Format the background of your SmartArt graphic

This article discusses changing and formatting the background of a SmartArt graphic. For information about backgrounds for slides, see Insert a background picture, color, or watermark on your slides. To mimic the patterned fills that were available in Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, see No more Pattern Fills in PowerPoint 2007. To change the picture used as a background in a document, see Replace or delete a picture. For help with adding fill effects to the shapes in your SmartArt graphic, see Change the color of a shape, shape border, or entire SmartArt graphic.

You can give the background of your SmartArt graphic a solid or gradient fill color, or use a texture or picture as a background.

What do you want to do?

Change the background color of your SmartArt graphic

Use a gradient fill as a background for your SmartArt graphic

Use a texture as a background for your SmartArt graphic

Use a picture as a background for your SmartArt graphic

Delete a background color, gradient fill, texture, or picture from your SmartArt graphic

Change the background color of your SmartArt graphic

  1. Right-click the border of your SmartArt graphic, and then click Format Object on the shortcut menu.

  2. Click the Fill pane, and then click Solid fill.

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

    To change the background 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.

  4. To specify how much you can see through the background color, move the Transparency slider, or enter a number in the box next to the slider. You can vary the percentage of transparency from 0% (fully opaque, the default setting) to 100% (fully transparent).

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Use a gradient fill as a background for your SmartArt graphic

You can use a gradient to create an effect of gradually changing color from a lighter to a darker shade or from one color to another. You can even use gradients to create rainbow effects.

  1. Right-click the border of your SmartArt graphic, and then click Format Object on the shortcut menu.

  2. Click the Fill pane, and then click Gradient fill.

  3. To choose a built-in gradient fill, click Preset colors Presets button , and then click the option that you want.

  4. To set options for the gradient fill, do one or more of the following:

    • To specify the direction to use when drawing the gradient fill, select an option from the Type list. The type that you select determines the options that are available under Direction.

    • To choose a different progression of color and shades, click Direction, and then click the option that you want. The directions that are available depend on the gradient type that you choose in the Type list.

    • To specify the angle at which the gradient fill is rotated within the shape, enter the degree value that you want in the Angle box. This option is available only when you select Linear in the Type list.

    • To set a gradient stop, click a stop number in the list, and then set the position, color, and transparency value.

      Gradient stops consist of a position, a color, and a transparency value and are used to create nonlinear gradients. For example, if you want to create a gradient that goes from red to green to blue, you need to add three gradient stops — one for each color. Or if you want to create a gradient that appears only in the corner of a shape, you need to use gradient stops to make the gradient nonlinear.

      To set the position (location for the color and transparency change in the gradient fill), move the Stop position slider or enter a number in the box next to the slider.

      To choose the color used for the gradient stop, click Color Color Picker , and then click the color that you want. To create a single-color gradient, choose different shades of the same color. To create a multi-color gradient, choose a different color for each gradient stop. For example, you can create a rainbow effect by making your first gradient stop red, the second gradient stop orange, and so on.

      To specify how much you can see through the background color, move the Transparency slider, or enter a number in the box next to the slider. You can vary the percentage of transparency from 0% (fully opaque, the default setting) to 100% (fully transparent). The transparency value applies to the gradient stop, not to the overall fill.

  5. Tip: To adjust existing gradient stops, in the list click the stop number that you want to change. . To add or remove stops, click Add or Remove.

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Use a texture as a background for your SmartArt graphic

  1. Right-click the border of your SmartArt graphic, and then click Format Object on the shortcut menu.

  2. Click the Fill pane, and then click Picture or texture fill.

  3. Click Texture, and then click the texture that you want.

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Use a picture as a background for your SmartArt graphic

  1. Right-click the border of your SmartArt graphic, and then click Format Object on the shortcut menu.

  2. Click the Fill pane, and then click Picture or texture fill.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To insert a picture from a file, click File, locate the picture that you want to insert, and then double-click it.

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

    • To use clip art as a background picture, click Clip Art, and then 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.

    • To include clip art that is available on Microsoft Office Online in your search, select the Include content from Office Online check box, click Go, and then click the clip to insert it.

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Delete a background color, gradient fill, texture, or picture from your SmartArt graphic

  1. Right-click the border of your SmartArt graphic, and then click Format Object on the shortcut menu.

  2. Click the Fill pane, and then click No fill.

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