I’ve mentioned before (here) that you can create a theme in PowerPoint 2007 that changes as you change the theme colors. This gives you lots of flexibility to create a great background in many circumstances. For example, you can change the background to the branding colors of a potential client is you give sales presentations. If you create presentations for others, you can use this technique to quickly create a background that matches the branding of your clients.
So, create one background and use it many times. I usually use a plain white background, but I do like a radial gradient with its corner at the upper-left of the slide.
Why do I like this background?
- It’s subtle so it doesn’t compete with your content but has just enough interest so that it isn’t boring. (I would probably still use white backgrounds on many slides where I want to add photos.)
- The lighter upper-left corner has an uplifting effect for me. The darker lower-right corner is grounding. Well, maybe that’s just my feeling about it.
Follow these steps:
Open the Slide Master (Shift+Normal view button or View> Slide Master.
Click the top, large thumbnail in the left panel of layouts. This thumbnail controls all the rest.
On the slide, insert a rectangle covering the entire slide. (Insert> Shapes)
With the rectangle selected, right-click and choose Format Shape. You’ll see the Format Shape dialog box.
Click the Gradient Fill option.
From the Type drop-down list, choose Radial.
From the Direction drop-down list, choose the rightmost option. The tooltip says From Corner.
Use the Stop Position slider to set the location of the stop. Repeat for each stop. Here are my position settings:
If you move the dialog box off the slide, you can see changes as you make them. When you’re done, click Close.
Click the Normal view icon or choose View> Normal.
Click the Design tab, then click the little More arrow in the Themes group to open the Themes gallery.
At the bottom of the gallery, choose Save Current Theme. Give the theme a name and click Save.
You’re done. You can now use the theme in any new presentation you create. When you open a new presentation, click the Design tab and look for your new theme in the Custom section of the Themes Gallery. (If you don’t see it, click Browse for Themes at the bottom. You’ll have to figure out where the themes are and that depends on your operating system. In Windows Vista, for example, they’re in C:\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes. Whew!)
To change the colors, on the Design tab, click the Colors drop-down list and pass your cursor over the various options to see the results. You can also create custom theme colors.
Go create a changeable theme!