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Custom Background for MS PowerPoint Slides

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 by | Filed Under: MS PowerPoint

Here’s a cool trick for custom presentation backgrounds that really has a ton of possibilities… basically, there’s a setting that allows you to take whatever is on the clipboard at the moment and turn it into a slide background.

Which means you can use any Clip Art, SmartArt, graphic or screen shot. If you can select and copy it then we can paste it from the clipboard to your background with minimal effort.

I just know you’re interested so let’s get right to the “how to” part.

We obviously would have a presentation open and a graphic in mind, so start by copying the graphic.

Back in PowerPoint we need to decide what this new background will be applied to:

  • If applying to all slides then continue on without any special slide selection.
  • If applying to a single slide then be sure to select that slide at this point.
  • If applying to multiple (but not all) slides then select them all using the Shift or Ctrl keys.

Now go to the Design tab of the Ribbon in PowerPoint.


Click the Background Styles button and choose Format Background.

Once the Format Background dialog box opens we need to be in the Fill options.


Select “Picture or texture fill” then click the Clipboard button.

You’ll see the slide behind the dialog box reflect the change. (Yes, after pausing it, I copied that from an intro to one of our videos.)

Time to make a decision:

  • If you like it then click Close.
  • If you like it and want it for all your slides then click Apply to All.
  • If you hate it then click Reset Background.

At any rate, when you’ve made the changes you want to keep click Close to exit the dialog box.

That’s it. Any graphic you can copy can be used as a presentation background… Wow! Now that one really puts no limits on our creativity when it comes to presentation design.


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