Themes in PowerPoint are a quick way to control the overall design of your presentation. Learn how to apply and customize a theme, including the use of different backgrounds.
Themes and Slide Masters
PowerPoint uses two approaches to control the appearance of slides in a presentation:
- Themes control the colors, fonts, effects and background style of all the slides in a presentation. Most themes include variants that are identical in terms of general design but provide different options for colors and fonts.
- Slide masters control the layout, master style and static slide elements of specific types of slides.
This lesson will look more closely at the use of themes.
Applying a Theme
Applying a theme to a presentation is a quick way to change the appearance of all your slides. Let's start with a blank presentation. To apply a theme, select the Design ribbon. On the left side, you see a panel with the available themes. Click on the More button on the right side of the panel to see all the available themes.
When you click on one of the themes, the design is applied to all the slides in your presentation. A theme changes the fonts, the colors, the background styles and the placements of elements of each type.
When you have applied a theme, it is a good idea to look at some of the different types of slides to see what the design looks like. For example, the title slide is often very different from the other slides in a theme.
Once you have a found a theme that you like, you can make some minor changes to the design by using variants. You can find the Variants for a particular theme on the Design ribbon, next to the panel for themes. Variants allow you to change the fonts and colors but within the same general design. The placement of elements and the background graphics remain the same.
Only a handful of variants are shown in the panel. To see more options, click on the More button on the right side of the panel. This allows you to select from more options for things like colors and fonts. Selecting from the list of color palettes ensures that colors remain coordinated throughout your presentation. You can make further changes by customizing the colors. This brings up the Create New Theme Colors dialog where you can select up to 12 different theme colors.
This gives you more detailed options than you normally need, but it can be used to create a consistent look based on the company's colors, for example. If you create customized theme colors, these are saved with the presentation.
Similarly, you can create a set of customized fonts for all the text in your presentation. These are also saved with your presentation. If you have spent a great deal of time developing a look and feel you are really happy with, you can save your work as a new theme for later use.
Select the Design ribbon and click on the More button in the themes panel. This brings up the option to Save Current Theme. This brings up a dialog where you can save the theme of your current presentation. Once the theme has been saved, you can use it in a different presentation.
Each theme uses a different background style, but you can also create your own background. Let's start off with a blank presentation. To modify the background, select the Design ribbon and click on the Format Background option.
This brings up a new panel to format the background. For example, you can apply a solid fill with a different color. Or use a gradient fill with different settings. You can use a preset gradient or modify the detailed settings. Once you have found an option you like, you can click on Apply to All to apply the current background style to all the slides in the presentation.
One other example of modifying the background is to use a full-screen image where you select the image to use. In the Format Background panel, select the Picture or texture fill option and then click on the File button. This allows you to browse and to select your own image. The image may require some resizing to fit properly.
As before, you have the option to apply this background to all your slides or only to the current slide. When using a background image such as this one, you may need to change the colors and placement of your text boxes for the text to be readable.
Presentation themes control the colors, fonts, effects and background style of all the slides in a presentation. Most themes include variants that are identical in terms of general design but provide different options for colors and fonts.
You can apply an existing theme and then customize the details. You can save the current design as a new theme for later use. You can customize the background of your slides by applying a different color or pattern or by selecting a background image.
As a result of going through this lesson, you could develop the skills necessary to:
- Work with themes and backgrounds in PowerPoint
- Customize many details of a presentation, including fonts, theme colors, and effects