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Create and Manage Slides in Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

Change slide backgrounds

The presentation theme includes a standard background. The background might be a color or it might include a background graphic.

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A variety of thematic background graphics

You can customize slide backgrounds by removing the background graphic and filling the slide background with a solid color, a color gradient, a texture, a pattern, or a picture of your choice. You make these changes in the Format Background pane.

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You can control the color, texture, pattern, or picture in the background of one or all slides

Each of the options in the Format Background pane has specific settings that appear when you select the option.

A solid color background is a good choice for readability, but if you want to add some interest without a lot of distraction, you can use a color gradient in which a solid color gradually changes to another. PowerPoint offers several light-to-dark and dark-to-light gradient patterns based on the color scheme.

You can also create custom gradients of two, three, or more colors. Each change in color within a gradient is controlled by a gradient stop. For each gradient stop, you can specify the location and specific color (including the transparency and brightness of the color). A color gradient can have from 2 to 10 gradient stops.

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A gradient can include up to 10 color changes

If you want something fancier than a solid color or a color gradient, you can give the slide background a texture or pattern. PowerPoint comes with several built-in textures that you can easily apply to the background of slides.

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Choose a background that doesn’t overpower your presentation

If none of these meets your needs, you might want to use a picture of a textured surface. For a dramatic effect, you can even incorporate a picture of your own, although these are best reserved for small areas of the slide rather than the entire background.

If you prefer to use a simple pattern rather than a texture, you can choose from 48 patterns and set the background and foreground color to your liking.

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Click any pattern to preview it on the slide

To display the Format Background pane

  1. On the Design tab, in the Customize group, click the Format Background button.

To close the Format Background pane

  1. Do either of the following:

    • In the upper-right corner of the pane, click the Close button (the X).
    • To the right of the pane name, click the down arrow, and then click Close.

To apply a background change to all slides

  1. In the Format Background pane, configure the slide background formatting you want.
  2. At the bottom of the pane, click the Apply to All button.

To remove the slide background graphic applied by a theme

  1. Display the Format Background pane.
  2. In the Format Background pane, select the Hide background graphics check box.

To apply a solid background color to one or more slides

  1. In the Format Background pane, click Solid fill.
  2. Click the Color button to display the color palette.

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    The color palette displays theme colors, standard colors, and recently used colors

  3. Click a theme color variant, a solid color, or a recent color, or click More Colors and select a custom color.
  4. Move the Transparency slider to adjust the background color transparency, or set a specific transparency percentage.

To apply a gradient background color to one or more slides

  1. In the Format Background pane, click Gradient fill.
  2. Click the Preset gradients button, and then click a gradient option based on the current color palette.

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    Preset color gradients offer linear and radial variants of the theme accent color

Or

  1. In the Type list, click Linear, Radial, Rectangular, Path, or Shade from title.
  2. In the Direction list, click the direction you want the gradient to flow.
  3. If you chose the Linear type, you can specify the angle you want the gradient to move along. Enter the angle in the Angle box.
  4. If you want to add gradient stops, do either of the following in the Gradient Stops area:

    • Click the Add gradient stop button, and then reposition the marker that appears on the slider.
    • Click the slider in the approximate location where you want to insert the gradient stop.
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    You can precisely control a color by adjusting the transparency and brightness

  5. If you want to remove gradient stops, do either of the following in the Gradient Stops area:

    • On the slider, click the marker for the gradient stop you want to remove. Then click the Remove gradient stop button.
    • Drag the gradient stop marker off of the slider.
  6. In the Gradient stops area, set the color, position, transparency, and brightness for each color in the gradient. Note the following:

    • You can select a color swatch or match an existing color by using the eyedropper tool to select a color.
    • You can change the transparency and brightness by moving the markers on the sliders, by entering specific percentages, or by scrolling the dials.

To apply a textured background to one or more slides

  1. In the Format Background pane, click Picture or texture fill.
  2. Click the Texture button to display the texture gallery. You can select from a variety of textures, including fabric, marble, granite, wood grain, and Formica-like textures in various colors.
  3. In the texture gallery, click the texture you want to apply.
  4. Move the Transparency slider to adjust the background color transparency, or set a specific transparency percentage.

To apply a patterned background to one or more slides

  1. In the Format Background pane, click Pattern fill.
  2. In the Pattern palette, click one of the 48 pattern swatches.
  3. Click the Foreground button, and then select the primary pattern color.
  4. Click the Background button, and then select the secondary pattern color.