PowerPoint’s Themes are technically different from templates in many ways, but let’s look at similarities. Themes function great as templates to use when starting a new project or presentation. They are useful in getting the creative juices flowing and are often used “as is” for professional presentations. What many people don’t know, or just feel like they don’t have the time for, is that Themes are templates meant to be changed. And every aspect of a Theme can be tweaked and modified to fit the exact specifications that you require.
I will be showing you how to brand and customize a built-in Theme with these 3 tactics—all of these tactics will be done in Slide Master View.
Theme Colors and Fonts
One of the biggest modifications you can make to a Theme is its color and font type. Most presenters (if they are presenting for a company or at a specific conference) will customize the Theme of their presentation to match that of their business or conference. This brings a sense of connection that the audience will appreciate and react to.
When in the Slide Master View, click on Colors in the Background section. This will drop down a section of color presets that you can choose from. As you hover over each color swatch, you will be given a preview of how it affects the Theme. You can also select Customize Colors and the bottom of that dropdown and you can manually pick and choose the colors to all parts of the Theme (including the hyperlink and followed hyperlink colors). These colors will follow you throughout the presentation. Meaning that when you want to choose a color of a shape, it will pull the colors and shades from the color scheme.
Almost all Theme objects are made in PowerPoint. Which means that all the customization options that are given to you, are usable. All shapes can be skewed, copied, deleted, recolored, and even have different artistic effects applied to them. Which means that your custom Theme can be tweaked to be exactly what you need. And if the default shapes and patterns aren’t what you are looking for then add your own! There are a plethora of shapes and images that you can apply to create the perfect Theme.
Theme effects change basic visual accents on all shapes and objects added to your presentation. These effects range from simple drop shadows to glossy overlays. Depending on your color scheme and object colors, different effects will make a more noticeable impact. Keeping your project uniform and consistent is very easy if you take advantage of the Theme Effects in PowerPoint.
Custom Theme Sharing
When you create a custom Theme, you can save it out by clicking on Themes (within Slide Master) and scrolling down to Save Current Theme.
You will always have the ability to use and edit this Theme whenever you want. But others won’t be able to access the custom Theme unless you send it to them as a PowerPoint Template (.potx). You do that by going to File | Save As | Browse | Save as Type | PowerPoint Template. Now teams of designers and presenters will be able to use a uniform and brand consistent theme throughout all their projects and company specific designs.
When you spend the time to create and modify Themes before creating awesome content, you will save time further down the road when you are called upon to create more brand/company-specific presentations. Let me know in the comments section below what tip and trick blog you would like to see written next!
Taylor Ehlert is a college student attending Utah Valley University and is happily married to his wife of 10 months.
He has been working with eLearning Brothers for more than a year now. He started out as an intern, building courses in Lectora and Storyline. Now he works full time on the marketing team “evangelizing” the amazing content that eLearning Brothers provides. He specializes in PowerPoint for both presenting and eLearning purposes.