  4. Once you've inserted a picture, go to the Format Background pane and slide the Transparency bar to set the transparency percentage.

  5. (Optional) If you were to decide that you want the watermark to appear on all slides in the presentation rather than just the slides or layouts you initially selected, in the Format Background pane, click Apply to all.

  6. Save your presentation (File > Save).

  7. If you're working in Slide Master view, select Close Master View when you're done making changes.

Need more help?   

  1. Click the slide that you want to add a watermark to.

    To add a watermark to all of the slides in a blank presentation, go to View > Slide Master.

    Slide Master View

    Note: If your completed presentation contains one or more master slides, you might not want to apply the background to the master slides and risk unwanted changes to your presentation. The safe alternative is to add the background to one slide at a time.

  2. Select the Insert tab on the ribbon and do one of the following.

    • To use a picture as a watermark, select Picture, choose the picture that you want, and then click Insert.

    • To paste a picture that you copied, select Clipboard.

  3. To adjust the size of the picture, right-click the image on the slide, and then click Size and Position on the shortcut menu.

  4. In the Size pane, under Scale, increase or decrease the settings in the Height and Width boxes.

    • To maintain proportional height and width of the picture or clip art when scaling, select the Lock aspect ratio check box.

    • To center your image on the slide, select the Scale relative to original picture size check box.

  5. To move the picture or clip art on the slide, click the Position tab, and then enter the settings for the positions that you want in the Horizontal and Vertical boxes.

  6. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Adjust group, click Color, and then under Recolor, click the color fade that you want.

    Adjust group

    Tip: If you don't see the Picture Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you've selected the image.

  7. Under Picture Tools, go to Format > Correction >Picture Corrections Options, and then under Brightness and Contrast, select the brightness percentage that you want.

    watermark send to back
  8. To send the watermark to the back of the slide, go to Format > Picture Tools, click the arrow next to Send Backward, and then click Send to Back.

Add a picture or clip art as a slide background
  1. Click the slide that you want to add a watermark to.

    To add a watermark to all of the slides in a blank presentation, on the View tab, in the Presentations Views group, click Slide Master.

    PowerPoint Ribbon Image

    Note: If your completed presentation contains one or more master slides, you might not want to apply the background to the master slides and risk unwanted changes to your presentation. The safe alternative is to add the background to one slide at a time.

  2. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, do one of the following.

    Illustrations group Ribbon Image
    • To use a picture as a watermark, click Picture, locate the picture that you want, and then click Insert.

    • To use clip art as a watermark, click Clip Art. In the Clip Art task pane, in the Search for box, either type a word or phrase that describes the clip that you want, or type all or part of the file name of the clip, and then click Go.

      When you search for clip art and pictures online, you'll be directed to Bing. You're responsible for respecting copyright, and the license filter in Bing can help you choose which images to use.

      In the Search text box, type a word or phrase that describes the clip that you want, or type all or part of the file name of the clip.

  3. To adjust the size of the picture or clip art, right-click the picture or clip art on the slide, and then click Size and Position on the shortcut menu.

  4. On the Size tab, under Scale, increase or decrease the settings in the Height and Width boxes.

    To maintain proportional height and width of the picture or clip art when scaling, select the Lock aspect ratio check box.

    To center your picture or clip art on the slide, select the Scale relative to original picture size check box.

  5. To move the picture or clip art on the slide, click the Position tab, and then enter the settings for the positions that you want in the Horizontal and Vertical boxes.

  6. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Adjust group, click Recolor, and then under Light Variations, click the color fade that you want.

    Picture Tools tab
  7. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Adjust group, click Brightness, and then click the brightness percentage that you want.

    watermark

    At this point, you can drag the watermark anywhere on the background of slides that already contain text, or you can add text to one or more slides and then drag the watermark onto the backgrounds of the slides.

    send to back
  8. When you finish editing and positioning the watermark and are satisfied with its appearance, to send the watermark to the back of the slide, under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Send to Back.

Add a SmartArt graphic as a slide background
  1. Right-click the SmartArt graphic, and then click Copy. (Before beginning this procedure, you should have created the SmartArt graphic that you want to use for a slide background.)

  2. Click the slide that you want to add a background SmartArt graphic to.

    To select multiple slides, click a slide, and then press and hold CTRL while you click the other slides.

  3. On the Design tab, in the Background group, click Background Styles, and then click Format Background.

    Design tab image
  4. Click Picture or texture fill, and then click Clipboard.

  5. To center, stretch, or shrink your SmartArt graphic in the background, adjust the Stretch options.

  6. To specify how much you can see through the SmartArt graphic, move the Transparency slider or enter a number in the box next to the slider.

  7. Do one of the following:

    • To use the SmartArt graphic as a background for the slides that you selected, click Close.

    • To use the SmartArt graphic as a background for all of the slides in your presentation, click Apply to All.

Change the color of a slide background

If you decide that you want more contrast between the background and the text on your slides, you can change the background colors to a different gradient or solid color. Formatting the colors and background of your slides is a good way to build visual interest.

To apply a solid color to your background
  1. Right-click the slide that you want to add a background color to and then click Format Background > Solid fill.

    Tip: If you don't see Format Background, try right-clicking again, this time near the margin of the slide so that your mouse isn't pointing at a text box or other object.

  2. Select Color, and then choose the color that you want.

    Solid color background

    Tip:  To use a background color that is not in the theme colors, select More Colors, and then either pick a color on the Standard tab, or mix your own color on the Custom tab. It should be noted that custom colors and colors on the Standard tab are not updated if you later change the document theme.

  3. To change the background transparency, move the Transparency slider.

    You can vary the percentage of transparency from 0% (fully opaque, the default setting) to 100% (fully transparent).

  4. Do the following:

    • To apply the color to the slides that you selected, select Close.

    • To apply the color to all of the slides in your presentation, select Apply to All.

To apply a gradient color to the background of your slides
  1. Right-click the slide that you want to add a gradient background color to and then select Format Background > Gradient fill.

  2. To use preset PowerPoint gradients, do step 3, then continue with step 5. To customize color gradients yourself, do step 4, then continue with step 5.

  3. To use the preset color, type, and direction gradients, click Preset gradients, and then select an option.

    Preset gradients
  4. To customize your gradient color scheme, do the following:

    • Under Gradient stops, select the first gradient stop (labeled as 1 in the diagram below).

    • Click the Color down arrow, and select a Theme color or a Standard color.

      Change the color of each gradient stop

      Tip:  Select More Colors for more standard color choices, or to create a custom color.

    • To adjust gradient color coverage, click and drag the stops to the right or left. Or you can set incremental percentages by moving the Position up and down to a percentage that you want.

    • Do the same thing for any other gradient stops (there are 4 shown in the example diagram above).

  5. Adjust the Brightness as needed.

  6. To change the background transparency, move the Transparency slider.

    You can vary the percentage of transparency from 0% (fully opaque, the default setting) to 100% (fully transparent).

  7. Do one of the following:

    • To apply the gradient color to only the slides that you selected, click Close.

    • To apply the gradient color to all of the slides in your presentation, click Apply to All.

Do you want a more stylish look for your presentation? Check out the PowerPoint template gallery for professional designs you can add to your presentations. In PowerPoint, type template in the Tell me what to do box.

  1. Click the slide that you want to add a background color to.

    Tip: To select multiple slides, click a slide, and then press and hold CTRL while you click the other slides.

  2. Go to Design > Background Styles > Format Background.

  3. Select Fill > Solid Fill.

    Format Background
  4. Pick Color Color Picker , and then choose the color you want.

    To see more color option, select More Colors, and then either choose a color on the Standard tab, or mix a color on the Custom tab. Custom colors and colors on the Standard tab are not updated if you later change the document theme.

    Tips: To change the background transparency, move the Transparency slider.

    You can vary the percentage of transparency from 0% (fully opaque, the default setting) to 100% (fully transparent).

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To apply the color to only the slides that you selected, click Close.

    • To apply the color to all of the slides in your presentation, click Apply to All.

  1. Click the slide that you want to add a background color to.

    To select multiple slides, click a slide, and then press and hold CTRL while you click the other slides.

  2. On the Design tab, in the Background group, click Background Styles, and then click Format Background.

    Design tab image
  3. Click Fill, and then click Solid Fill.

    Note: Alternatively, if you want to use a colored gradient or texture fill, click either Gradient fill or Picture or texture fill and choose the options you want.

  4. Click Color Color Picker , and then click the color that you want.

    To change to a color that is not in the theme colors, click More Colors, and then either click the color that you want on the Standard tab, or mix your own color on the Custom tab. Custom colors and colors on the Standard tab are not updated if you later change the document theme.

  5. To change the background transparency, move the Transparency slider.

    You can vary the percentage of transparency from 0% (fully opaque, the default setting) to 100% (fully transparent).

  6. Do one of the following:

    • To apply the color to the slides that you selected, click Close.

    • To apply the color to all of the slides in your presentation, click Apply to All.

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!

×