change the background

How to change the background in PowerPoint

How to change the background in PowerPoint

Welcome back to PowerPoint training Online. Today, our PowerPoint tutorial is how to change the background in PowerPoint. There are a couple of different ways that this can be done.

We are going to cover them all here today. We are going to show you the quickest and most convenient ways to change the background in PowerPoint slides. And look at the best ways of setting different backgrounds.

Backgrounds come in all different manners. You can use shapes, images and textures to create unique backgrounds or you can have a very simple, plain colour. It all depends on how you want to design your presentation and how you want to layout everything.

The ‘How to change the background in PowerPoint’ video

The ‘How to change the background in PowerPoint’ step-by-step guide

As mentioned earlier, there are different ways to change or apply background settings. We are going to look at all of them now.

Change the background by adding a shape

The quickest and easiest way of changing the background of a slide is to add a shape. You want to add a shape that will fit the exact size of your slide. This will be a square or a rectangle usually. But you can use any shape that you like. To quickly insert a shape onto a slide, make sure you have the home tab selected on the ribbon. Then under the drawing selection choose your shape. Once you have your shape selected. Draw it onto the slide.

Once you have the shape on your slide. You can set a custom colour, set a gradient or use multiple shapes.

Here are three backgrounds that I created using nothing but shapes.

shape and texture
Created using two squares. One full colour and one a texture with a high transparency
Created using a square and setting a gradient
square and circles
One square and two circles of different sizes

There is only one problem now. The background is only on one slide. Which means if you want to use the background you just created then you will need to copy and paste everything you have just done. Yes, it is a little bit if a pain but this way you can create a different background for each slide.

Change the background by adding an image

If images are more your thing, then use one of them as a background. You will find all sorts of images across the internet that are free to use or paid for. If you are really daring use your own images. I like using images as a backdrop when I am working on a presentation about a new product. It is nice to show off while showing off.

Created using a landscape images and placing a white shape over it
product placement
One image with a transparent effect square on top/

Like using shapes. You will have to copy and paste if you want to use the same background but the beauty of using images is that you can use a different image for each slide.

To add an image into PowerPoint, go to the insert tab and then press Pictures. It really could not be easier.

Change the background by right clicking

Another way of editing the background is through the quick edit menu.

Simply right-click on the slide in question. You select anywhere on the slide or outside of the slide once you are not selecting an object.

A quick format menu will appear. Here you want to press Format Background. This will then open another pop up box. If you are using PowerPoint 2016 then a new menu will appear from the right-hand side of the screen.

You will now be able to set the background for all slides. You have the following options:

  • Solid fill – Use a solid colour as the background. You can also make it transparent
  • Gradient fill – Set a gradient colour for the background
  • Picture or texture fill – Use a picture or one of PowerPoint’s stock textures as a background
  • Pattern fill – Select form a variety of patterns. You can also change the colours of the pattern

This will only impact the one slide that you are working on. If you wish to set the background to all slides. Press the ‘Apply to All’ in the bottom left-hand corner of the format box.

right click

Change the background from the design tab

Under the Design tab on the ribbon at the end, you will see a section labelled Customize. And within this section you will see a Format Background button. When you press this button, you will get the same pop up that you got from the last step or you will see the same box appear from the right of the screen.

design tab

Change the background by using Slide Master

But what happens when you want to have a selection of backgrounds that you plan to use. Instead of doing it slide by slide. Why not use the slide master?

From the slide master you can do everything that you can do above but it will be locked in place so that it cannot be edited. This gives you peace of mind if you are getting somebody else to create the content for you that will use your backgrounds that you created.

You can check out our tutorial on using slide master.


There we have it. Hopefully you can now see how easy it to change the background of any slide on PowerPoint. With this knowledge you will be able to go away and create some awesome looking slides.

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That is all for now folks.

Have a good day and keep on power pointing,


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