Microsoft Powerpoint 2007 – Powerpoint Backgrounds


Change Your Powerpoint Backgrounds With Background Styles

A background style is a background fill comprising different combinations of colours and/or pictures. Changing the presentation theme changes the background style to maintain consistency with the new theme’s colours. As in other Microsoft Office 2007 applications, hovering over a thumbnail of the background style provides a live preview.

Changing The Background Style

To change the style of your Powerpoint background click Design > Background > Background Styles, and then select one of the available styles. The ones available aren’t very good in my opinion (they’re pretty basic) so you’ll most likely want to create one of your own. Fortunately it’s pretty easy to create some fairly snazzy Powerpoint backgrounds with a minimum of fuss.

Creating Your Own Powerpoint Backgrounds

Click Design > Background > Background Styles > Format Background. Here you can apply either a coloured fill or a picture to the background, so let’s first look at applying a coloured fill.

Creating A Solid Fill For Your Powerpoint Background

Ensure that Fill is selected on the left of the Format Background dialog box. Select either a solid or gradient fill. It’s an easy job to apply a solid fill as the only options you need address are the colour of the background and how transparent the colour is. Click on the Color button to select one of the available theme colours (or click More Colors at the bottom to apply a non theme colour). Change the transparency of the colour by dragging the slider or manually entering an exact percentage into the box.

Creating A Gradient Fill For Your Powerpoint Background

When applying a gradient fill, there are more options. I’ll explain each one in turn, travelling down the dialog box:

Preset Colors: you can quickly apply a colour combination that has already been created by Powerpoint by clicking the Preset Color box and choosing one.

Type: gradients can be linear, radial, rectangular, path or shade from title.

Direction: use this button to change the orientation of the gradient

Gradient Stops: each gradient initially has 6 stops which you can assign a colour to. If you need more, click the Add button. Select a particular stop using the dropdown list, and then amend the following properties:

Stop position: when a particular gradient stop is selected, you can adjust its position, as a percentage, using the slider, or by typing in the exact percentage manually.

Color: change the stop’s colour using this button

Transparency: increase or decrease the stop colour’s transparency using the slider or enter the exact percentage manually.

Using A Picture Or Texture For Your Powerpoint Background

If you are that way inclined, you can apply a picture or texture fill to your background by selecting that option on the Format Background dialog box. When you do that (and only when you do that) the Picture options become available. Use these options to specify the picture or texture you want, and also to adjust how the picture or texture is displayed.

Once you have painstakingly detailed your spangly new Powerpoint background, whatever you do, don’t click the Reset Background button. It does what it says and you will lose your changes. Click either close to apply the background style to the current slide, or click Apply To All to apply it to all slides in your presentation.

The above is all well and good if you are an enterprising individual who takes a “hands on” approach to solving problems. But what if you want someone else to do all the hard work of designing stunning backgrounds for you – for free? Many people just want to be able to download artwork and use it with the minimum of fuss. Fortunately for these people there are sites that provide free PowerPoint backgrounds and templates. Just what you need if you want your presentations to have that stylish feel, but don’t want to spend hours agonising over its design.