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Applying Design & Layout

Let's face it, electronic presentations would be boring without a bit of creative visual design. In fact, you say a lot about the content of your presentation by the design that you choose. PowerPoint allows you the ease of applying pre-made themes for design and the freedom to start from scratch and to design your own. In this lesson, we will see how to do both.

Slide Layout

Slide layout is the positioning of text a graphic elements on your slide. Powerpoint has several pre-determined slide layouts for you to choose from.

To Change Slide Layout

1. Start a new presentation in PowerPoint by choosing File > New (CMD+N).

2. Insert 5 new slides by choosing Insert > New Slide (Shift+CMD+N)

Note the difference between the first slide and the remaining slides. The first is a title slide and the rest are content layouts.


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3. Choose the second slide in the outline view (on the left side)

4. Choose the Slide Layout Feature from the design ribbon.

5. Choose the fifth layout from the list.

Note: By clicking on the layout your slide layout for the selected slide will change. To change back to the original, you can "undo" by choosing CMD+Z.


6. Change the layout for the rest of the slides to layouts of your choice.


Slide Design Themes

PowerPoint automatically knows what part of your presentation is a title, body text, bulleted text, or other elements. It simply takes the design template and changes the layout of your slides, without modifying your content.

To Change Slide Theme

7. Choose Slide Design from the design ribbon.

8. Make sure "All Themes" is selected

This should give you a choice of close to 100 pre-made theme designs.

9. Locate and select the "Orbit" design

You may have to scroll through the designs using the navigation controls sd


Note: Your chosen theme is applied to each slide in your presentation since, by definition, a theme is a design that is carried through the whole document. Each design template has a certain style for titles, paragraph text, bullets, and background. These style changes are automatically applied to every slide when you click the design template.

Changing Slide Theme Colors

If you have not already figured it out, PowerPoint offers you the ability to use the design templates that you like, and alter only the colors used. Again the program offers this option with the click of a button.


10. Choose Format > Theme Colors

The Theme Colors Dialog box should appear as see below

11. Choose Text/Background - Light 2 from the list.

12. Choose the Change Color Button

This will give you a number of different colors to choose from. If you don't see one you like, choose a different colour mixer option.


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10. Name your design in the box provided

11. Choose Apply to All once you have made the desired changes.

Your design changes will be applied to all slides in your presentation.



Note: Normally naming the design would make it available to you in the Custom Themes menu, but because this requires the program to write new preferences, the computer will not allow it. For this reason, we will simply apply the settings and move on.

Modifying Your Slide Background

Sometimes in life you want to do something unique. Sometimes you just need to have something done a certain way. In these cases, it is not likely you would want to choose a pre-made theme. Luckily, PowerPoint allows you to create a special background on a slide by adding a shade, a texture, a pattern, or even a picture.

A shaded background is a visual effect in which a solid color gradually changes from light to dark or dark to light. PowerPoint offers one-color and two-color shaded backgrounds in six different styles. You can also choose preset background colors (24 designed backgrounds). Textures can be colored in one color or two, and different patterns are available.

Changing Slide Background Color

12. Return to the Slide Themes panel in the design ribbon and choose the Office Theme

This will remove the theme settings that have been applied in the first part of the lesson.


13. Select the first slide in the outline panel (to the left).

14. Choose Format > Slide Background...

This will bring up the Slide Background Dialog.

15. Under the Solid Tab choose a color and then adjust the Transparency slider.

Note: You can choose More Colors for color mixing options.


As you do this, you will notice that your slide gives you a preview of the change.


Do not choose Apply just yet, we are going to explore gradient backgrounds.


Applying A Gradient Background

A Gradient is blend of two or more colours or shades. Powerpoint gives you a great deal of control over how to blend these colours or shades.

16. Select the Gradient Tab

Don't be intimidated by all the options you see.

17. Change the Style to Radial and the Direction to Upper Right Corner

18. Select the right color tab and change the color to dark blue

19. Select the left color tab and change the color to white

20. Choose the Add Color Button

This will add a color tab to the spectrum.

21. Change the middle color tab to a medium shade of blue.



You will notice that powerpoint blends these three colours in a radial pattern to create a cool looking background. You can add more tabs or less and you can slide the tabs to increase or decrease the amount of each colour in the blend.

22. Try dragging the three colour sliders around to see the changes.

23. Try changing the style and direction to see the changes.

Do not choose Apply just yet, we are going to explore Textured Backgrounds.


Applying A Texture Background

PowerPoint offers 24 textured backgrounds for you to choose from that are appealing and easy to work with.

24. Choose the Texture Tab

25. Choose a pre-made texture from the samples

26. Adjust to the desired level of transparency.


You've probably noticed that these are nothing more than pictures that powerpoint has supplied to you. You do not have to be satisfied with this, however. You can add your own picture background.

Applying A Picture Background

Pictures can be complimentary to your slide design, and are often used as backgrounds.

27. Go to InterfaceLIFT

28. Browse for a background image that you like

29. Set the resolution in the drop-down menu to 800 x 480 and select the Download button

This determines how many pixels wide the image will be when you download it.


The image will now appear in a new window in the proper size.

30. Right-Click on the image and choose Save Image As

31. Browse to your documents folder and save the image to your powerpoint folder as bgimage1.

32. Return to Powerpoint and select the Picture tab

You may need to choose Format > Slide Background again if you closed the dialog.

33. Click on the Choose a picture button and locate your image then choose Insert.

34. Adjust the transparency as desired.


Note: This feature will stretch an image to fit the entire background. Often this will result in pixillation of your image, and not a very nice effect. Only use this feature when you are working with an image that is already large enough to fill the slide. InterfaceLIFT is a great site for high resolution images, but powerpoint does have a limit to how large a photo can be. For this reason, stick to images that are no larger that 1000 pixels wide.

35. Choose Apply or Apply to All depending on which slide(s) you want to apply the changes to.

Now that you know how to apply design themes and backgrounds, it is time to complete Assignment 5.