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Introduction to Themes and Backgrounds in Powerpoint

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  • 0:02 Themes and Backgrounds…
  • 1:08 Using Themes
  • 2:02 Formatting Backgrounds
  • 3:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

Have you ever spent endless hours creating slides and wished that you could quickly add a bit of flair? In this lesson, you will be introduced to themes and backgrounds: one way to take your slides from boring to captivating.

Themes and Backgrounds Are Quick and Easy!

If you want to quickly and easily change the appearance of a slide, themes and backgrounds are the answer. These PowerPoint features can take your slides from boring to captivating with a couple clicks of your mouse. The difference can be dramatic, and it's so easy! The lesson will introduce you to themes and backgrounds when creating PowerPoint slides.

You can take two different approaches when adding a theme or a background to your slide. So, let me explain. The first approach is to add a theme, or a pre-designed look to your slide. You can modify colors or variances of the theme, but the design stays the same. Themes are one way to quickly jazz up your slides.

The second approach is applying customized backgrounds. If you don't want the standard look of the pre-designed PowerPoint themes, you can create your own, and you don't need to be creative or artistic! Using backgrounds can help make your slides feel more personal and customized to your content. Let's begin with themes.

Using Themes

Adding a theme is as easy as 'one, two, three.' Open your presentation, click on the Design tab and choose a design. As you can see in the lesson video, there are many theme choices (please see the video at 01:20). And if you click on the arrow-down icon to expand the options box, more choices will appear. A nice feature about applying themes is that you get a preview of how it will look just by hovering over the theme. And it's easy to switch to a different theme if you don't like it - just select a different design and your slides instantly change.

The variance option allows you to easily 'tweak' the theme. You can choose different color variations for the theme, which gives you more variety (variance). And it's quick and easy.

Let's move on to using the Format Background command and how this option will help you create slides with a more personal touch.

Formatting Backgrounds

Technically, a theme is a background design on your slide. So far, in this lesson, we have reviewed how to add a background by applying a pre-designed PowerPoint theme. But what if you want to create your own background? Let's take a look at how this works.

Starting with a blank slide, click on the Design tab and go to the group of commands called Customize. Click on Format Background and you will see several choices, but I want to review two popular options to creating your own, customized background. The first is Gradient Fill and the second is the Picture and Texture Fill.

In the lesson video, I have an example of a title slide (please see the video starting at 02:43). If you click on Gradient Fill, the background changes instantly. Clicking on Preset Gradients will give you more options for color effects. Using the Gradient Fill command, you can customize the background with color and different color effects of your choice.

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