You can use abstract images to create interesting, textured backgrounds for slides or shapes. For example, Nancy Duarte’s signature slide uses a textured image background. You can see an example here.
Here’s an example, using abstract images as a fill for the shapes of a diagram.
First, you have to find an abstract image. That’s fairly easy. For example, go to pixabay.com or your favorite stock images site and enter abstract in the search box. Find some images and download them. Here are 3 that I downloaded from pixabay.com:
Another easy technique is to take your own abstract photos! Any object with a texture that is mostly one color works well. Here are some ideas:
- A close-up of a piece of fabric
- A close-up of the hair of a pet
- A piece of wood or furniture
Here’s a photo of a gravel pathway that I took.
Modify the texture image
You can make many modifications to the texture image. Select the image, and choose the Picture Format tab. For example, you can do the following:
- In the Adjust section of the ribbon, choose Corrections to soften or sharpen the image, as well as change the brightness and contrast. For more precise changes, choose Picture Corrections Options at the bottom.
- Choose Color to change the saturation or tone, or to recolor the image.
- Choose Artistic Effects to choose one of the preset effects.
Here, I took the abstract image on the left, then blurred it, colored it, and reduced the contrast to create the one on the right.
Use the image as a fill for a shape
To use an image as a fill for a shape, follow these steps:
- Double-click the shape to display the Picture Format tab.
- Choose Shape Fill> Picture> From File, navigate to the picture you saved, and double-click the picture file you want to use. (See an alternative method below.)
- If you want to remove the outline (I often do), choose Shape Outline> No Outline.
If you have already inserted the abstract image you want to use on a slide — since you may have created and modified it there — follow these steps:
- Copy the abstract image to the clipboard.
- Right-click the shape and choose Format Shape to open the Format Shape task pane.
- On the Fill & Line tab, expand the Fill section and choose Picture or Texture Fill. (PowerPoint automatically fills the shape with the default texture and changes the name of the task pane to Format Picture.)
- Choose Clipboard
- If you want to remove the outline, choose Shape Outline> No Outline from the ribbon or from the Line section of the Format Picture task pane.
Use an abstract image as a slide background
To use an image as a slide background, display either the slide or the slide master. If you want to apply the background to all layouts, click the top, larger layout in the left pane of the slide master.
- Right-click an empty area of the slide or slide master and choose Format Background.
- In the Format Background dialog box, for the Fill category, choose Picture or Texture Fill.
- Choose Clipboard if you have the image on the clipboard or choose Insert> From a File, navigate to the file, and double-click the picture file that you want to use.
These options give you unlimited possibilities!
How do you use abstract images?
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