Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to Make a Color Changing Theme in PowerPoint 2007

When you place AutoShapes on the slide master in PowerPoint 2003 and then change the color scheme, those AutoShapes don’t change their color. Only AutoShapes that you place on a slide (as opposed to the slide master) change their color.

However, in PowerPoint 2007, when you place shapes on the slidemaster and change the theme colors, those shapes change color. That is, if the colors of the shapes are available from the current theme colors. (I’ll explain what this means in a minute.) This feature makes it easy for you to quickly and change the look of a presentation completely just by changing the theme colors.

Watch a demonstration:

Here are the instructions in text format:

  1. Go into the Slide Master (View> Slide Master
  2. Insert shapes and format them using the default colors of the theme, in any of the variations. When you click the Shape Fill drop-down on the Format tab, you see the colors that you can use. As long as you use these colors, which come from the theme colors, your colors will change when you change the theme colors. If you use other colors, they don’t change.
  3. When you’ve added your shapes, move them to the back, behind the text placeholders. Just right-click and choose Send to Back.
  4. In some cases, the background of the rest of the slide will change color when you change the theme colors. If you don’t want this to happen, cover the entire slide in the Slide Master with a rectangle using the color you want, for example, white. Then, send it to the back of the display order.

You can see how a simple theme color change can easily make such a difference in the feeling of the slide. This is the flexibility you can build in to your presentations.

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