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How to change and format the background of your PowerPoint slides to custom designs

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How to change and format the background of your PowerPoint slides to custom designs

You can change the background of your PowerPoint slides through the “Format Background” feature. To change the background of your PowerPoint slides to one of the four available options, start by right-clicking a slide or going to the “Design” tab in the top menu bar. The process will look the same regardless of what computer you’re using,…

How to change and format the background of your PowerPoint slides to custom designs
  • You can change the background of your PowerPoint slides through the “Format Background” feature. 
  • To change the background of your PowerPoint slides to one of the four available options, start by right-clicking a slide or going to the “Design” tab in the top menu bar. 
  • The process will look the same regardless of what computer you’re using, as long as you’re using the most up-to-date version of PowerPoint.
  • You can customize your PowerPoint slide backgrounds even more by adjusting the text, colors, and more. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Though you can always choose a premade template, you may want to customize your PowerPoint slide backgrounds manually.

You can add a custom background to one or more slides, and you’ll also have the option to “Apply to All” as well. When changing your PowerPoint slide backgrounds, there are four options: solid fill, gradient fill, picture or texture fill, or pattern fill. Each option offers different adjustments to fine-tune your background, depending on its type.

To do this, you’ll need to access the “Format Background” menu by right-clicking or selecting the option in the “Design” tab at the top. Either method will open the same window on the right side of your screen, and the process will look the same on both Mac and PCs. 

Here’s how to use the “Format Background” feature to change your PowerPoint slide background.

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How to change the background of your PowerPoint slides

1. Open PowerPoint on your Mac or PC and create a new presentation or open one you’ve already started.

PowerPoint background 1

If you start a new presentation, you can decide whether to use a pre-made template.

Marissa Perino/Business Insider


2. Right-click on any slide. 

3. Select “Format Background…” from the pop-up menu that appears. 

PowerPoint background 2

Design ideas may appear on the right side of your screen, especially if you’ve started a new presentation.

Marissa Perino/Business Insider


4. You can also select the “Design” tab on the top menu. 

5. Click the “Format Background” icon on the right-hand side below a paint can icon. 

PowerPoint background 3

The “Format Background” option is below a paint can icon.

Marissa Perino/Business Insider


6. In the window that appears on the right-hand side, choose from the solid fill, gradient fill, picture or texture fill, or pattern fill. Solid fill will automatically load first. 

PowerPoint background 4

Clicking the paint can allows you to change the solid color.

Marissa Perino/Business Insider


7. For the gradient fill, select a preset gradient or make a custom one. 

PowerPoint background 5

Customization allows you to change the gradient’s direction and angle, adjust its brightness, and more.

Marissa Perino/Business Insider


8. If you select text or picture fill, PowerPoint will automatically load one of the textures, which you can change by clicking the “Texture” option.

PowerPoint background 6

Backgrounds include fabrics like denim and canvas or other materials like granite, marble, or wood.

Marissa Perino/Business Insider


9. To add your image, click the “Clipboard” button if you have one already copied. If it’s a usable image, PowerPoint will automatically fill the slide. 

1o. If the image is not usable, select “Insert…” to manually upload an image from your computer.

PowerPoint background 7

This is how to choose an image from your computer to use as a PowerPoint slide background.

Marissa Perino/Business Insider


11. After clicking “Insert” in the pop-up window, PowerPoint will use this image to fill the slide.

PowerPoint background 8

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Here’s what an image used as a slide background looks like.

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12. To change the pattern fill, select one of the presets and use the paint cans below to change the foreground and background colors of stripes, polka dots, or other patterns.

PowerPoint background 9

Change the pattern fill of a slide.

Marissa Perino/Business Insider


13. Hit the “Apply to All” button at the bottom to apply the changes to all your slides. 

PowerPoint background 10

You can also use the “Reset Background” button to return it to its original format.

Marissa Perino/Business Insider


14. If you wish to apply a background to multiple slides, but not all of them, use the COMMAND + SHIFT + A or CTRL + SHIFT + A keyboard shortcut to select two or more slides. 

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