How to Create a Background in PowerPoint

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Microsoft packages a wide selection of slide design templates with PowerPoint that can be used to make presentations more dramatic. These templates come with specific backgrounds, bullets, fonts and other design elements. But sometimes you want something more unique, which matches the content of the presentation more directly. In these cases, create your own background in PowerPoint. Read on to learn how to create a background in PowerPoint.

Things You'll Need

  • PowerPoint software

Step 1

Open the presentation in which you want to create a new background.

Step 2

Click the "View" tab on the top menu bar and then select "Master," then "Master View."

Step 3

Hover the mouse pointer over the background, right click, and select "Background" from the menu.

Step 4

Select "Fill Effects" from the drop-down menu. A new window opens with tabs labeled "Gradient," "Texture," "Pattern" and "Picture."

Step 5

Choose "Gradient" if you only want a colored background. Gradient allows you to select up to two colors and then select shading styles, such as vertical or diagonal up. A preview will show at the bottom of the window. Preset colors are available with more than two colors.

Step 6

Select the "Pattern" tab to use two colors in different patterns, such as dots or cross-stitch. Choose the "Texture" tab to use one of the preset textures or to use a texture you have downloaded from the Internet.

Step 7

Change the background picture to make the most dramatic change. Click on the "Picture" tab and then push the "Select Picture" button. Browse through your "My Pictures" folder to find the graphic that best fits your presentation. You may need to re-size the picture to fit appropriately, perhaps filling only one side of the slide.

Step 8

Choose "Apply to All" in the background format pop-up window to apply your changes to all slides in your presentation.

Step 9

Use a clip art picture as part of your background, if desired. In "Slide Master" view, choose insert from the top menu and then insert your selected picture. Drag the clip art picture to its desired location. This works especially well if you change the background color or use one of the gradient color schemes to match the new picture.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also change the background by selecting "Format" and the "Background" from the top menu bar.
  • Choose background images wisely since you don't want the background to overshadow the rest of the text on the slide. Avoid images that are too bright or too busy.
  • Numerous backgrounds are available on the Internet. Search for "PowerPoint Backgrounds" or visit the Microsoft website to get started.
  • Change backgrounds for individual slides by selecting the "Apply" button instead of "Apply to All" on the format background pop-up window.

References & Resources