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Microsoft PowerPoint 2008

Working with Design Themes

Using themes for your PowerPoint presentations can be very convenient and efficient. Design Themes include preset fonts, color palettes, formatting effects, and backgrounds that give your presentation a professional look. PowerPoint provides a number of choices for working with slide themes. If you choose an existing theme, you can customize it to meet your needs. You also have the option of building your own theme.

Return to TopChanging to a Different Theme

If you have created a presentation and decide that your original theme no longer meets your needs, you can change themes at any time. This can be especially helpful if you are ready to present and you discover the current theme does not display well with the equipment you are using or in the room in which you are presenting.

WARNING: Some design themes will cover up previously inserted images and backgrounds.

  1. From the Elements Gallery, select Slide Themes
    The Slide Themes options appear.

  2. Select a desired slide theme

  3. The slide theme appears in your presentation

Return to TopCustomizing Themes

When you customize a theme, changes are implemented on all slides. Customizing a theme allows you to format fonts, backgrounds, formatting effects, and colors to make your presentation meet your creative needs. The following directions show how to quickly alter your theme with presets. To have even more control over your design theme, you can also manually create your theme presets.

  1. Select a slide in your presentation

  2. If the Formatting Palette is not visible, click TOOLBOXToolbox button
    The Formatting Palette appears.

  3. Select Document Theme
    The Document Theme section expands.
    Document Theme

  4. To change color palette, from the Colors pull-down menu, select your desired colors
    Refer to Build a custom color palette

  5. To change your font set, from the Fonts pull-down menu, select your desired font

  6. To change the backgrounds for the theme,
    1. Select Slide Background
      The Slide Background section expands.
    2. Select a desired background

Building a Custom Color Palette

By building a color palette manually, you can have complete control over how your presentation is colored. This can be useful if, for example, you are working for a university and want to use that university's colors.

  1. From the Format Menu, select Theme Colors...
    The Create Theme Colors dialog box appears.
    Create Theme Colors dialog box

  2. To change any of the listed color elements, double click a box to the left of its title
    The Colors pane appears.

  3. From the Colors pane, select an element color

  4. Click OK

    The Preview section displays an image that is representative of the different elements of a slide.
    The colors in the sample will change as you build your custom color palette.

  5. To save your color palette,
    1. In the Name text box, type a name
    2. Click APPLY TO ALL
      Your color palette is saved and added to the Colors pull-down gallery

Building a Custom Background

You can customize the background to your theme, so that each slide has the same one. When customizing the background, there are a variety of options available to you through the Format Background window, including gradient backgrounds, solid colors, textures, and images. For instructions on how to customize your theme background, refer to Customizing Themes.

Return to TopBuilding a New Theme

If the PowerPoint theme designs do not appeal to you, or if you have special design considerations for your presentation, you may want to build your own theme. To build your own theme from scratch, you will be using the Slide Master view. When building your own theme, you have the freedom to customize your choice of fonts, colors, background, placeholders, and images. 

  1. From the File menu, select New Presentation
    A new blank presentation appears.

  2. From the View menu, select Master » Slide Master
    NOTE: For more information, refer to Working with a Slide Master

  3. In the Slides pane on the left, select the Slide Master (slide 1)

  4. Make choices in the color set, font set, background

  5. For each type of master (title master, bullet slide) repeat steps 1-4

  6. From the Slide Master tab, in the Document Theme group,
    1. Click SAVE THEME...
    2. In the Save As text box, type a name for the theme
    3. Using the Where pull-down menu, navigate and select the desired save location
    4. Click SAVE
      Your theme has been saved.

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