How to Make an Artistic PowerPoint Background: Guest Post by Bruce Gabrielle

Created: Monday, August 29, 2011, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:30 am

Updated: at



Tired of the same old curved lines and world globe PowerPoint backgrounds? Want to impress your next crowd with something new? Why not make your own artistic PowerPoint background? Here’s how:

  1. Find a picture with some texture in it. The best way is to search for Creative Commons images at Compfight and use terms like wall, sky, or denim.

    Whenever you use others’ images, you must ensure you following their licensing rules. For instance, make sure you can create derivative works out of it (modifications to the original). And add a copyright notice somewhere, perhaps in the notes section or at the end of the presentation.

    Here’s a nice image I found using the keyword wall. In this case, I had to contact the artist (photo: (c) Helga Weber) directly to ask for derivative rights.

  2. Insert the picture on your slide — you will see the Picture Tools Format tab on the Ribbon. Within this tab, you will find options to recolor your picture. You will end up with a recolored version of the picture.

  3. Decide which part of the image would make a nice background. In this case, the entire upper right is full of rich texture and shadows.

  4. Crop the picture and resize it to fill the slide. In this case, I also rotated the image 90 degrees to fit the slide’s landscape orientation.

See this video for a step-by-step example and explanation of how to find images you’re allowed to use.

Bruce GabrielleBruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the New Language of Business, showing a 12-step method for creating clearer and more persuasive PowerPoint slides for boardroom presentations. Visit his blog Speaking PowerPoint for more tips on PowerPoint, storytelling and visual business communication.

See Also: Speaking PowerPoint — Interview with Bruce Gabrielle

Categories: graphics, guest_post, powerpoint

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