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Solid Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to apply solid fills to Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2016.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016
OS: Windows 7 and higher






PowerPoint's Slide Backgrounds can be filled with a solid color, a gradient, a texture or a picture, or even one of PowerPoint's built-in patterns. We explored a generic walkthrough on changing the Slide Background in our Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial. This tutorial explores how you can use a solid color as the fill for your Slide Background -- solid color fills have the advantage of showing a large expanse in just one color. This does keep the slide uncluttered and draws the audience's attention away from the background to the foreground elements -- and that's a good thing! Unless you use a bright orange, a fluorescent yellow or some other striking color as a background for your slide! So do choose your colors with caution - neutral colors such as white, grey, black, blue, and green always work better.

As you can see in Figure 1 below, the neutral colors shown on the right side work so much better as fills for Slide Backgrounds rather than the bright colors on the left.

Choose your background colors carefully
Figure 1: Choose your background colors carefully

Follow these steps to use solid fills for your Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2016:

  1. We assume you have a new presentation created, or you have opened any of your existing presentations. We also assume that you have summoned the Format Background Task Pane, as explained in the aforementioned Format Slide Background tutorial. Alternatively, just right-click within an empty area of your slide and choose the Format Background option in the resultant contextual menu (see Figure 2) to bring up the same Task Pane.

    Format Background option
    Figure 2: Format Background option
  2. Within the Format Background Task Pane, select the Solid Fill radio button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Solid fill radio button selected within the Format Background Task Pane
    Figure 3: Solid fill radio button selected within the Format Background Task Pane
  3. Click the Color button (highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above) to open the Color drop-down gallery as shown in Figure 4.

    Color drop-down gallery
    Figure 4: Color drop-down gallery

    The options within the Color drop-down gallery are explained below, as marked in Figure 4, above. You'll need to choose any one of these options for the fill:

    1. Automatic: Uses the default background color of the Theme applied to the presentation.

    2. Theme Colors: Here you can select any of the colors which are from the active Theme of the presentation. You can also select any of the 5 tints or shades for any Theme color. Learn more about Themes here.

    3. Standard Colors: Here you can choose from any of the ten standard colors -- these ten standard colors are just choices of colors that PowerPoint believes to be widely used. You don't have to limit yourself to either the Theme colors or Standard colors, as you'll learn in the next options, although it's a good design idea to use Theme colors as far as possible.

    4. Recent Colors: Here you can find the colors most recently used. If you have just launched PowerPoint and created a new presentation, the Recent Colors option may be entirely absent since you haven't selected any color recently!

    5. More Colors: This option is to summon the Colors dialog box, which helps you to create your own new color to use as a background fill. To learn more about how to work with the More Colors option, read our Add Solid Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial -- explore step 3E in that tutorial.

    6. Eyedropper: This option enables you to pick an exact color from anywhere, sometimes even from somewhere outside PowerPoint. Explore our Eyedropper Option in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial to learn more.
  4. Choose any of the options explained in the preceding step to fill your active slide with the selected color. Thereafter, you can proceed choosing any of the following options:

    1. Click the Apply to All button to fill all slides in the presentation with the selected color.

    2. Click the Reset Background button to abandon all changes you made to the slide background.
    More details about the Apply to All and Reset Background buttons can be found in our Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.
  5. In Figure 5 you can see the slide background of the entire presentation filled with blue.

    Presentation with a solid fill background
    Figure 5: Presentation with a solid fill color background
  6. Remember to save your presentation often.

See Also:

Solid Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Solid Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Solid Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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