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Power Point Background Simplification

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help, MS PowerPoint

When using MS PowerPoint to you choose to use slide themes or designs?

Ever find that while you’re working on a single slide (or two) and there’s so much going on that the background you’ve chosen is now a liability?

Maybe it leaves you wishing for a solid or subtle gradient background that compliments the slide show but only for the selected slide?

Short of removing your design or theme completely what are your choices?

You may have found some way to change background – but were disappointed that it seemed to change all the slides instead of just the one you intended to change.

I suppose you could draw a rectangle, use an appropriate fill color and move it behind the text and graphics.

Not necessarily a bad plan but wouldn’t it be nice to just change the actual background of the individual slide?

Well, fortunately we can. In fact we can do a variety of things, including the suggestion above but today I’d like to cover formatting a slide background that doesn’t include using a different design in the same presentation.

So, here’s my plan:

First we’ll right-click on an area of the slide to be changed that is not already covered by an object.

When the menu opens choose Background or Format Background depending upon the version of PowerPoint you’re using.

If you’re using an older version of PowerPoint then you’ll get a dialog window that looks like this:


To change the background click the down arrow next to the current background color and choose Fill Effects.

The next dialog window will give you access to all kinds of formatting choices.


You can set a gradient fill, picture, texture or pattern… just take a look through the tabs and find what suits your needs.

Click OK when you finish choosing the new background.


Back in the Background dialog window be sure to check the option to “Omit background graphics from master“. This will put your newly created background in place of all the busy stuff you were trying to temporarily eliminate.

To change just one slide click Apply. To change them all click Apply to All.

Now it’s time to move on to the information for my PowerPoint 2007 users.

After you right-clicked on the slide and chose Format Background you got the new Format Background dialog window.


Things here work pretty much as they always have – you just have to locate the elements in their new locations.

Once your changes are made click Close to apply it to one slide and Apply to All, and then the Close button, to make the changes throughout your presentation.

And that’s all there is to it! A right click and a few settings will allow you to easily have color coordinated and yet less busy slides within your presentations.

~ April

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