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Microsoft PowerPoint 2003/2004

Viewing Online Presentations:
Design Considerations for Presentations Saved as HTML

Color scheme, font choices, and graphics work together to make your presentation readable and interesting. For example, a color that works well with a large font (e.g., title text) may not work as well with a smaller font (e.g., body text). If you anticipate saving your presentation as HTML, you will want to make choices for colors, fonts, and graphics that work well both in your screen presentation and on the Web. This document discusses the following choices and offers examples to help you see those choices applied:

return to topChoosing a Color Scheme

The color scheme you choose for your presentation will affect its readability both when projected on a screen and when viewed on the Web. For ideas on what works well, consider the following:

Graphics or callout text used in advertisements often use white text. A local TV station (TV13) uses a combination of a dark blue background, orange accents and white text for slides in its weather forecast.

Subtitled movies
The readability of the text is very important. White and yellow are the most frequently used colors for text. Yellow works well because it is readable even against a light-colored background.

Favorite web sites
Note the color schemes used in the sites that you like and find readable.

PowerPoint templates
The color combinations have already been carefully chosen and work mostly well both in projection and on the Web.

Examples of Color Schemes

return to topMaking Font Choices


As with print documents, using a combination of serif and sans serif fonts--one for headings, the other for body text--provides contrast and interest to your slides.


The use of text smaller than 18pt in size is not recommended because it is hard to see. This is true for projected presentations as well as those converted to HTML.

Drop Shadows

Drop shadows can emphasize text and allow you a wider range of color choices for your text by setting it off from the background. The shadow setting you choose in combination with the font will determine the effectiveness of this text enhancement.

Examples of Font Choices

return to topChoosing Graphics

Graphics can increase the impact of your slides by illustrating and/or emphasizing your text. If you plan to convert your presentation to HTML, the colors, size, and detail of the graphics are important considerations. The other consideration when converting your presentation to HTML is graphics type: GIF or JPEG and the level of compression. Typically, GIF images work better for icons and images with large blocks of the same color. JPEG images work better for photographs and images that have diverse and small blocks of colors.  

Examples of Graphics

Colors in graphics should complement your color scheme while being bold/bright enough to stand out and be seen.

Small, detailed graphics, when converted for the Web, may not work as well as large graphics.

Screen captures generally do not work well in presentations which will be converted to HTML. However, you can improve the quality of screen captures by doing one or both of the following before making your screen capture:

Opening the Display Properties Dialog Box

Using the Display Properties dialog box on your computer to adjust the display can improve the quality of your screen captures.

Windows only:

Start Menu Option

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel » Display
    The Display Properties dialog box appears.

Mouse Option

  1. Right click on the Desktop » select Properties
    The Display Properties dialog box appears.

Desktop Option

  1. From the Desktop, double click MY COMPUTER
    Windows Explorer opens. A folder list appears on the left.

  2. From the folder list, click CONTROL PANEL
    A file list appears on the right.

  3. From the file list, double click DISPLAY
    The Display Properties dialog box appears.

Adjusting the Display for Screen Captures

Windows only:

For more general information on customizing your Windows XP display, refer to Changing the Appearance of Windows XP.

  1. Open the Display Properties dialog box

  2. From the Display Properties dialog box, select the Appearance tab

  3. From the Windows and buttons pull-down list, select Windows Classic Style

  4. To change your display to black and white, from the Color scheme pull-down list, select High Contrast White
    Your choice is reflected in the preview box at the top of the dialog box.

  5. To increase the font size, from the Font size pull-down list, select Large Fonts or Extra Large Fonts
    Your choice is reflected in the preview box at the top of the dialog box.

  6. To activate the changes you have made, click APPLY

  7. OPTIONAL: If dissatisfied, repeat steps 3-6 until you are satisfied with your choice

  8. Click OK

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