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Recolor Clip Art in PowerPoint

By: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: PowerPoint 2002 and 2003

Date Created: October 30th 2004
Last Updated: May 14th 2010

Product Showcase

One of PowerPoint's most powerful yet least unexplored features is the option to recolor vector clip art inside the program. This feature is no longer available since PowerPoint 2007 although you can still use the technique shown on this page if you have access to PowerPoint 2003 or an older version.

  1. Create a new presentation (Ctrl + N) and insert a blank slide. Or insert a blank slide in an existing presentation.

  2. Choose Insert | Picture | Clip Art. In PowerPoint 2002 and 2003, this activates the Clip Art task pane.

  3. I chose to search for "bridge" and sure enough I found a nice illustration of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge which I dragged and dropped into the active slide.

    Note: Be aware that you can search and retrieve more clip art if you are connected online while doing a search within the Clip Art task pane. This online search may not work if you are behind a corporate firewall.

  4. With the clip art selected, you should be able to see the Picture toolbar. If you cannot see the Picture toolbar, right click any toolbar and choose the "Picture" option from the resultant menu.

  5. With the clip art selected, click on the "Recolor Picture" icon on the Picture toolbar.

  6. On the left side of the resulting dialog box, you'll find a list of all the original colors in the clip art. Each color can be individually changed to another color.

    I changed all the colors to end up with an illustration that uses a completely different color palette.

You can download the sample presentation with four colored variants of the Golden Gate bridge here (20 kb) ...

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  ©2000-2013, Geetesh Bajaj. All rights reserved.

    since November 02, 2000